Photographer Ace Kvale has experienced a lot of incredible, memorable moments during his 30-odd years as an adventure photographer.
On assignment in Rwanda for National Geographic Adventure, he had the opportunity to photograph the mountain gorillas who live in Volcanoes National Park — descendants of the same gorillas Dian Fossey studied over 40 years ago. It was an experience that ranks right up there at the top of his list.
Described as "one of the coolest things I've done in my life", Ace took a brief respite from documenting Dr. Geoff Tabin's Cataract Project in Rwanda — a great humanitarian effort to provide cataract surgery to people in countries where that kind of specialized treatment isn't available — to visit Volcanoes National Park and a family of mountain gorillas. As a regular tourist, he waded through the bureaucracy and red tape involved in getting permits, and gained access to a carefully managed and controlled industry of guided excursions into the protected forests of the Park.
Ace used a Pro Trekker 400 AW during his assignment for National Geographic Adventure in Rwanda. Anticipating the opportunity to photograph the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, he took along his old favorite long lens, a 300mm 2.8. He was able to carry all his gear - including a laptop - in just this one pack.
"My friends at Lowepro sent me this pack to test. It has two key features that have made it my instant new favorite traveling companion: it doesn't look like a camera bag, more like an old fashioned rucksack, and it has a removable waist belt which allows it to fit into overhead compartments of planes, even with 40 pounds of equipment."
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Ace Kvale's photography is a celebration of the human element — a study of rich cultures and extreme climates, a record of first ascents and descents. His images are powerful yet humble, and his passion for storytelling has translated into a remarkable talent for weaving a complete narrative through pictures.
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund