Orange and pink glow in the sky reflected on the Yuba and in the shelf fungus blooming on mossy oaks. Water pours over rocks and swirls in eddies: a frothy mix of blue, green and purple. “The South Yuba” photo book is a collection of moments of beauty like these, captured by photographers Jack Devlin and Nathan Potter. It is visually stunning, but it is also an act of service.
For their senior project at Nevada Union High School, Devlin and Potter used their artistic talents to share their love of the Yuba with others in this photo tribute, and chose for all of the proceeds from book sales to go to SYRCL to support our work as stewards of this special place. “People love the Yuba because of its awe-inspiring beauty,” said SYRCL’s River Education Manager, Annika Alexander-Ozinskas. “This book is a reflection of that love. And Devlin and Potter have joined an impressive lineage of artists who share the beauty of the Yuba so that others may fall in love with it, and maybe, hopefully, join the ranks of those who are working to save it.”
Before they began the project, the young men approached local photographer David Wong to ask for his mentorship. Devlin has been a student of Wong’s since the age of 12, when his mom brought him into Art Works Gallery in Grass Valley to encourage his interest in photography by meeting Wong. Since then, Devlin has shared his work with Wong and asked him for input. Wong offered his advice to Devlin and Potter regarding this project, he said: “Talk about what you see and why you think it’s important – the impact of your photos and what they show. It’s not just a pretty photo. Why is this this important?”
Devlin spoke to Wong’s questions at SYRCL’s Wild for the Yuba, sharing that he and Potter both felt they had gotten a lot out of being exposed to the environment and the Yuba growing up, and that they wanted to do something to give back. You can support their cause through purchasing the book from Blurb.com, a website that allows the book to be customized and printed as it is ordered. The cost of each book includes production plus a $10 donation to SYRCL. The link to the book is: https://www.blurb.com/b/7933291-the-south-yuba.
As for Devlin and Potter? They’re off to college. Wong says that he thinks Devlin will go far with his photography, even though it’s not his intended major. “He will use his photos in science to promote the environment. It’s a powerful message.”