Mariposa photographer sharing secrets of Sierra

FRESNO, Calif.

In Mariposa, the magazine has enlisted a local photographer to share the hidden secrets of the Sierra.

On a mild sunny winter morning, the town of Mariposa in the Sierra foothills is a picture worth taking, but Charles Phillips takes his photography to another level than most of us do.

He started at a young age.

"By age 12 or so with the 4-H money I won I bought a 35 millimeter camera and I've been at it since," Phillips said.

His photos range from familiar Sierra sites, cowboys and cattle to the soaring grander of mountain peaks.

Now he has a new challenge: shooting for a National Geographic endeavor called Sustainable Destinations

The founder of this online offshoot of National Geographic says its purpose is to bring people to America's smaller wonders and small communities by creating a thirst for geotourism in places large and small.

The website also offers new maps for planning your visits, and more of Phillips work will be found in them.

Commitment from local photographers nationwide, says it's founder, is opening up tourist destinations nationwide.

Phillips has been busy shooting requested photos of the east and west Sierra for the project and he's proud to be among those who are shooting for National Geographic.

"It's not the magazine itself but it's one step up in my career. To be in the same place as these people is a thrill," Phillips said.

Putting the myriad of destinations that border the Sierra on a destination map is a work in progress being made possible by those who call those places home.

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