When I redesigned and launched my website last year, my intention was to use it, at least in part, as a means of communicating my interests and concerns about conservation and environmental issues. As you’ll know from my website, I consider myself a fine art nature, conservation and environmental photography. This is ever evolving. I wish it were my full time life’s work, but it isn’t currently. One day…. and hopefully not too far into the future.
In the meantime, I use what ‘spare’ time I have to focus on developing my photography and writing for the purposes of informing and educating people about the natural world around them – about the wonderful nature that surround us as well as the things that threaten it. My hope is that maybe, just maybe, one day, my work would have impact and would make people think about the environment. Think about the legacy we will leave for future generations. Think about what we have lost already and how to put as stop to it, or at least slow it down. To think that becoming wealthier should not be our only goal in life. Economic prosperity comes at a cost. We need to find a way to balance that want for wealth with the need to preserve our environment. My hope is that my photos and writing make people think about these issues, make them ‘real’ and not just something we hear about on the news, happening in some other country.
As a growing proportion of the population of developed nations live in cities and those cities get bigger and bigger, fewer people – especially young people – have a connection with nature. How do people understand the value of nature – natural environments, species, and biodiversity in general – if they are so disconnected from it? Does the term ecosystem services mean anything to a kid from inner city Toronto? If not, why? And why should we be so concerned about this? What can we do about it?
Today, is the first post in a new series on my blog called, Conservation & Environment. Like my Photo of the Week, the title of my post will tell you that it is not only about photography. I’ve decided to host this series on my ‘photography blog’ rather than on my website because I think blogs are such an elegant way of communicating. Please continue to visit my website. I’ll be updating galleries and producing material for you to download. But my main messages will be posted here.
I thought that there was no better way to begin my Conservation & Environment series than by showcasing some of the work by Joel Sartore. Joel is a National Geographic photographer who is passionate about nature and conservation. That’s obvious in the work he does and the way he does it. He’s an extraordinary photographer with a vision different from most. To me, his passion for the natural world is communicated in his images and in the projects that he takes on. He is a wonderful spokesman for conservation and a legend in the field of conservation photography. His work is both impressive and inspiring. He’s the kind of person that I look to and say, “Wow, when I grow up, I’d like to be just like him.” Given that I’m still in the process of growing up (at the young age of 46), there’s hope! He’s the kind of person I would just love to sit with, in my screened in porch, and talk photography, conservation and adventure, over a beer or three. The world needs more people like Joel.
In 2010, Joel produced a series of photographs and a book called, Rare: portraits of America’s endangered species. He made portraits of endangered species of the Americas. His portraits are both photographically stunning, but also poignant, in telling the story of decline in these species. He is also working on a project called, The Biodiversity Project, in which he is photographing portraits of some of the earth’s most endangered species.
I hope you’ll visit Joel’s website to see his images and the great work that he does. And be sure to check out his videos too. They are well worth watching!