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Conservation Photography

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021860/00001

Material Information

Title: Conservation Photography
Physical Description: 1 online resource (105 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: anthropology, conservation, ecology, environmental, florida, gabon, journalism, photography, photojournalism
Interdisciplinary Ecology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Interdisciplinary Ecology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Conservation and photography are two words representing distinct fields that when put together take on new meaning. What is conservation photography and how is it evolving into a newly recognized and influential discipline? Conservation photography is simply photography that empowers conservation. Its importance is increasingly recognized within both the scientific and photographic communities as a powerful tool for sustaining the diversity of life on earth. This thesis surveys the history of photography applied to conservation of natural and cultural resources, including insight from social documentary photography and nature photography. Case studies of projects with measurable conservation influence illustrate the foundations of the field and show that conservation photography is actually the oldest form of photography to affect social change. The emergence and function of organizations dedicated to conservation photography, such as the International League of Conservation Photographers, founded in October 2005, also helps define the field. Documenting biological diversity in Gabon, Africa with the Smithsonian Institution provided the author?s primary photographic experience, including production of his first book, The Edge of Africa. A professional project accompanying this thesis, including this book and a portfolio of the author?s conservation photography, is archived in the Allen H. Neuharth Library of the College of Journalism and Communications.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Kaplan, John.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021860:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021860/00001

Material Information

Title: Conservation Photography
Physical Description: 1 online resource (105 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: anthropology, conservation, ecology, environmental, florida, gabon, journalism, photography, photojournalism
Interdisciplinary Ecology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Interdisciplinary Ecology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Conservation and photography are two words representing distinct fields that when put together take on new meaning. What is conservation photography and how is it evolving into a newly recognized and influential discipline? Conservation photography is simply photography that empowers conservation. Its importance is increasingly recognized within both the scientific and photographic communities as a powerful tool for sustaining the diversity of life on earth. This thesis surveys the history of photography applied to conservation of natural and cultural resources, including insight from social documentary photography and nature photography. Case studies of projects with measurable conservation influence illustrate the foundations of the field and show that conservation photography is actually the oldest form of photography to affect social change. The emergence and function of organizations dedicated to conservation photography, such as the International League of Conservation Photographers, founded in October 2005, also helps define the field. Documenting biological diversity in Gabon, Africa with the Smithsonian Institution provided the author?s primary photographic experience, including production of his first book, The Edge of Africa. A professional project accompanying this thesis, including this book and a portfolio of the author?s conservation photography, is archived in the Allen H. Neuharth Library of the College of Journalism and Communications.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Kaplan, John.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021860:00001


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0d967efefb83708e002514b03eac01a535509225












CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY


By

CARLTON WARD JR.













A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2008


































2008 Carlton Ward Jr.

































To my family for encouraging my vision,
and all the dedicated hearts and minds
bringing this movement to life.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are many people to thank for the time and support they gave this project. I will start

with Steven Humphrey, Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment, who

accepted me into his new program despite my nontraditional path, and John Kaplan, Professor in

the Department of Journalism, who took me on as a student and provided entree into the world of

photojournalism, despite my lack of training in the subject. I would also like to thank the other

members of my committee, Allan Bums and Hugh Popenoe, for their example and

encouragement. In addition, I am grateful to the people at the Smithsonian Institution's

Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program (SI/MAB) who created the opportunity for

me to work in Gabon, particularly Francisco Dallmeier for his faith in the power of photography

and Michelle Lee for her vivid narratives that helped make The Edge of Africa complete.

Additional acknowledgements include the researchers and editors with whom I worked, Michael

Nichols for his vision and advice, all of the inspiring individuals and organizations who are

dedicated to stewardship and sustainability and are fighting for the future, especially Cristina

Mittermeier for her leadership in Conservation Photography, and finally, my family for their

constant love and encouragement.












TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. .....

ABSTRAC T .......................................................................... 8

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION .................. ............................................................ 9

Building Connections with Photography..................................................... ...... ......... 10
Documentary Photography-Bearing Witness....................................................................11
History of Social Documentary Photography .......................... ......................... .............. 12
Photojoumalism-The Legacy of Documentary Photography ..............................................15
History of Photography and Conservation ........................................ ........................ 16
Contemporary Examples Of Conservation Photography ................................................. 22
Cultural Conservation Photography ............................................... ............................ 25
Concerned Photography and Political Scrutiny ......................................... ...............27
L iteratu re R ev iew .............................................................. ................ 2 9
Articles about Conservation Photography ................................................ ...............29
Sem inal N ature Photography Books ........................................ .......... ............... 31
Cultural Conservation B ooks .................................................. .............................. 35
Books Produced by Conservation Organizations.........................................................37
The Influence of National Geographic ........................................ ........ ............... 39
W eb-B asked D ocum entries ..................................................................... ..................42

2 FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW DISCIPLINE ........................................... ............... 44

Blending Disciplines: Ecology, Sociology and Art.................................... ............... 44
The Missing Link: Role of Conservation Photography ......................................................46
Refocusing N nature Photography ............................................... ....... ............................. 48
Perspective on Conservation and Photography:
An Interview with Cristina Mittermeier ................... ..... ............... 49
Survey: Conservation Photography versus Nature Photography ..................................51

3 E STA B L ISH IN G TH E FIE LD .................................................................... .....................54

The International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP).......................................54
The Current State of Conservation Photography ............... ............................................57
B alancing Journalism and A dvocacy........................................................... ............... 61
C o n c lu sio n ........................................................................................6 3
Future Goals for the Field .................................................... .......... .. ............ 67

4 AUTHOR'S FIELD EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATIONS ......................... ..........68









C conceptual O rientation........................................................... 68
Introduction to Photography Projects ....... ......... ......... ..................... 69
T he B biodiversity of G am ba .......................................................................... ....................70
O bjectives/Project Significance............................................................ .....................72
M eth o d o lo g y ...........................................................................................7 3
L essons L earned from G abon ............................................................... .....................75
Project Outcomes................... ... .......... ......... ......................78
Selected Conservation Photography Projects by the Author, 2004-2007.............................78
The D esert Elephants of M ali .................................................................................... 79
Last Frontier-The Living Heritage of Florida Ranchlands ......................... ..........79
Andros-Creating a New National Park in the Bahamas .............................................80
F uture G oals for the A uthor.......................................................................... ....................8 1

APPENDIX

A RESOLUTIONS IN CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE 8TH WORLD
WILDERNESS CONGRESS IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, OCTOBER, 2005.................82

B THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHERS............84

C LETTER PROPOSING CONCEPT OF LINC .....................................................................87

D CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY SURVEY ...................................... ............... 89

L IS T O F R E F E R E N C E S .................................................................................... .....................9 5

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ......................................................................... ........................ 105









LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS


CI: Conservation International

FCA: Florida Cattlemen's Association

ICF: Images for Conservation Fund

ILCP: International League of Conservation Photographers

LINC: Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture

SI/MAB: Smithsonian Institution Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity
Programs

TNC: The Nature Conservancy









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY

By

Carlton Ward Jr.

May 2008

Chair: John Kaplan
Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology


Conservation and photography are two words representing distinct fields that when put

together take on new meaning. What is conservation photography and how is it evolving into a

newly recognized and influential discipline? Conservation photography is simply photography

that empowers conservation. Its importance is increasingly recognized within both the scientific

and photographic communities as a powerful tool for sustaining the diversity of life on earth.

This thesis surveys the history of photography applied to conservation of natural and cultural

resources, including insight from social documentary photography and nature photography. Case

studies of projects with measurable conservation influence illustrate the foundations of the field

and show that conservation photography is actually the oldest form of photography to affect

social change. The emergence and function of organizations dedicated to conservation

photography, such as the International League of Conservation Photographers, founded in

October 2005, also helps define the field. Documenting biological diversity in Gabon, Africa

with the Smithsonian Institution provided the author's primary photographic experience,

including production of his first book, The Edge of Africa. A professional project accompanying

this thesis, including this book and a portfolio of the author's conservation photography, is

archived in the Allen H. Neuharth Library of the College of Journalism and Communications.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Conservation photography is simply: photography that empowers conservation.

Photography has served this role since the 1860's, although not widely acknowledged. Renewed

emphasis on photography-for-conservation has arisen at the beginning of the twenty-first

century, primarily in response to the human-caused environmental crisis, recognizing that the

current global pattern of ecosystem degradation is not sustainable.

Sustainability refers to, "...human activities conducted in a manner that respects the

intrinsic value of the natural world, [and] the role of the natural world in human well-being

(Groom et al 2006). Yet the erosion of biological and cultural diversity (the biosphere and

ethnosphere) continues to accelerate due to anthropogenic factors such as climate change,

resource consumption, pollution, habitat fragmentation, and globalization. Modern humans have

caused the rate of species extinction to increase 100 to 1000 times since industrialization (Pimm

1995) and from similar factors half of the earth's 6000 spoken languages will be lost within the

next 50 years (Davis 2001). The article Trends in the state of nature and their implicationsfor

human well-being reported:

... the changes currently underway are for the most part negative, anthropogenic in origin,
ominously large and accelerating. The impacts of these changes on human society... for the
most part also appear to be negative and substantial (Balmford and Bond 2005).

Conservation photography as a field is emerging to address these trends.

Science teaches the need for conservation, but often falls short in communicating this fact

to the public. To achieve sustainability, the general gap between scientific knowledge and public

behavior needs to be bridged. Science-based communications provide an ideal tool for

constructing that linkage. Within the communications fields, documentary photography, which

bears witness to social issues, has proven its ability to generate public awareness and inspire









change. Similarly, nature photography can provide a pervasive vehicle for conservation

messages. But unlike social documentary photography, modern nature photography is less

commonly used to address issues.

The emerging discipline of conservation photography combines nature photography with

the proactive, issue-oriented approach of documentary photography as an agent for sustaining the

biosphere and ethnosphere. The central question to this thesis explores: What is conservation

photography and how is it evolving into an influential field today?

Building Connections with Photography

In the modem world, where societies are growing increasingly distant from nature and

increasingly reliant on media for information on the world around them, photography has a real

opportunity to help connect people with their vanishing natural heritage and explore the often

overlooked links between human societies and natural ecosystems. The field of conservation

photography is emerging at a time when segments of the scientific community are beginning to

embrace the power and importance of art for advancing conservation. An article in the February

2007 issue of the scientific journal, Conservation Biology, concluded "Promoting conservation

through the arts may reach a more diverse audience and reach them more successfully by

engaging their hearts as well as minds" (Jacobson et al. 2007). The same article stated: "If we are

going to have a new connection to the environment it will have to happen in individual hearts

and souls...the artist can help us fall in love with the earth again" (Berensohn 2002).

Photography can be an ideal tool for building this type of connection between people and issues.

Good photographs are easy to recognize and difficult to forget. As such, photography has

been a powerful public awareness tool in communicating both social and environmental issues,

transcending boundaries of language, culture and time. This point of view is expressed in the









words of Edward Steichen, describing his monumental international documentary photography

project, The Family of Man.

Over three and a half million people have seen the exhibit; a million copies of the book,
The Family ofMan, have gone all over the world....This is irrefutable proof that
photography is a universal language; that it speaks to all people; that people are hungry for
that kind of language. They are hungry for pictures that have meaning; a meaning they can
understand (Steichen 1958).

The universal language of photography has proliferated since The Family ofMan. Modern

societies are immersed with imagery, including the seemingly boundless influence of advertising

and entertainment media. Society is visually inundated with messages about what is good and

what is worth attention. Thus if conservation issues stand to compete for space in mainstream

consciousness, they need to be carried by the same tool that has made advertising and corporate

media messages so contagious creative photography. Text can no longer command attention on

its own. Today, images still provide the best hope for connecting people to issues, just as

photographs have been used in the documentary tradition ever since the advent of portable

cameras.

Documentary Photography Bearing Witness

Conservation photography, focused on conservation of biological and cultural diversity,

is a modern breed of documentary photography, sharing many of the same principles which can

be seen in the foundations of the field. According to Gretchen Garner's book Disappearing

Witness:

[Documentary photography] is not simple reportage of objective fact or institutional
recordkeeping: instead it is issue-driven, focused on a social issue about which the
photographer cares strongly (Garner 2003).

The conservation photographer approaches his or her work with a mission to share social

realities with his or her audience, not only to create a document, but to create a means to add

dimension to society's perceptions. Historian Marianne Fulton writes, "Being there is important,









being an eyewitness is significant, but the crux of the matter is bearing witness. To bear witness

is to make known or confirm, to give testimony to others" (Fulton 1989). References to

documentary photography throughout this paper will assume a pro-active role according to these

definitions.

The remainder of this introduction will explore the history of documentary photography as

a tool for social change. Then, through case studies and a literature review, the focus will turn to

the history of nature photography and conservation.

History of Social Documentary Photography

The ability to expose social issues through photography was born with the advent of

portable cameras and magnesium flash at the end of the 19th century. No longer constrained by

the heavy cameras in need of tripods and long exposures incapable of stopping motion,

photographers were for the first time able to go out and capture real moments from life.

New York police reporter Jacob Riis photographed the slum conditions shared by three

quarters of New York City's population. Through his photographs, published in Scribner's

Magazine and in his 1890 book, How the Other HalfLives, Riis inspired politicians to take

action by improving housing, lighting and sanitation, as well as the construction of city parks and

playgrounds. This marked the beginning of the "eye of conscience" school of American

photography (Gildgoff 2001). A new window into the world had been opened.

From that time forward, documentary photography emerged as a means to expose social

concerns, often with significant political influence. Not only were photographers bearing

witness, they were affecting change. Lewis Hine, a school teacher trained in sociology, turned

his lens toward the abuses of children working in factories. The National Child Labor Committee

(NCLC), founded in 1904, hired Hine to photograph working conditions for children throughout

the country. The publishing of Hines's photographs led to the creation and enforcement of new









child labor laws. Hine defined his work as social photography and by the time of his death in

1940, social reform photography had become a widely accepted tradition.

Following the social reform philosophies set forth by Riis and Hine, the Depression era of

1930's brought the field of documentary into its heyday, largely through the photography of the

Farm Security Administration and the formation of the Photo League. In 1935, President

Franklin D. Roosevelt, as part of his New Deal assistance programs, established the Resettlement

Administration (RA), which was absorbed into the Department of Agriculture and became the

Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937. The new head of the agency, Rexford Tugwell,

chose to hire a team of photographers to create a photographic survey of rural areas in the United

States as part of the government's pro-active role in improving socio-economic conditions. The

FSA staff of thirteen photographers included Dorthea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein,

John Vachon and Marion Post Wolcott. In exposing the realities of farm workers to the rest of

the country, sociologist and director of photography Roy Stryker said, "We introduced

Americans to America (Goldberg & Silberman 1999)." FSA photographers were encouraged to

look to socioeconomic research during the Depression in order to find subjects who needed

economic empowerment. Motivated to inspire social change with their cameras, the

photographers shared a sense of purpose. Regarding Dorthea Lange's famous work, "Miss

Lange's real interest is in human beings and her urge to photograph is aroused only when values

are concerned" (Garner 2003).

The FSA photographers created a legacy by providing further clarity on the purpose and

function of documentary photography. Stryker later wrote about documentary photographers:

Their education should never stop... They should know something about economics,
political science, philosophy, and sociology. They have to be able to conduct research,
gather and correlate factual information, and think things through. Then they can go out
and make pictures than mean something (Bezner 1999).









This philosophy of documentary photography (which could have been written about

conservation photography today) was manifest in the pursuits of the Photo League, formed in

New York in 1936. Much of the Photo League's initial inspiration came from the combined

artistry and social influence of Lewis Hine, "the spiritual leader of documentary photography,"

as he was called in the league's monthly newsletter, Photo Notes (Benzer 1999). FSA

photographers Lange, John Vachon and John Rothstein were also active as members, teachers

and speakers. Supported entirely by its membership, the Photo League grew to include the most

distinguished photographers of the time, such as: Paul Strand, Sid Grossman, Arthur Leipzig,

Beaumont Newhall, Arnold Newman, Walter Rosenbloom, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith,

and Ansel Adams (who will be discussed further in the next section for his use of photography

for conservation). Henri Cartier-Bresson worked closely with the league as well. Among the

league and its supporters was a common belief in the purpose and power of documentary

photographs. In For A League ofAmerican Photographers, its executive board stated:

Photography has tremendous social value. Upon the photographer rests the responsibility
and duty of recording a true image of the world as it is today. Moreover, he must not only
show us how we live, but indicate the logical development of our lives (Photo League
1938).

The Photo League advanced the value of their craft and its purposes as the only noncommercial

photography school in America and its social commitment shined through group projects, such

as Harlem Document and Rural America, collectively photographing and exhibiting areas that

needed public attention and reform. The collaborative nature and political function of the Photo

League, as it created awareness and action on social issues, foreshadows the philosophies to be

applied toward the conservation movement by the International League of Conservation

Photographers (ILCP) in 2005 (the ILCP will be discussed in detail in Chapter 3).









The Cold War and fear of communism in America brought socially active organizations

such as the Photo League under scrutiny in the 1940's, and from that point forward, sense of

purpose in photography became more subtly integrated into the artistic expressions and many

photographers began pursing art for aesthetic purposes independent of issue or cause. Even so,

the legacy of documentary photography as a powerful political tool has remained, continuing to

affect change on important issues, as many of its tenants were absorbed into the field of

photojournalism.

Photojournalism The Legacy of Documentary Photography

Often called the father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson, born in France, began

his career in the early 1930's. He used compact Leica rangefinder cameras to capture "decisive

moments" on black-and-white film. Cartier-Bresson was a student of Robert Capa, with whom

he cofounded Magnum Photos, along with David Seymour, in 1947. Capa's brainchild,

Magnum, a cooperative photo agency, began dispatching its photographers around the globe

covering conflicts, news events and social issues. The photographs brought the world to the

public through the pages of U.S. and European media, including Life Magazine, which featured

assignments by Cartier-Bresson over a period of three decades. Cartier-Bresson published The

Decisive Moment in 1952. He was a leader in both the craft and philosophy of photojournalism

and became possibly the most referenced and influential photographer of the 20th century.

Cartier-Bresson was concerned as much about the artistry of his photographs as he was

about their content and context. While emphasizing visual appeal is central to the hybrid art of

photojournalism, this emphasis also represents an era when photography was becoming a quest

for beauty, often independent of purpose. Cartier-Bresson's intense focus on art is probably the

reason his photographs were the most widely published and exhibited in the twentieth century,

although he rarely set out with a primary purpose of social change. The shift toward









photography-as-art in social documentary mirrors the de-emphasis of purpose in nature

photography which also became prevalent in the twentieth century.

Cartier-Bresson did occasionally turn his camera towards important social issues and

human conflict, particularly early in his career, and he recognized the responsibility of his role in

serving as the eyes for society:

As photojournalists we supply information to a world that is overwhelmed with
preoccupations and full of people who need the company of images....We pass judgment
on what we see, and this involves an enormous responsibility (Bresson in Schonauer
1997).

As the craft of photojournalism flourished through the 1950s, some photographers embraced

their responsibility more than others and continued harnessing the power of their craft to tackle

social issues with the same sense of purpose seen in the early documentarians.

Consider civil rights photographer, Charles Moore, who documented violent protests

between whites and blacks in his native Alabama in the early 1960's. Moore was disgusted by

the racial abuses, including fire hoses and dogs being turned against black citizens. He said, "I

wanted to show the appalling violence of dogs biting people because of the color of their skin

(Gilgoff 2001)." Moore's photographs were published in Life Magazine, which at the time was

Americas leading news source, reaching half the nation. "Many credit Moore's dramatic photos

with transforming the national mood and quickening the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964

(Kaplan 1998)." Moore had helped transform civil rights from a regional topic to a national

issue.

History of Photography and Conservation

In addition to being influential on social issues, photography has also shaped societal

views and policies on issues related to the natural environment. The relationship between

conservation and photography actually started well before the time of Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine,









Dorthy Langue and Henri Cartier-Bresson; decades before the birth of social documentary. On

June, 29, 1864, the US Congress enacted a bill signed by Abraham Lincoln, establishing

Yosemite as the nation's first legislated nature preserve, to be managed through the State of

California. The support of the Congress was secured, in part, through landscape photographs of

Yosemite by pioneering photographer Carleton Watkins, presented to Congress by Senator John

Conness (Cahn 1981). Then, five years after Yosemite received federally mandated state

protection, photography was again used to build support for protecting Yellowstone, in the

Wyoming Territory, helping create the world's first national park. Photographer William Henry

Jackson joined the first geological surveys of Yellowstone in 1870 and 1871. The second survey

was led by Dr. Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, the director of the U.S Geological and

Geographical survey of the Territories. Hayden, spearheading the movement for Yellowstone

preservation, distributed Jacksons's photographs to Congress and exhibited them in the Capitol

rotunda (Cahn 1981). When the Yellowstone bill was introduced to both houses of Congress in

December 1871, seeking protection for more than two million acres of wilderness from logging

and other exploitations, there was little opposition. On March 1, 1872, president Ulysses Grant

signed the Yellowstone Act into law and the world's first national park was born (Schonauer

2007).

Watkins and Jackson were conservation photographers in the truest sense. Working closely

with explorers, scientists and politicians, their efforts steered public opinion and resulted in

lasting protection of natural heritage. We can see that photography has empowered conservation

since the beginning of the environmental movement in America. Yet it has taken more than one

hundred thirty years for conservation photography to start gaining recognition as a field.









Through the work of Watkins and Jackson, it appears that conservation photography was

actually the first form of effective documentary photography, pre-dating photography's

application to social issues by more than twenty years. This advance probably has more to do

with technology than anything else, as the cameras of the 1860's and 1870's used larger glass

plates as negatives and required long exposure times. Watkins' cameras used eighteen by twenty-

two inch glass plates and exposure times as long as ten minutes, not well suited to human

subjects outside of a studio setting. But with the advent of portable and instant cameras near

1900, photographers could begin capturing human life as they saw it and documentary

photography began its marriage with social issues.

In the twentieth century, conservation photography continued to grow in parallel with the

establishment of national parks, embraced by a young Ansel Adams, who was the only member

of the Photo League who focused his camera primarily on wilderness and later became the most

famous photographer to have worked for conservation. Widely known by the general public for

his vivid black and white photographs of western landscapes, Adams is less known for his

proactive role in conservation. He worked passionately to promote protection for the places he

photographed. Adams worked closely with the Sierra Club, a conservation organization founded

in California in 1892 under the leadership of famous wilderness champion John Muir. The Sierra

Club became a leading advocate for U.S. National Parks and a pioneering publisher of nature

photography to support its conservation campaigns. Adams became the club's leading

photographer and a key figure in its history. And as one of the few organizations to use the term

"conservation photography" in the twentieth century the Sierra Club later created the Ansel

Adams Conservation Photography Award in his memory (see Chapter 3).









In 1936, armed with a portfolio of prints, Adams went to Washington, D.C. on behalf of

the Sierra Club to spend three weeks lobbying Congress to establish Kings Canyon National

Park. With pressure from logging companies, the bill did not pass, but Adams kept trying. His

Kings Canyon photographs were presented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Secretary of

the Interior Harold Ickes. Congress passed the bill later that year to create King Canyon National

Park and Adams' book was cited as for its importance to the campaign (Cahn 1981).

The same time Adams was beginning to influence conservation was also the heyday of

social documentary photography. Cartier-Bresson said, "The world is going to pieces and people

like Adams and [Edward] Weston are photographing rocks! (Cahn 1981)" Cartier-Bresson

clearly did not appreciate the revolutionary role of conservation photography at the time. In a

letter to Adams, Weston later wrote, "I agree with you that there is just as much 'social

significance in a rock' as in 'a line of unemployed.' All depends on the seeing." Seeing the need

for conservation in 1930's was far less common than seeing the more recognizable social

inequities following the great depression, and Cartier-Bresson's perspective suggests why

conservation photography did not gain the same acceptance as documentary photography during

the twentieth century.

In the twenty-first century there is growing recognition that conservation and social issues

are interrelated and that sustainable solutions must involve both environmental and cultural

dimensions (see Chapter 2). That Cartier-Bresson did not fully appreciate the value of

environmental photography was likely more a symptom of the time, when society as a whole

placed much more much emphasis on growth than the sustainability of ecosystems and cultures.

The same was true of the scientific community. Twentieth century biology, not unlike the









broader field of nature photography, was more about exploring nature for i ilnh/ and beauty than

informing society about sustainable practices.

Since Adams, nature photography proliferated as an art form and industry (although often

divorced from conservation purposes). Many of nature photography's masters can certainly be

credited with raising environmental awareness through their imagery, but have not done so with

the same degree of follow-through as Adams, who was a prototype for conservation

photography. Other photographers have shared these characteristics with Adams: 1) conservation

remained their primary objective and 2) measurable results were achieved (i.e. land protection or

new legislation), although their names and accomplishment have been much less well known.

While Adams was just learning to photograph and hike through the wilderness as a

California teen in 1915, a Japanese immigrant, George Masa, was arriving in the mountains of

North Carolina. His photography built lasting influence in his new home, including inspiring the

creation of Smokey Mountains National Park and mapping the entire North Carolina portion of

the Appalachian Trail (Bonesteel 2003).

Masa's studio was based in Ashville, but he spent extended periods photographing in the

wilderness of the Smokies. He often worked with author, national park proponent, and close

friend, Horace Kephart. Their magazine articles, celebrated the wilderness, and in 1925 they

together published a large-format pamphlet titled, "A National Park in the Great Smoky

Mountains." The park vision was realized official under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940

and today the mountains remember their champions: there is a 6,217-foot peek named Mount

Kephart and a 5,685-foot peek on the southwestern side named Masa Knob (Ellison 2004).

In 1947, a photographer named Philip Hyde entered Adams' photography program at the

California School of Fine Arts and soon became the most influential conservation-oriented









photographer of his generation. Like Adams, Hyde worked closely with the Sierra Club and it

was through this partnership that most of his communications campaigns were waged. "Battle

books," as Hyde called them, were their primary weapon for winning public support. Hyde's

photography helped create Dinosaur National park and make the Grand Canyon a symbol of

American wilderness, launching the Sierra Club into a national organization (Trimble 2006).

Today the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) offers an annual

environmental photography grant honoring his legacy. "The Philip Hyde grant is named for the

pioneering 20th century photographer Philip Hyde, who dedicated his career to using

photography for the advancement of conservation" (nanpa.org).

In Australia, Peter Dombrovskis is credited for helping start the national environmental

movement by turning his camera toward the wild rivers of Tasmania, where proposed

hydroelectric dams threatened to flood valleys, destroy wildlife habitat, and disrupt water flow.

Some dams were built in spite of his efforts, but Dombrovskis helped stop the Franklin Dam

project, saving a vast expanse of pristine wilderness. Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, his most

famous photograph, depicted a section of the Franklin River which would have been flooded,

visually spearheading Australia's 1982 'No Dams' campaign and helping make the Franklin

River a household name. The public debate over the fate of the Franklin River gave birth to the

environmental movement in Australia (Mittermeier 2005). As a conservationist, Dombrovskis

worked closely with The Wilderness Society and later published calendars featuring incisive

commentary from pre-eminent environmentalists, as well as his acclaimed 1983 book Wild

Rivers. In 2003, he was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

He was the first Australian to receive this honor.









Watkins, Jackson, Adams, Masa, Hyde and Dombrovoskis were all nature photographers

who used their craft to accomplish a primary objective protecting the lands and waters depicted

in their images. They also set historical precedent because their conservation efforts achieved

results, ultimately creating national parks and inspiring new laws. Conservation purpose and

achieving measurable influence can be seen as two main characteristic which distinguish

"conservation photography" from other forms of nature photography (the differences will be

further discussed in Chapter 3). These essential qualities, conservation purpose and results, are

embodied by a select group of contemporary photographers.

Contemporary Examples of Conservation Photography

Photographer, Xi Zhinong, for example, has become a leader in the Chinese environmental

movement. Zhinong began his conservation career in 1983 as a student at the biological

department of Yunnan University, where he assisted Professor Wang Zijiang in the production of

a scientific and educational film, A Paradise for Birds. Through the mid-1990's, Zhinong was

working as a photographer for the Yunnan Forestry Bureau. He went deep into the Baimang

Nature Reserve to photograph the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, a species under first-class state

protection. He became the first to photograph the species in the wild (Hart 2007). When Zhinong

discovered that the Deqin County government was engaged in illegal logging in an area,

threatening to destroy the snub-nosed monkey habitat, he wrote to government leaders in protest.

His pleas were shunned and he was fired from his job. Zhinong collaborated with Friends of

Nature, China's first nongovernmental environmental-protection organization, and continued

working on the story with his wife, Shi Lihong, then a China Daily journalist with family

connections to China Central Television. They aired a vivid documentary on national television

about the plight of the monkey, leading to cascading media support and student rallies. They then

organized an investigative media expedition to the Baimang Nature Reserve, recorded by









renowned journalist Shen Xiaohui. The government finally ordered an end to the illegal logging.

This was the first time that conservation organizations, with the help of the media, successfully

changed government policy in China, bolstering the growing non-governmental conservation

movement (Xiao 2006).

Zhinong has continued working for conservation, including efforts to save the Tibetan

antelope. He has recently returned to Yunnan and established Green Plateau, a nongovernmental

organization promoting the ecological protection in the Yunnan Province. One of Zhinong

photographs of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey won the Endangered Species Award from the

BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and in April 22, 2000, he received the Earth

Award, the highest award for environmental protection in China (Schmidt 2004).

Another contemporary conservation photographer, Michael "Nick" Nichols, has built a

lasting legacy influence. He began as a photographer with the U.S. Army, studied under civil

rights photographer Charles Moore, was a nominated member of Magnum Photos from 1983

until 1995, and joined the staff of National Geographic in 1996. Nichols' photographs

powerfully advocate for endangered wildlife and ecosystems.

I'm very mission oriented. I'm here to help the gorillas. I don't need to be bigger than the
work. I don't want you to know my name. I want you to know the image (Nichols 2005).

One of the presentations Nichols gives through the National Geographic Speaker's Bureau is

entitled, Giving Voice: Using Photography and Media as Powerful Conservation Tools. Nichols

works closely with conservationists and his photographs often empower their campaigns. He has

collaborated with researchers to save tigers in India, Jane Goodall to protect the world's great

apes and with Wildlife Conservation Society biologist, Michael Fay to rescue endangered

elephants in Zakouma, Chad. Prior to the Zakouma project, Nichols and Fay had worked

together in Africa for ten years, culminating in the Megatransect a project where Fay and a









small team walked through the remote heart of Africa. The two-year trek traversed two thousand

miles, starting in Congo and emerging on the Atlantic coast of Gabon. Nichols spent months

documenting the expedition with the goal of bringing critical awareness to the threatened species

and habitats along the way.

The Megatransect drew international media attention, became a three-part series in

National Geographic. With conservation at the end goal, Nichols' photographs provided the

team's most powerful weapon. When Fay presented the photographs to Gabon's president, El

Hadj Omar Bongo, he decided to create a system of thirteen national parks, the most significant

conservation result to have been inspired by photography in recent decades. From the world's

first national park in Yellowstone to its newest in Gabon, from Jackson to Nichols, photography

empowered substantial conservation.

Helping create new park systems and inspiring national environmental movements are the

benchmarks of what is possible through conservation photography, yet there are other

photographers making measurable and important contributions at various levels on influence.

Mexico native, Patricio Robles Gil, was honored with the Outstanding Nature

Photographer of the Year award by the North American Nature Photography Association in

2006, but his most remarkable accomplishments may result from his dedication when he's not

behind the camera. Robles Gil established Agrupaci6n Sierra Madre and Unidospara la

Conservaci6n, two organizations that work to guarantee the permanence of Mexico's biological

wealth and promote a conservation culture among the population. His commitment has made him

one of Mexico's most influential conservation leaders, responsible for reintroducing pronghorn

antelope and bighorn sheep in Caihuila, completing a jaguar survey in the Mayan jungle, and the

promotion of the El Carmen-Big Bend Conservation Corridor Initiative, a trans-boundary









conservation area at the Mexican and US boarders. As part of his conservation marketing efforts,

Robles Gil helped produce more than twenty books featuring international conservation strategy.

Robert Glenn Ketchum is a dedicated and outspoken ambassador of conservation

photography whose words carry his mission beyond his photographs. One topic Ketchum

explores in his books and public speeches is the history and relationship of photography with the

American landscape. He says:

Politics and conservation should consciously be part of our daily dialogues. Photographs
live far beyond their initial creation and have repercussive effects: they need to be carefully
considered in all of their uses and contexts, so that their impact has positive and protective
results. Far too many contemporary photographers dismiss these considerations and
responsibilities (Ketchum 1981).

Ketchum's photographic endeavors mirror his written philosophies. He photographed

Alaska's Tongass National Forest which was being clear-cut in the late 1980s. He then exhibited

photographs of the lush temperate rainforest on Capitol Hill and published a book that was given

to every member of Congress, helping push the Tongass Timber Reform Act that President H.W.

Bush signed into law in 1990 (Nixon 1994).

The group of contemporary photographers working for conservation is extensive (see

Appendix B). Many dedicate years to a single issue, for example: Gary Braasch and global

warming, Charlie Ott and Denali, Florian Schultz and the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor, Chris

Ranier and the ethnosphere, and Cristina Mittermeier and the indigenous people of Brazil. These

and other dedicated photographers continue to create critical awareness for wildlife and cultures

at risk of extinction.

Cultural Conservation Photography

Conservation photographers are working to protect not only landscapes and wildlife, but

indigenous cultures as well. The diverse cultures of the world comprise the ethnosphere, the

cultural web of life. According to anthropologist Wade Davis:









The ethnosphere is the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, and
intuitions brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of
consciousness.. Every language is an old growth forest of the mind, a watershed of
thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities (Davis 2003).

Yet like the biosphere, the ethnosphere is being severely eroded at an unprecedented rate. There

are six thousand different languages in the world today, yet less than half of those languages are

being taught to children (Davis 2001). That means half the world's languages are effectively

dead. Language is the manifestation of culture, comprising diverse worldviews, intimate

knowledge of local landscapes, and unique solutions to humanity's problems. This vast cultural

diversity which is legacy to hundreds of thousands of years of development is being lost forever.

And unless something changes, we stand to lose half of the earth's cultural diversity within the

span of a single human lifetime.

As an explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society and through his writing and

photography, Davis is a leading proponent for the ethnosphere. He co-directs the Cultural

Ethnosphere Program with Ranier, whose life's mission is to put on film both the remaining

natural wilderness and indigenous cultures around the globe and to use images to create social

change.

Born in Mexico, Cristina Mittermeier was a marine biologist who found her photographic

niche by recognizing that natural ecosystems and native cultures often face similar threats and

can be protected by similar solutions.

In many of the most remote and inaccessible covers of our planet, indigenous people are
still living traditional lifestyles and surviving in great intimacy with nature. In some places,
these indigenous nations are the last line of defense between what we call development and
our planet's last remaining wilderness (Mittermeier 2007).

Mittermeier now uses her photography as a tool to give voice to the native cultures and

ecosystems of Amazonia. She has been working extensively with the Kayap6 indigenous nation,

a tribe occupying a 30 million acre indigenous reserve in the southern Amazon. The land and









watersheds of the Xingu Valley, on which the Kayap6 depend, are being degraded by outside

interests. Planned hydroelectric dams threaten to destroy the Xingu River, a major artery of the

Amazon. One of the five proposed dams would become the fourth largest ever built and create

the largest man-made lake in the world. Thousands of acres of rainforest in the Kayap6 territory

would be flooded. Other threats include increased pollution by massive soybean plantations and

the clearance of large areas of forest near the river's tributaries.

Mittermeier has been campaigning for the Kayap6 and their land for since 1991. Her

photographs have been published in newspapers, magazines and books worldwide, and her

slideshows have helped raise the one million dollars annually that D.C-based environmental non-

profit Conservation International (CI) spends on Kayap6 conservation. The politically savvy

Kayap6 appreciate the power of photography and welcome and recruit the attention of outside

media.

Anthropologist Dr. Terence Turner, who has been working with the Kayap6 since the

1960's, has provided them with photography, video and audio equipment to document their own

lives. From recording the promises made by Brazilian government officials to placing

photographs and videos in the mainstream press, photography has empowered their

representation. Because the vast majority of Amazonia is controlled by indigenous nations like

the Kayap6, Mittermeier sees great hope in repeating their example to protect diverse cultures,

wildlife and ecosystems.

Concerned Photography and Political Scrutiny

Whether focusing on people or the environment, photography with purpose carries risks

because its political nature can be seen as subversive to government and corporate power.

Consider the demise of the Photo League after it came under scrutiny by the United States

Government, stifling the League's programs and the field of documentary photography as a









whole. As the United States was entering the Cold War with Russia, politicians became

increasingly wary of communist and overtly socialist agendas. The Un-American Activities

Committee (HUAC) of the House, and the Senate committee, headed by the infamous Senator

Joe McCarthy, led a series of investigations seeking to uncover Communists and their allies in

America. The Attorney General published a list of organizations and individuals in question.

With no real evidence, and to the surprise of the members, the Photo League appeared on the

blacklist in 1947, and two years later an informant testified that it was a Communist front. These

claims were never substantiated. The league struggled through the next two years, but the

Communist label, once applied in that era, was too difficult to shed. Membership dropped, media

coverage subsided, and in 1951 the League disbanded. In the political climate of the Cold War,

organizing around social issues had become much more difficult than before.

New cultural and ideological conditions in the cold war years forced traditional
presumptions concerning social documentary to be inexorably altered, regarded as suspect
and even dangerous. This parallel between the decline of documentary photography and
the rise of political oppression is no mere coincidence a redbaiting, blacklisting climate
forced many artists to retreat into safer, more private realms (Benzer 1999).

As seen with the demise of the Photo League, exposing social injustice is not always

welcome. Today, conservation-oriented photographers can face similar resistance. An active

conservation photographer who was suppressed by political scrutiny is Subhankar Banerjee. A

physicist and computer scientist and a native of India, Banrjee worked at the Los Alamos

National Laboratory and Boeing Corporation, before setting out to spend 2 years above the

Arctic Circle, photographing the fragile ecosystems of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

(ANWR). An amateur photographer who had never published his work, Banerjee was soon

center stage of international media attention and political controversy. His polar exploration led

to his first book, Seasons of Life and Land: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, published by

Mountain Press, and a prominent exhibition was planned at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural









History in Washington, D.C. The spotlight turned to Banerjee on March 19, 2003, when

California Senator Barbara Boxer introduced an amendment to prevent oil drilling in ANWR.

During her arguments, she held up a copy of Banerjee's book before the assembly and urged the

senator to read it and to visit the upcoming Smithsonian exhibit before dismissing the region as a

"flat white nothingness" as it had been described by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton

(Olson 2003). Following the Senate debate, the Smithsonian exhibits department informed

Banerjee that there was pressure to cancel the show, supposedly by ranks of Congress who

supported oil drilling in ANWR. The exhibition was ultimately hung, but interpretive captions

were removed and photographs were moved to an obscure basement hallway, rather than the

prestigious gallery, Hall 10, where it was originally planned to show.

Political manipulation may have become a blessing for Banerjee and ANWR due to the

media attention the project received, including an article in Vanity Fair (by Sischy 2003), a

multi-part series published in the Washington Post (by Trescott 2003) and thorough coverage on

National Public Radio (by Welna 2003). But the ability of corporate interests to suppress the

publication of photographs echoes the undercurrents at the demise of the Photo League and

forewarns of the obstacles that may face the International League of Conservation Photographer

as it seeks public and political influence.

Literature Review

Articles about the Emerging Field of Conservation Photography

Photography has been widely applied for nature and culture conservation since the

nineteenth century, but the concept of "conservation photography" as a discipline has not been

well established. In 2007, searching publications, online databases, and journals for

"conservation photography" yielded few returns. Of these references, the majority discussed









archival conservation of photographs and artifacts in museums and libraries, not "conservation

photography" of living nature as described by this thesis.

Conservation Photography: Art, Ethics andAction (2005) by Cristina Mittermeier

appeared in the International Journal of Wilderness. This was the fist-published academic paper

calling for the establishment of the field. After the death of Hyde, one of the field's pioneers, The

New York Times (2006) published an article titled: Philip J. Hyde, 84, Conservation

Photographer one of the few times the phrase has been printed in mainstream media with its

current context. The Psychology ofPhotographic Imagery in Communicating Conservation

(2006) by psychology professor, Olin Eugene Myers Jr., Ph.D., was written for the ILCP about

the influence of photographic imagery on public attitudes toward conservation.

Popular Photography and Imaging (2007) presented conservation photography to its

mainstream readership in Before They're Gone: Three photographers dedicated to preserving

disappearing America. The introduction read:

Whenever we take a picture, we capture a moment that will never exist in exactly the same
way again. Every photo is an elegy of sorts, an immediate memorial to an instant that's
gone forever. But for these three photographers, this idea has meaning on a greater and
more pressing level. Whether due to development, climate change, or public policy, many
facets of America are going faster than we can capture them with our cameras. Carlton
Ward, Jr., Ron Niebrugge, and Annie Griffiths Belt are committed to photographing
imperiled nature and culture, and they're fighting to make sure that their photography won't
be the only thing that remains (Grossman 2007).

The featured photography, including the work of the author, was presented as a pro-active tool

for conservation, not just passive documentation. Belt, a contributing photographer to National

Geographic Magazine, said, "We really do have the power to influence with our images.

Especially when photographers can work together, we really are a force."









The largest advance for the term "conservation photography" in mainstream media came

from a special issue ofAmerican Photo Magazine, titled Assignment Earth: How Photography

Can Help Save the Planet (2007). The introduction read:

A new school of "conservation photography" is helping to reshape the way we think about
nature... dedicated disciples of this movement, all members of the International League of
Conservation Photographers, show us what is really at stake in the modern environmental
battle (Schonauer 2007).

This issue presented "conservation photography" to its readers for the first time, including

sixteen articles profiling the field's leading photographers and organizations. The Photos that

Made Us Conservationists interviewed ten public figures about the images that most influenced

their views of nature. Barbara Baxter, U.S. Senator and Chairman, Senate Committee on

Environment and Public Works, said:

I have a poster with this Ansel Adams picture hanging in my office in Washington, D.C. It
reminds me that out natural environment surpasses anything that human-kind could ever
construct. We have a moral obligation to protect it for our children and grandchildren.

With this issue of American Photo, the conservation-oriented nature photography received

mainstream recognition under its new name "conservation photography".

Seminal Nature Photography Books

The progression of nature photography as a field, and its key contributors, can be seen

though the books published during the past century. Several increased environmental awareness

while others focused on the aesthetics of nature with less emphasis on conservation issues.

In 1932, Edward Weston and contemporaries, including Adams and others, co-foundered

thef/64 Group, sharing a philosophy of realist photography with maximum sharpness and "depth

of field" achieved using high aperture numbers like f/64. In addition to Western landscapes,

Weston is best known for his photographs of human figures as well as highly detailed portraits of

plants, vegetables and seashells. Although realistic, his selective concentration on singular forms









advanced a style of nature photography where subjects became art independent of place or

context. According to Curator Jennifer Watts, "Weston was about finding the essence in natural

form; finding the beauty in the common place" (NPR 2003). In 1937, Weston received the first-

ever Guggenheim fellowship for photography, allowing him to spend a year focusing on the

landscapes of Death Valley and the West, which he published in California and the West (1940).

In his quest for photographic beauty, Weston did not share the conservation impulse or political

ambition of Adams, though his photographs were published in a special edition of Walt

Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1941).

Twenty years later, color photographs of New England woodlands by Eliot Porter were

published with writings from Henry David Thoreau in the book In Wildness Is the Preservation

of the World (1962). Porter had studied bacteriology and biochemistry at Harvard University,

where he received his medical degree and worked as a researcher and professor for ten years,

before changing careers to become a full-time photographer. Porter had a passion for

photographing birds. Because black and white images could not show the color of their plumage,

he became a pioneer in the dye transfer process. His color portraits of birds received a

Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to exhibit at both Museum of Modern Art and American

Museum of Natural History. Throughout his career, Porter published landscapes and details of

nature in vivid color. In addition to fostering appreciation for eastern landscapes, his

revolutionary work established color nature photography as an accepted art form.

Utilizing refined mountaineering skills and lightweight cameras, Galen Rowell introduced

a new, interactive way of seeing landscapes in Mountain Light: In Search of the Dynamic

Landscape (1986). Rowell demonstrated and taught a brand of participatory wilderness

photography, where no longer just an observer with a camera, the photographer became an active









participant in the photograph. Interacting with the landscape, and often running or climbing

intensely to capture moments such as the unexpected convergence of light and form in fast-

changing mountain conditions, Rowell introduced a photojournalistic approach to nature

photography. In Galen Rowell's Vision: The Art ofAdventure Photography (1993), the

photographer expands on his philosophies of active visual exploration. He writes, "The art

becomes the adventure, and vice versa." Rowell also discusses the importance of emotional

connection within the photographer as a key element to successful images.

Jim Brandenburg also approached nature as a photojournalist, seeking to capture decisive

moments. He worked for ten years as newspaper photographer and then twenty-five years

producing stories for National Geographic. His first book, White Wolf (1990), provided window

into the lives of seldom-seen arctic wolves living on Ellesmere Island, Canada, followed by

Brother Wolf(1993) which portrayed the elusive timber wolves of Northern Minnesota with

unprecedented intimacy. Brandenburg's photographs helped promote appreciation and protection

for wolves species which had been vilified during the first part of the twentieth century. As a

photojournalist, Brandenburg's conservation ethic remained subtly integrated into his work,

evident in his choice of stories rather than a stated objective of his publications. The mission was

clear, however, in 1999 when he founded the Brandenburg Prairie Foundation to promote,

preserve and expand the native prairie of southwest Minnesota.

Rowell and Brandenburg practiced a genre of high-impact, color nature photography which

became a recognized style published in magazines such as National Geographic. Beyond the

beauty, the varied perspectives and captured moments brought pages to life. Franz Lanting,

good friend to Rowell and partner in the Living Planet project, became one of nature

photography's masters, as seen in Life: A Journey Through Time (2006), which portrayed the









story of a fragile and evolving planet. With similar style and acclaim to Lanting, Art Wolfe

published 42 nature photography books, including The Living Wild (2000), which featured essays

from prominent naturalists Jane Goodall, George Schaller, and William Conway. Although not

produced in association with any particular environmental organization, The Living Wild

advocated for conservation through its content. In the book's opening essay, William Conway

stated, "Wildlife conservation is destined to be one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first

century." Whenever possible, Wolfe approached each species from a wide-angle perspective to

emphasize the relationship to surrounding habitat a new innovation compared to traditional

telephoto wildlife photography.

From beneath the surface of the water, underwater photographer David Doubilet exposed a

previously unseen world, publishing 70 articles in National Geographic starting in 1971. His

book Water Light Time (1999) includes photographs from thirty different oceans and seas shot

over three decades of exploration, portraying the underwater world with unprecedented story-

telling artistry that fostered new appreciation for that realm.

Like Doubilet, Yann Arthus-Bertrand brought new perspective to nature through The Earth

from Above (2003). Working with UNESCO (the environmental division of the United Nations),

to assemble a global portfolio of 200 aerial photographs, Arthus-Bertrand provided a powerful

vision for understanding the ecology of the planet and the undeniable impact of human

development. He writes, "The earth is art. The photographer is only a witness." Yet he served as

a witness in the most pro-active sense, hosting outdoor exhibitions in major cities throughout the

world and positioning the photographs in the context of environmental stewardship, for which he

received the most prestigious award in France, Legion D'honneur.









The Tongass: Alaska's Vanishing Rainforest (1994) by Robert Glenn Ketchum stands as a

benchmark of photography influencing conservation. In the tradition of Adams and Hyde,

Ketchum set out to save the American landscape with his camera, namely the Tongass National

Forests of Alaska. He used his book to lobby Congress and helped build support for the Tongass

Timber Reform Act which ultimately protected a million acres of old growth forest (Nixon

1994). Ketchum was later acknowledged by Audubon Magazine as one of the 100 people who

shaped the environmental movement of the twentieth century (Seideman 1998).

National Geographic staff photographer, Michael Nichols, dedicated most of his career to

raising awareness for nature in the rainforests of Central Africa. Brutal Kinship (1999) was

published with Jane Goodall to bring attention to the plight of chimpanzees. The Last Place on

Earth (2005) presented the wildlife and habitat of the Congo in two-volume boxed set, including

an eleven by fifteen inch, 344 page portfolio of 250 photographs and separate volume of text

from Michael Fay's journals during their epic Megatransect expedition. Publishing costs were

subsidized by the National Geographic Society, Wildlife Conservation Society and private

sponsors, so that sales from this powerful anthology of Nichols's Central Africa photographs

could directly fund conservation efforts in the region.

Cultural Conservation Books

Several key books have focused on conservation of indigenous cultures within their

environmental contexts. Where Masks Still Dance: New Guinea (1996), by ethnographic

photographer Chris Rainier, documented diverse and seldom seen tribes of New Guinea and their

cultural traditions over a ten year time period. Content from the book was later exhibited at the

United Nations reproduced as an online report from Time Magazine.

Tibetan Portrait: The power of Compassion (1996), by Phil Borges with text by His

Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, portrayed the non-violent resilience and strength of the









Tibetan people and their culture, despite invasion and oppression by Chinese communists. The

Dali Lama advocated:

We Tibetans have an equal right to maintain our own distinctive culture as long as we do
not harm others. Materially we are backward, but in spiritual matters in terms of
development of the mind we are quite rich.

Borges' Enduring Spirit (1998) presented a collection of portraits of native peoples from around

the world, advocating for conservation of global cultural diversity. The introduction quoted a

study by Ken Hale of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, estimating that 3,000 of the 6,000

languages that exist in the world are fated to die because they are no longer being spoken by

children. In the spirit of cultural preservation, the book was published with Amnesty

International to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human

Rights. The photographs celebrated cultural diversity through the beauty and dignity of native

faces with strong connections to their environmental contexts.

Based on twenty five years of research exploration, Light at the Edge of the World (2001)

by cultural anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, shed

light on native cultures from around the world. Davis' expert writing and evocative photography

provided one of the most insightful and comprehensive views of the ethnosphere ever published,

challenging readers to appreciate and preserve indigenous knowledge living in cultures still

connected to the land and their pasts.

Faces of Africa (2004) by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fischer was another powerful

collaboration of art and science. Beckwith, a fine artist by training, and Fischer, a social scientist,

joined forces to document African culture through writing and photography. They worked

together for 25 years in 36 African countries, producing 8 previous books. Faces of Africa

culminated as an anthology of their careers, showcasing the most comprehensive single









collection of African cultural photographs, including ceremonies, rituals and portraits from 150

tribes, to have been published in book format.

Books Produced by Conservation Organizations

Ansel Adams' Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail (1938) celebrated the Sierra Nevada

Mountains, Kings Canyon and the surrounding sequoia forests. In addition to being Adams' first

major book, Sierra Nevada was designed as a political tool to raise awareness for the fragile

landscapes it depicted. The book was championed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes,

gifted to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and is cited for helping inspire the creation of Kings

Canyon National Park (Cahn 1981). In doing so, this pioneering project also helped define a

genre of environmental advocacy books based on nature photography.

The success of Adams's photography for conservation led to a new exhibition project,

initiated by the Sierra Club and National Park Service in 1954 and culminating in a new book:

This is the American Earth (1960). The collaborative project relied on Adams' landscape images,

but also included photographs from Edward Weston, Williams Garnett, and Elliot Porter, as well

as from social documentarians Cartier-Bresson and Margaret Burke-White. "The result was a

sweeping panorama of human and natural scenes with both text and photographs inspiring

appreciation of the values underlying democracy and freedom (Cahn 1981)." The exhibition

opened in Yosemite in 1955 and then, under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution,

travelled for seven years throughout the United States and abroad.

The Sierra Club's subsequent books became effective weapons in the ongoing battle to

protect the landscapes and wildlife of the western United States. This is a Dinosaur by Philip

Hyde (1955) continued the advocacy tradition, building profile for a landscape that became

protected as Dinosaur National Monument. David Brower, the outspoken executive director of

the Sierra Club from 1952 to 1969, commissioned Hyde to continue creating books to serve as









cornerstones to Sierra Club's environmental campaigns. Hyde and the Sierra Club published

more than a dozen books together, including Time and the River Flowing: Grand Canyon (1964),

which turned the canyon into a national symbol of imperiled wilderness and helped save the

Colorado River. Tom Turner, senior editor with the environmental law firm Earth Justice,

described the book as quoted in Hydes's New York Times obituary:

It was published explicitly to stop the federal government from allowing dams to be built
in the Grand Canyon, mostly for power generation and a little for irrigation. The text was
hard-hitting and it succeeded. No one had done books like that before, and they had more
impact than they would today (Turner in Brozan 2006).

The Sierra Club's "battle book" approach was resurrected for the international arena with

the publication of Megadiversity (1997) the first in a series of four books on the earth's

biological diversity by Washington, D.C. based Conservation International, working in

collaboration with Agrupacion Sierra Madre in Mexico and with support from CEMEX

Corporation. Subsequent titles included Hotspots (1999), Wilderness (2002), and Hotspots

Revisited (2005). Each book contained nearly 600 pages, measured twelve by fourteen inches,

and weighed twelve pounds. These books brought a new dimension to the coffee-table genre.

According to Conservation International's President, Russell Mittermeier, they were too big to fit

on most book shelves and as a result often reside on the coffee tables and desks of world leaders,

including heads of state. The series was richly illustrated by dozens of the world's leading nature

photographers. The collaboration toward international conservation awareness under the

leadership of conservation scientists helped lay the philosophical foundation on which the

International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) would later be built. Science set the

agenda and the photographers came together to help make the case.

Following its creation in October 2005, the ILCP became a formal partner in producing

the second version of the Conservation International and Sierra Madre series, along with the









Wildlife Conservation Society, the WILD Foundation, and the World Conservation Union. Titles

include Transboundary Conservation: A New Vision for Protected Areas (2005), The Human

Footprint: Challengesfor Wilderness and Biodiversity (2006) and A Climate for Life (2007).

These titles relied on the world's leading photographers of nature and native cultures, with photo

credits including: Yann Artus-Bertrand, Jim Brandenburg, Carr Clifton, Jack Dykinga, Peter

Essick, Patricio Robles Gil, Chris Johns, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Frans Lanting, Steve McCurry,

Michael Melford, Michael Nichols, Pete Oxford, Tui de Roy, Joel Sartore, Anup Shah, Florian

Shultz, George Steinmetz, Maria Stenzel, and Art Wolf.

In similar philosophy to the Conservation International series, Living Planet: Preserving

Edens of the Earth (1999) was produced by the World Wildlife Fund to call attention to globally

endangered landscapes and wildlife. The project called upon Franz Lanting, Galen Rowell and

David Doubilet, all leading contributors to National Geographic.

The Influence of National Geographic

It is not just coincidence that many of the seminal books in nature photography were

produced by photographers who were also frequent contributors to National Geographic. Since

the beginning of the twentieth century, the National Geographic Society has produced the

preeminent magazine for bringing world attention to conservation issues. The society was

founded in 1888 "for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge" and used photography

as a tool since the beginning. By 1908, photographs occupied half or more of the space in their

monthly magazine, which published its first color photographs in 1910. National Geographic

developed as the primary source of natural-color photographs from the landscapes and cultures

of the world and the Society soon became the world's largest non-profit scientific and education

institution. Magazine stories fostered appreciation for cultural and natural resources from the

start, and the Society officially adopted conservation into its mission later in the twentieth









century. Many of the major stories related to conservation were shown to the world through

photography in National Geographic, at times paired with writing by scientists on the forefront

of exploration.

My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees (1963), written by Jane Goodall and photographed by

Baron Hugo van Lawick, introduced the world to humanity's closest living relative. The 36-page

article included 36 color photographs depicting never-before seen natural curiosity and social

interactions in a natural setting.

In Life i i//h the King ofBeasts (1969), biologist George Schaller used writing and

photography to share insights from his groundbreaking three-year study of lions in Serengetti

National Park, Tanzania. The research found, for example, that lions serve an integral role in the

ecosystem by keeping populations of hoofed animals in balance. Publishing those findings with

photographs in National Geographic helped share that new information with the world, and like

Goodall's story about chimpanzees, helped establish a format for science-based natural history

journalism centered on a charismatic species.

Making Friends ith Mountain Gorillas (1970) by Dian Fossey and photographer Robert

M. Campbell, followed suit. Fossey, like Goodall, spent years gaining the trust of a group of apes

so she could study their behavior in the wild. Then through her writing and Campbell's

photography, National Geographic changed the way people viewed Gorillas. Fossey reported on

the gentle nature of gorillas, a species she showed to have been, "one of the most maligned

animals in the world." The article made clear that the largest living primates were rather

vulnerable and at great risk of extinction without habitat protection.

Humpbacks: The Gentle TT7/ihe;. (1979), by marine biologist Sylvia Earle and









photographer Al Giddings, provided new insight into the beautiful cetaceans whose populations

were declining.

The article made the point that the "humpbacks" had suffered from over hunting and the

ungraceful connotations of their name. The text reminded that 40 ton whales could perform back

flips and fill the oceans with song. The photographs confirmed their grace.

.\/hi k Magnificant and Misunderstood (1981), written by biologist Eugenie Clark with

photography by David Doubilet, dedicated 48 pages and 39 photographs to telling the real story

about sharks species that had been vilified by sailors' myths and the fictitious movie Jaws

(1975). The photography celebrated the incredible diversity and behaviors of the important ocean

fauna that were not always menacing and in fact needed our protection. Doubilet used his

underwater photography again to promote conservation in Plight of the Bluefin Tuna (1982).

In addition to setting the standard for raising awareness of charismatic and threatened

species such as gorillas and sharks, National Geographic has also taken the lead on broader

conservation issues. A Place for Parks in the New S.Ntui Africa (1996) by National Geographic

Photographer Chris Johns and writer Douglas Chadwick brought to life the bold and visionary

choices for conservation in an economically depressed and war-ravaged nation. Johns'

photographs showed the promise of a bright future for wildlife and native cultures alike.

As a special edition millennium supplement, Biodiversity: The Fragile Web (1999), the

entire issue was dedicated to the diversity of life on earth and the extinction crisis. The

introduction to one 82 page section read:

Species too numerous to count are disappearing too quickly to record. From Central
America to Asia, five articles take you to the front lines of the fight to save Earth's
biological treasures.

The group of stories contained 52 photographs by Franz Lanting. The richly illustrated section

addressed topics including: The Variety ofLife, The .i\xii Extinction, Restoring Madagascar, and









In Search of Solutions. In the same issue, Forest Elephants by photographer Michael Nichols and

biologist Michael Fay revealed the nature of these seldom-seen and endangered creatures of the

Congo forests.

Nichols and Fay teamed up again in a three part series which helped create 13 new

national parks in Gabon. Megatransect: Across 1,200 Miles of Untamed Africa on Foot (2000),

The Green Abyss: Megatransect Two (2001), and Megatransect Three: End of the Line (2002)

chronicled the nearly two-year walk by Fay and team. Designed with National Geographic

communicators and the Wildlife Conservation Society scientists to build critical awareness, the

highly visible Megatransect project helped create 13 new national parks in Gabon and became

one of the most successful conservation campaigns in history.

National Geographic has also remained a strong voice for cultural diversity. Vanishing

Cultures (1999), written by Wade Davis and photographed by Maria Stenzel, turned attention

toward the human dimensions of conservation.

The introduction read: Indigenous peoples have become the equivalent of endangered
species. Now many battle to save the things that define them; their lifeway, their language,
and their land.

Stenzel's photographs exposed readers to diverse cultural realities across several continents. One

common theme arose: with degradation of natural habitat or lost connections to historic

landscapes, native cultures face the same fate of extinction as any animal with no home.

Web-Based Documentaries

With the expansion of broadband access in the twenty-first century, the internet has

become a growing venue for documentary journalism, providing a unique platform for non-linear

productions that combine photography, text, audio, video, and animated graphics. FusionSpark

Media (fusionsparkmedia.com) has specialized in applying these communications tools to

conservation story-telling. They produced One World Journeys: Where People and the Planet









Connect (oneworldjoureys.com), including conservation projects such as: Mercury Rising:

Bearing Witness to Climate Change, Salmon: Spirit of the Land and Sea, Chimpanzees:

Messengers form the Forest, and Cougar: Spirit of the Americas. FusionSpark also produced

Water's Journey: Everglades (theevergladesstory.org) and Florida's Springs: Protecting

Nature's Gems (floridasprings.org), both sponsored by the Florida Department of Environmental

Protection (DEP) to educate students and the public about the value of protecting the state's

water resources. To help advance the distinct art of web documentaries, Russell Sparkman,

Executive Producer with FusionSpark Media, founded the International Web Documentary

Association (iDocumentary.com).

Franz Lanting's Life: A Journey Through Time (lifethroughtime.com) expanded the

content of the book and traveling exhibition into an interactive, multimedia web production,

complete with photography, music, animated text and informational graphics.

Such story telling earned the Los Angeles Times the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory

Reporting in 2007 for Altered Oceans: A Five-Part Series on the Crisis in the Seas (2006),

written by Kenneth Weiss with photography by Rick Loomis. The documentary presented a

comprehensive investigation of ocean conservation issues, including habitat loss, toxins, red

tides, litter and chemical alteration, along with their implications for the planet.

Born from the vision of renowned Harvard biologist, E.O. Wilson, the Encyclopedia of

Life (eol.org) is hosted by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. It

was being developed in 2007 as "an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about

life on Earth accessible to anyone, everywhere in the world." The unprecedented, collaborative

educational project relies on photography to "safeguard the richest spectrum of biodiversity."









CHAPTER 2
FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW DISCIPLINE


Blending Disciplines: Ecology, Sociology and Art

There exists a strong tradition between documentary photography and the social sciences.

Documentary photography has long been a central tool to the social sciences, giving birth to the

hybrid fields of visual social science and visual anthropology, where photography is included as

a research tool. There is less tradition, however, between photography and the ecological

sciences. While the contributions of photography to ecological issues have been significant, the

interdisciplinary role between the fields has remained less developed. As conservation

photography emerges as a field, like visual social sciences in the past, it is blending disciplines;

converging art and science from a broad base of inquiry.

Let us first consider the interdisciplinary nature of documentary photography, a long-

established tool for building public consciousness as portrayed in the words of Psychiatrist

Robert Cole:

Documentary work is journey, and a little more, too, a passage across boundaries
(disciplines, occupational constraints, definitions, conventions all too influentially closed
for traffic), a passage that can become a quest, even a pilgrimage, a movement toward the
sacred truth enshrined not only on tablets of stone, but in the living heart of those whom
we can hear, see, and get to understand. Thereby we hope to be confirmed in our own
humanity the creature on this earth whose very nature is to make just that kind of
connection with others during the brief stay we are permitted here (Coles 1997).

Documentary photographers, through their own journey for discovery and truth, develop a

personal vision which becomes a connection between social realities and the eyes of society.

Conservation photography is much the same; it is documentary photography applied to

conservation issues. Documentary photography already incorporates many of the social science

disciplines: sociology, anthropology, psychology, journalism and political science. Conservation

photography adds ecology, geography and conservation biology to the list.









The ecological sciences (i.e. marine ecology, wetlands ecology, tropical ecology,

conservation biology) are by their nature interdisciplinary, exploring the connections in the

natural world and uniting biological fields which were previously treated more separately.

Furthermore, the spheres of the ecological and social sciences are beginning to overlap. Biologist

E.O. Wilson calls this tendency Consilience the unity of knowledge (Wilson 1998). There is

certainly consilience through the lens of conservation, as the plights of the biosphere and

ethnosphere call out for a unity of ecological and social concern. As seen in Mittermeier's work

with the Kayap6 indigenous nation, the issues that threaten an ecosystem are often the same

issues that threaten the survival of the cultures which live there. The conservation goals for

culture and environment become one.

It should not be surprising, then, that we see strong parallels in environmental and social

concern. Both ecologists and sociologists have become critical of global consumerism, which

places immediate gain before the long-term health of ecosystems and human populations. The

list of concerns is extensive. Consider, for example: globalization, exploitation of developing

nations, inequitable distribution of resources, polluted drinking water, degradation of coastal

ecosystems and fisheries, desertification, and sea-level rise. All of these issues are eroding both

the biosphere and ethnosphere. They are all rooted in short-sighted exploitation and they can all

be solved or mitigated through conservation. Conservation unifies biological and social concern

and the biological and social sciences.

Conservation also blends science with art. Art and science are often treated as mutually

exclusive fields, an idea which is propagated in their respected practices. It is not uncommon for

scientists to avoid connotations with art to maintain credibility with peers. But segments of the

scientific community are warming up to association with art.









Many scientists fight the urge to be artful, and manage to be conventional in their mode of
presentation. Some may come to see, however, that there is more than one way to let others
participate vicariously in the processes of data gathering and reasoning which lead the
scientist to results. They may realize that ostentatiously labeling an idea 'hypothesis' does
not make it a better idea, and that unconventional modes of presentation which use the
resources typically associated with art may be well suited to the purposes of science
(Becker 1981).

Good documentary photography, like science, grows from understanding gained by large

amounts of time invested in the project or problem, and there are indeed a growing number of

conservation biologists who embrace the art of photography as an important tool in their quest to

protect biological diversity. In conservation photography, art becomes a vehicle for science.

Photographs capture the attention of the public and decision-makers and share a science-based

message.

The Missing Link: Role of Conservation Photography

Connectivity is the first principal of ecology as well as the underlying philosophy to

conservation photography. All life is interconnected, yet there is growing disconnection in the

world today, imposing barriers to sustainability of natural systems and indigenous cultures, as

well as global economies. Just as natural landscapes are fragmented to an unprecedented degree,

numerous disconnects persist in human behaviors as we relate to our natural environment,

including:

* Growing distance between modern [urban] society and the natural world
* Gaps between scientific knowledge and public understanding
* Separation between science-based advice and public policy
* Disjoining of cultural traditions and modem life
* Distancing of natural truths from our collective consciousness

These trends of disconnection (Ward 2005) are eroding the ecological fabric of our planet and

demand our immediate attention. The most direct remedy is reconnection; rebuilding and

maintaining the connections that lead toward sustainable balance. According to Larry Seltzer,









president of The Conservation Fund, if the citizens of tomorrow "don't have a connection to the

land and an appreciation for natural, historic and cultural resources, then they certainly will not

protect them when they have to make tough choices on budget and policy (Lemer 2007)."

In the modem world, photographic communications provide the best tools for constructing

and maintaining the connections needed to make sustainable decisions. Through photographic

communications, society can reconnected with the natural world, scientific knowledge can

connect to public understanding, science-based advice can connect to public policy, cultural

traditions can connect to modern life, and natural truths can connect to collective consciousness.

Striving to build these connections, science provides the road map, and photographic

communication serve as the most effective vehicle. Powerful imagery opens a direct window into

social consciousness and is a proven catalyst for change. Such communications efforts can also

provide a synergistic effect, inspiring organizations and individuals to work together toward

common goals.

Why are there so many photographers drawn to photograph nature? The idea of biophilia

provides insight as presented by Harvard biologist Ed Wilson; that people have an instinctive

yearning to be close to nature. "To an extent still undervalued in philosophy and religion, our

existence depends on this propensity [biophilia], our spirit is woven from it, hope rises on its

currents (Wilson 1984)." Biophilia makes sense, considering that from a background of tens of

thousands of years of human history only for the past century have we been living in an

industrial and urban era. People come from nature and are part of Nature (although out material

culture tells us otherwise). No wonder why urban people are drawn to nature for their recreation,

mainstream nature photography being a prime example.









This emotional attraction to nature is a real asset for promoting conservation. As Wilson

writes in the concluding chapter of Biophilia, "The goal is to join emotion with the rational

analysis of emotion in order to create a deeper and more enduring conservation ethic (Wilson

1984)." Through education if we can develop a conservation ethic in the vast population of

nature photographers currently without it, then we will have aligned with tremendous potential

for public influence. If most nature photographers went out into the world informed about

conservation issues and with a purpose of sharing those issues with the people around them,

photography would become an incredible link between society and nature.

Today, an artist's perspective of the natural world has greater value than ever before
because man has removed himself so far from nature that an artist's work is often the only
thing that keeps the observer in contact with it (Ketchum 1981).

Ketchum realized the value of photography to reconnect people to nature in 1981. James

Balog revisit's photography's role in conservation in his 2007 essay, How Photography Can

Help Save the Planet:

Photography can help us remember and reclaim our identities as part of the natural
world... [It is] an antidote to the disorientation of our time; it replaces fragmentation with
focus, forgetting with memory, indifference with affection. These are the impulses shaping
a new breed of activist photography oriented to the conservation of the natural and human
environment (Balog 2007).

Both Balog and Ketchum stated the need to reconnect to the natural world and believed that the

power of photography could enable that connection.

Refocusing Nature Photography

In the early twenty-first century, recognizing the potential for photography to serve an

influential role for conservation led to a general sense of frustration with nature photography that

did not focus on issues. Many saw a need for reform, to establish new priorities that would allow

photography to better fulfill its potential for advancing conservation. In early 2005 (prior to her









founding of the ILCP), I sent the following questions to Cristina Mittermeier, Senior Director of

Visual Resources, Conservation International.

Perspective on Conservation and Photography: An Interview with Cristina Mittermeier

Have you always considered yourself a conservationist? If not, what lead you to become one?

I have often asked myself about the origins of this "environmental ethic" and have asked others
like Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle about it. We all agree that it comes from early childhood
experiences that influence the way we appreciate and empathize with nature. For me, the
epiphany came while traveling as an observer in a Mexican shrimp trawler on my last year in
college. When the nets were dumped on deck and I realized that most of the catch consisted of
accompanying fauna (including a very dead sea turtle) I remember being horrified into
rethinking the goals of my career as a fisheries expert.

At this stage in your career what is more important to you, the photography or the conservation
implications of the work?

The conservation implications without a doubt. Sometimes I mourn the loss of time not spent
photographing and I envy others (like yourself) for the time you spend out there. However, I
understand that the task for me now is to legitimize conservation photography in such a way that
when I am able to go out in the field for extended periods of time, my work will have meaning in
a larger conservation context.

Who would you consider the best examples of other photographers using mission-driven
photojournalism to promote conservation?

Lately I have had long conversations with other photographers about the kinds of attributes that
make a "conservation photographer" and I have come to the conclusion that even under the
broadest of definitions, many of the great photographers of our times fail to make the
requirements to fit into this category. Thinking of the creation of an award, I have come up with
three simple criteria to be met in order to be considered a conservation photographer: 1) The
mastery of the technical aspects of the craft; 2) a proven record of conservation actions on the
ground; 3) the creation and use of images for the specific purpose of conservation.

Try to think of some of the best photographers you know, and very few have actually gone out of
their way for a conservation cause. There are those however, like Patricio Robles Gil, who do
more than take pictures; he actually takes his images to the international public opinion court
and spends a lot of his time lobbying ranchers, raising money for conservation projects, talking
to scientists, promoting the involvement of corporations and governments. Very few others go to
these great lengths. Most are competent only in categories 1 and 3. Many are all devout
conservationists but are not willing to take the time to truly get involved in any one issue.

There are several however, who qualify in all: Tim Laman and his work with orangutans, Karl
Amman and his work in Central Africa, Xi Zhinong in the Tibetan Plateau, Subankhar Banerjee
in ANWR.









What percent of nature photographers (amateur and professional) would you consider to be
conservation photographers?

I am going to say that probably one-third is willing to let their images be used for conservation (I
am thinking of all the grass-roots organizations that rely on amateurs). However, less than 10%
are true conservation photographers.

I know you agree that solid visual communications should be a key ingredient to any successful
conservation campaign. What is your vision for the ideal role ofphotography in the future field
of conservation?

My intention is to gain enough recognition of this fact and educate conservation organizations
and donors about the importance of budgeting for the use of existing images and the creation of
new ones. The most important outcome of the conservation photography symposium in Alaska
will be the creation of a Global Visual Communications Strategy for Conservation (and a
budget to go with it).

Mittermeier's answers confirm that the majority of nature photographers would not qualify

as conservation photographers, even if they consider themselves to be conservationists. But her

suggestion that only ten percent of nature photographers would qualify is both a source of alarm

and of hope. Unfortunately, it appears that most nature photographers are pursuing art from

nature as their end goal, while conservation photographer would argue that the art should not be

the end, but rather a means toward a greater goal of achieving conservation. Conservation

photographers should seek pictures with the potential to make a difference and then put those

pictures to use, either personally of by placing them in the hands of organizations that can use the

pictures to affect change.

The hope that lies in the current state of nature photography is the potential for a ten-fold

increase in the number of photographers addressing conservation. Nature photographers value

the natural world and are drawn to it for their art. A conservation ethic could come naturally.

This disconnection between attraction to nature and taking action to protect nature may

seem strange from the perspective of a working conservationist, but a conservation ethic is not

innate; is something that evolves through education and experience. There are interesting









parallels which can be drawn between the current state of nature photography and the general

state of the biological sciences in the 1980's.

Prior to 1980, many of the biological sciences were driven by a purely academic quest to

explore and understand. But more recently there had been a broad shift toward applying science

to growing problems and conservation biology was born. "Conservation Biology is a multi-

disciplinary science that has developed in response to the crisis confronting biological diversity

today (Soule 1985 in Primack 1995)." Substitute "photography" for "biology" and "art" for

"science" in this twenty-year-old definition and we have a definition accurate for conservation

photography today. Conservation Photography is a multi-disciplinary art that has developed in

response to the crisis confronting biological diversity today.

Before the 1980s, biologists were connected to nature (like nature photographers today),

but had not purposefully addressed conservation in their work. But since then, the biological

sciences swiftly responded to growing concerns for the sustainability of the biosphere and

conservation biology was established as a primary field. Likewise, the field of nature

photography could be in the early stages of a similar evolution. Nature photographers, already

connected to nature through their craft, will embrace the need to confront similar issues of

habitat loss, extinctions, and sustainability of human societies, and conservation photography

will be firmly established, with its roots in the late nineteenth century and its recognition as a

field in the early twenty-first.

Survey: Conservation Photography versus Nature Photography

The following questions were sent to well-known conservation-oriented photographers in

October 2007. Selected responses are included as Appendix D.:

1. What is the difference between conservation photography and nature photography?
2. Do you see conservation photography as a new field?
3. What is the role for conservation photography in the coming decades?









Each of the fourteen photographers replied that Conservation Photography (CP) was

indeed different from Nature Photography (NP). Several suggested that CP is a subset of NP.

Most said that NP focuses on beauty and CP, although often beautiful, focuses primarily on

conservation issues. According to Sartore, "The nature photograph shows a butterfly on a pretty

flower. The conservation photograph shows the same thing, but with a bulldozer coming at it in

the background." Regarding CP, he said, "The bottom line is that these are pictures that go to

work. They allow the reader a chance to understand what's happening out in the world, even the

ugly stuff." Among the other photographers, there was consensus that sense of purpose and

application were the main differences between CP and NP.

Most photographers also agreed that CP was a new field. Only a few, such as Ketchum

and Nicklin did not. Ketchum said it "a personal belief and commitment," and Nicklin said it was

"a way to pay back." Nicklin also said, "It's not what you do, but what you do with it, using NP

to further conservation issues." And Ketchum said that CP is NP "directed in an

advocate/protective way on behalf of a specific issue." Regarding the future of CP, both Nicklin

and Ketchum expressed hope that NP would be better applied to conservation. Although they did

not claim CP to be a new field, their view of the purpose and function of the discipline and future

needs was concurrent with the other responses.

The majority responded with conviction that CP was a new field. Bransilver said "Most

certainly." Jones said, "Most definitely." Sartore said "Absolutely." Ziegler said "Surely is."

Gulick said "Yes, finally." Those surveyed knew the long history ofNP's influence on

conservation, yet they still saw the named field of CP as new.

Balog offered perspective into the group's enthusiasm for CP's emergence, primarily the

critical timing of the conservation movement:









In the techno-consumerist-industrial age of today, where the human race is brutalizing
nature at an ever-faster pace, Conservation Photography emerges as a focused force with
an intensity much greater than anything that photography mustered in decades or centuries
past. We must use these tools as eloquently as we can or else we can simply congratulate
ourselves on living through the extinction of nature. There is no room for uncertainty, no
room for cynicism, no room for doubt or else those who follow us on this planet will damn
us for our weakness (Balog).

The sense of urgency shared by Balog is the driving force behind the emergence of CP as a field.

Concerned nature photographers are organizing themselves to help prevent the extinction of

nature. Sartore said:

I hope it moves the masses to care. For example, most folks don't know that we're going to
lose at least half of all amphibian species within the next ten years... There are more
conservation subjects than there are photographers at this point, however, and growing. We
need to be sure that the power of the photograph is used in as many ways as possible to
drive human understanding of the issues that plague species and habitats. There's no time
to lose.

Nichols echoed:

No more time for images that do not fight for that which has no voice. No doubt our kind
of image making is going to be the next big thing, and frankly it simply has to be this way.
The world is on the brink and I guess we will document the whole thing.

Nichols also suggested that the urgency shared among photographers was timed with increased

environmental awareness in the First World. He gave the example of Al Gore winning the 2007

Pulitzer Peace Prize for his documentary film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, and

said that photographers who might have otherwise concentrated on social issues or war are

turning to conservation.









CHAPTER 3
ESTABLISHING THE FIELD

The International League Of Conservation Photographers (ILCP)

In October 2005, the first-ever symposium on "conservation photography" convened in

Anchorage, Alaska, marking a pivotal point in the development of the field. More than forty

photographers gathered from across the world. Most had been working for conservation in some

form for much of their careers, yet in a matter of a few days they gave themselves a new identity

as "conservation photographers." The symposium was conceived by Cristina Mittermeier, Senior

Director of Visual Resources at Conservation International and organized in association with the

8th World Wilderness Congress.

The opening speech to Congress was given by Ian Player, the South African

conservationist who founded the Wilderness Leadership School, the Wild Foundation, and the

first world wilderness congress in 1977. One of the world's leading ambassador for wilderness,

Player's words at the start of the 2005 Congress captured the essence of the global conservation

movement and its current needs:

The abandonment of ethically and spiritually based relationship with nature by our western
ancestors was one of the greatest and perilous transformations of the western
mind...Today nearly all of modem man's ills spring from this abandonment and this is
way wilderness has become so important because it reconnects us to that ancient world...

Marie-louise Von Franz, a great depth psychologist, said: "Western civilization is in
danger of building a wall of rationality in its society, which feeling cannot penetrate.
Everything has to be rational and emotion is frowned upon. This makes the poets critically
important to our cause. Wilfred Owen, a First World War poet, said that all a poet can do is
to warn, and that is why true poets must be truthful. Poets warn us and they inspire us...

This is our task in the 21st century. We need something that will stir our psychic depths
and touch the images of the soul. It has to surpass creeds and instantly be recognized. We
must learn a new language to convey the feelings of beauty, hope, inspiration and
sacredness for humanity and all other life. We need to remember the first principle of
ecology: that "everything is connected to everything else". And the wilderness experience
is the spiritual spark that ignites the understanding (Player 2007).









Player's words were heard by several hundred people in the audience: scientists, land managers,

government employees, lawmakers, politicians, Alaskan Indians, students, interested public, and

a handful of photographers seeking to better position their craft as a tool for conservation. Player

was speaking broadly about the conservation movement and the path of humanity, yet his words

could have been written as a charge directly to the photographers.

Photography can help break down the wall of rationality and provide the poetry to warn

and inspire. Photography has the power to "touch the images of the soul" and to become that

new language "to convey the feelings of beauty, hope, inspiration and sacredness for humanity

and all other life." Photography can provide connection to the wilderness experience, remind us

that we are all connected, and provide the "spiritual spark that ignites understanding." As Player

described general conservation needs for 21st century, he was essentially describing the role of

conservation photography.

Many of the world's most accomplished conservation-oriented photographers, editors and

scientists spent four days discussing the role and focus of the new organization and the field. In

addition to photographers such as David Doubilet, Art Wolf, and Joel Sartore, to name a few, the

group was also joined by marine biologist Sylvia Earle, President of Conservation International

Russell Mittermeier, and legendary field ecologist George Schaller. In his address to the group,

Schaller said, "photographers have done more for conservation than scientists and writers

combined." Whether or not this bold statement is entirely true, Schaller at least gave testimony

that conservation photography is an essential part of the broader effort.

On the last day of the symposium the photographers and editors divided into working

groups to create the new resolutions for conservation photography that would make the efforts

official in the record of the World Wilderness Congress. Resolution 24 -Recognition of









International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and Resolution 27 -Working

Relationship between Scientists and Photographers are included as Appendix A.

The Conservation Photography symposium in Anchorage punctuated the emergence of

the field presently taking shape. Since its establishment in 2005, the ILCP has grown in

membership and accomplishments. There are more than forty member photographers and

representing fifteen countries, as well as thirty-six affiliate members including leading magazine

editors, agency representatives, authors and producers (see Appendix B). The ILCP board of

advisors includes distinguished conservationist scientists such as George Schaller and Jane

Goodall.

With its direction being charted by leaders of both the photographic and scientific

communities, the ILCP is accomplishing the dual mission of improving the willingness and

ability of photographers to focus on conservation issues, and the willingness and ability of the

conservation and research organizations to incorporate the use of professional photography in

their programs. The ILCP is advancing the field of conservation photography through its

leadership and core values, which include: an outstanding commitment to conservation, the

highest ethical standards in the practice and business of photography, mastery in the fine art of

photography, and leadership to achieve change. Establishing the values, objectives, and

organizational structure of the ILCP has been major advance for the new field.

One unique ILCP program is the Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE). It is

modeled after scientific expeditions called Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA), which sends a

team, often including botanists, ornithologists, herpetologists, mammalogists, ichthyologists, and

other specialists, to assess the ecology of a region. These methods are commonly employed by

S.,iith/liuin,, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy and other research









organizations. The REA concept was reinvented for photography to give rapid exposure to an

area needing attention. The first RAVE occurred in April, 2007, in Mexico's El Triunfo

Biosphere Reserve with the purpose of documenting one of the hemisphere's last remaining

cloud forests. The expedition was led by Patricio Robles Gil and included Jack Dykinga, Florian

Schultz, Fulvio Eccardi, and Tom Mangleson. All of the photographers volunteered their time

the expedition was supported by the National Geographic Expeditions Council and Conservation

International. The resulting collection of photographs is the most powerful ever made for the

region, providing the foundation of a diverse communications strategy which is being deployed

to help ensure El Triunfo's conservation (fundoeltriunfo.org.uk). Based on the initial success of

the RAVE program, the ILCP will deploy teams to other regions needing protection.

The Current State of Conservation Photography

In addition to the ILCP, there are several other organizations currently advancing the

field of conservation photography.

ARKive, based in London, is global initiative which assembles films, photographs and

audio recordings of the world's species into one centralized digital library. ARKive's virtual

conservation effort involves finding, sorting, cataloguing and copying the key audio-visual

records of the world's animals, plants and fungi, and building them into comprehensive multi-

media digital profiles. ARKive's record of the world's biodiversity complements other species

information datasets, making a key resource available for scientists, conservationists, educators

and the general public.

The premise for ARKive is that photography and films are an emotive, powerful and

effective means of building environmental awareness, showing what a species looks like and

why it is special. (ARKive.org)









Blue Earth Alliance emphasizes that "the link between compelling documentary

photography and our collective motivation to change attitudes, behavior, even policies is

strong" (Blueearth.org). Based in Seattle and founded by photographers Phil Borges and Natalie

Fobes, Blue Earth Alliance supports "photography that makes a difference" by providing its tax-

exempt, non-profit fundraising status to selected documentary projects. Through this approach,

Blue Earth Alliance has helped raise almost a million dollars for issues often overlooked by

traditional media, such as the Arctic conservation, global warming, urban sprawl in Los Angeles,

racism faced by farmers, disappearing traditions of New England Fishermen, and the role of

grandmothers in AIDS-ravaged Africa. Blue Earth conservation photography projects are

featured in books such as The Living Wild by Art Wolfe, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by

Subhankar Banerjee, and Life on Earth: A Journey Through Time by Frans Lanting.

The Conservation through Photography Alliance is an initiative by Conservation

International (CI) with funding from the BG Group, an international provider of natural gas.

Embracing photography as a strategic conservation solution CI says, "This partnership will allow

[people] to see why it is so important that we protect our planet's biodiversity. Nothing does

more to inspire people to protect and conserve like a vivid photo image (R. Mittermeier 2006)."

The alliance will train field conservationists in photography, enhance coverage of undocumented

places and species, build a library of conservation photography, and disseminate conservation

messages through international photo exhibits, in partnership with the ILCP.

The Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) combines environmental advocacy with social

change photography through its Grassroots Social Change Photography program. GJEP's

photography documents indigenous communities that are both suffering from and resisting

economic, environmental and social injustices. The photography is deployed through the









internet, mainstream media, and a travelling exhibition which GJEP calls "guerilla" because it

can be displayed in remote and low-income communities which would normally be overlooked

by exhibits, yet where the social and environmental injustice themes are often most relevant.

GJEP is co-directed by photographer Orin Langelle and is based in Vermont. "It has been our

experience that images are critical to reach beyond words to give people the ability to see and

decide for themselves what the issues are and what is at stake (Langelle 2004)."

The Images for Conservation Fund (ICF), founded by John Martin in Texas, proclaims

"Photography is the most powerful conservation tool on the planet (imagesforconservation.org)."

Recognizing that ninety-six percent of Texas and ninety percent of the Western Hemisphere is

privately owned, ICF focuses its programs primarily on conservation of private land, using

photography tournaments as educational and economic incentives to encourage private

landowners to restore, preserve and enhance wildlife habitat. The ICF Pro Tour of Nature

Photography pairs twenty professional photographers with twenty private land owners in a given

region to compete in a month-long competition. Each year the winning photographs are exhibited

and published in a book. ICF intends to expand their model to other states and to establish a new

Private Lands Nature Photo Tourism Industry, giving landowners profitable incentive to preserve

natural wildlife habitats.

The Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) seeks to raise awareness for natural

environments and cultural legacies, educate about important connections between human

societies and natural ecosystems, and promote conservation and stewardship of natural heritage

(www.linc.us). LINC will offer the world's first Conservation Photography Fellowship in 2008.

The $25,000 award will empower a professional photographer to focus on an important

conservation issue in Florida each year. There will also be a $5,000 student scholarship. Other









programs include improving coverage of Florida conservation in the mainstream media through

MediaLINC and raising awareness for specific issues needing visibility through collaborative

communications campaigns. LINC was founded by the author in 2004 (see Appendix C).

The Environmental Committee of North American Nature Photography Association offers

the NANPA Phillip Hyde Grant each year. Honoring the legacy of Hyde, who dedicated his

career to advancing conservation, the $5,000 award helps a photographer complete an

environmental project. Past recipient include Gary Braasch and global warming, C.C. Lockwood

and the swamps of Lousiana, and Florian Schultz and the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor.

Photovoice blends a grassroots approach to photography and social action. It provides

cameras to people with least access to those who make decisions affecting their lives. From the

villages of rural China to the homeless shelter of Ann Arbor, Michigan, people have used the

program to amplify their visions and experience. Photovoice has three goals. It enables people to

record and reflect their community's strengths and problems. It promotes dialogue about

important issues through group discussion and photographs. Finally, it engages policymakers.

Photovoice founder, Caroline C. Wang explains, "What experts think is important may not match

what people at the grassroots think is important (photovoive.org)." In Yunnan, China, The

Nature Conservancy adapted the Photovoice methodology to promote a participatory approach to

environmental health, including creating and protecting a system of national parks.

The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography seeks to honor

photographers who have used their talents in conservation efforts. This award has been given to

both amateur and professional photographers, including Clyde Butcher, Franz Lanting, Robert

Glen Ketchum and Galen Rowell.









Conservation photography courses. In addition to the emergence of organizations

dedicated to conservation photography, there are new university courses that have been created

to study the topic.

Conservation Photography a graduate seminar offered by conservation psychiatrist
Gene Myers at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment in
spring 2006. The course focused on the philosophy and application of photography in
conservation.

Nature and Conservation Photography was taught by Dr. Gary A. Klee in the San Jose
State University Environmental Studies Department. The curriculum included instruction
in photographic technique, student participation in conservation photography projects,
and study of photographers such as Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher.

Balancing Journalism and Advocacy

Because conservation photography proclaims a purpose, there are some journalists and

scholars who would consider this an inappropriate bias. This thesis suggests that a conservation

photographer should foremost be a conservationist. But some people may disagree, suggesting

that a conservation photographer should be foremost a journalist with the intention of reporting

both sides fairly. The difference of opinion is based on seeing conservation as a bias. But the

author's position is that conservation is actually not a bias, and there is no reason a conservation

photographer should not be able to produce balanced journalism. To test this notion, questions

about conservation photography and advocacy were sent to a few leading editors and

photographers. Joel Sartore, a photographer who has covered major conservation stories for

National Geographic said:

Some 20 years ago, my journalism school ingrained 'objectivity' into me. But over time,
I've come to realize that the best thing I can do with my work is to try and change the
world for the better. The whole question is, indeed, something to ponder. Not sure I have
the answers, other than for both of us to try and do what we believe to be right and fair.

Kathy Moran, the natural history editor at National Geographic responded from a different

perspective:









Advocacy journalism is a slippery slope can you present all sides fairly if the
reporter/photographer announces a bias upfront? Ajournalist, like a scientist, must report
fairly, with transparency, regardless of personal bias. You can be an environmental
reporter. In fact, there is a society of environmental journalists, much like what we are
trying to establish with the ILCP. That said, you cannot wear your environmental reporter
and environmental advocate hats at the same time, same place. Advocacy/opinion belongs
on the Op-Ed page.

There do not seem to be any universal definitions for what degree of advocacy is allowable

and semantics clearly serve a role in determining what is appropriate and what is not. Advocacy

journalism carries connotations of inappropriate bias and would likely find a place in the

newsletter of the Sierra Club but not in the pages of National Geographic. But at the same time

the National Geographic Society is probably the world's leading advocate of conservation. Their

magazine reports on conservation issues with fair and balanced journalism and employs many

conservation photographers to produce its stories. National Geographic does not produce

advocacy stories, but the stories ends up functioning as advocacy for whatever topic is being

covered. Regardless of the nuances of language, there seems to be fundamental truth in Moran's

observation that "a journalist, like a scientist, must report fairly, with transparency, regardless of

personal bias." Fairness and transparency are the bases for maintaining integrity and credibility

with readers.

There is no reason to pass negative judgment on a conservation photographer whose

motivation is to try and change the world for the better, and who is guided by doing what is right

and fair. While there are people today who believe that the wildlife and native cultures of this

planet do not deserve to be protected, recognizing that humans are destroying the biosphere and

ethnosphere is not a matter of opinion; it is science-based fact. It is also a fact that life on earth as

we know it is not sustainable unless we mitigate our destruction of the biosphere. Conservation

photography is the form of journalism that addresses this story.









Science provides an example for how photography can approach conservation stories with

integrity There are thousands of Ph.D. level scientists working under the title of "conservation

biologist" in research institutions and conservation biology departments throughout the world.

The main difference between a conservation biologist and another biologist is that the

conservation biologist selects research projects based on questions that will address the global

loss of biological diversity. The work of these conservation biologists is published in the most

distinguished peer-reviewed science journals, and few people question their ability to conduct

sound science with transparent and unbiased results. The same should be true for conservation

photographers. The difference between a conservation photographer and a general nature

photographer is that the conservation photographer selects projects that will address the global

loss of biological and cultural diversity. Just as a conservation biologist must conduct sound and

transparent science, a conservation photographer must conduct fair and balanced journalism.

From this position, honest, transparent, and balanced journalism should be the conservation

photographer's version of the scientific method, helping avoid accusations of biased advocacy.

Conclusion

Photography is strong tool, a propaganda device, and a weapon for the defense of the
environment... and therefore for the fostering of a healthy human race and even very likely
for its survival. When used to its best advantage, dramatically, with uncompromising
sharpness, it is a most powerful means for demonstrating the need for protecting and
preserving the biota. This is because photographs wield a great force of conviction.
Photographs are believed more than words; thus they can be used persuasively to show
people who have never taken the trouble to look what is there (Porter in Rohrbach et al
2001).

In the 1960s, Eliot Porter eloquently described photography "as a weapon for the defense

of the environment." To harness this power, factions of the photographic and scientific

communities have come together to establish a newly named field conservation photography -

as a tactical solution to help mitigate the destruction of the biosphere.









By studying the history of documentary photography and case studies of nature

photography advancing conservation, we can draw conclusions for what makes conservation

photography successful. In the cases where photography has created the most measurable impact

for conservation, the photographer has most often worked in partnership with a research or

conservation organization. William Henry Jackson worked with the USGS to help create

Yellowstone National Park. Ansel Adams and Phillip Hyde worked with the Sierra Club to

create Kings Canyon and Dinosaur National Parks. Nick Nichols worked with the National

Geographic Society and Wildlife Conservation Society to create the national park system in

Gabon. If a photographer is committed to conservation, he or she should not approach the issue

alone. There is great synergy to be gained by working with conservation and research

organizations. Adams, for example, served on the Sierra Club board for 37 years. These

organizations need compelling photography to help them advance their programs, and

photography can provide access to mainstream media outlets that organizations may not

otherwise have. In addition, researchers and conservationists on the front lines will often

improve a photographer's access to the conservation story; their expertise can help guide the

photography's relevance to conservation needs, and their political engagement can help apply the

photography to the conservation agenda.

New organizations such as the ILCP are helping empower photographers to focus on

sustainability issues and are setting new applied standards for the field of nature photography.

Such organizations will help align the field of photography with global conservation priorities, at

times connecting the scientific and conservation communities with available journalists for

collaborative projects. As ILCP continues to develop its programs, it will seek to pull the field of

nature photography in a more applied direction.









Conservation photography provides a general charge to nature photographers: recognize

that you can be the eyes for society at large and choose projects accordingly. Throughout the

world, there are issues that deserve attention. Yet many nature photographers are continually

drawn to commonly exploited subjects over and over again. These photographic exploits can be

more harmful than helpful, according to of co-founder of Blue Earth Alliance, Natalie Fobes:

Anyone who reads popular photography magazines knows when and where to go to
photograph bears, whales, eagles, puffins, and every other kind of photographic creature.
Some photographers, pros and amateurs alike, believe in getting the picture no matter the
costs. Nature is their Disneyland; all they need to do is pay the price. It is a dangerous
concept (Fobes 2004).

Alternately, photographers can choose to look beyond the postcard shot and document an

animal's behavior, as well as the context for its conservation. Rather than just take, the resulting

images can give back to nature by advancing public understanding and appreciation.

Photographers will always be drawn to a famous subject such as the Grand Canyon. But going to

the same public vista to make the same photograph that has been made thousands of times before

is not likely to help conservation. As Nichols said, there is "no more time for images that do not

fight for that which has no voice." Learning what issues the area is facing and approaching from

that perspective, however, will allow the photography to be educational as well as inspiring. As

Sartore said, "these are the pictures that go to work." Limiting focus to issues should not detract

from the beauty or impact of the photography. Think of a painter selecting a canvas. No matter

the size of the canvas, the creative opportunities are infinite. Addressing issues should actually

make the photography more relevant and publishable.

It is also important, following the examples of Davis, Mittermeier and Rainier, not to

exclude humans from nature when approaching a story. Culture and nature are interconnected.

The threats to biological and cultural diversity are often the same, as are the solutions for their

protection.









As the earth's population approaches seven billion, a ten-fold increase in just 200 years,

the challenges to sustaining the biosphere and ethnosphere are also growing. An exponential

increase in global conservation awareness and action may be the only solution. Sartore said,

"There are more conservation subjects than there are photographers at this point." Conservation

photography as a field could not be arriving at a more needed time.

There are many considerations for how photography can best empower conservation.

Borrowing a philosophy from science, it is often helpful to look toward the most parsimonious

principals for guidance. As long as conservation remains the focus, the photography will likely

develop in the right direction. To know that there are growing numbers of photographers who

share this vision provides great hope that art will continue develop as a strong voice for science

and help steer humanity away from crisis.

Social purpose and photographic vision were woven together in the pursuits of early

documentary photography, which was born out of the Great Depression when there was

seriousness and unity of purpose in America. Today conservation purpose and photographic

vision are being woven together in the pursuits of the conservation photographers. Born out of

the crises facing the biosphere and ethnosphere, the field of conservation photography will

continue to grow, embodying hope to educate and inspire humanity to sustain biological and

cultural diversity, essential yet imperiled resources. A quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson speaks

prophetically to the challenge for conservation photography today, "Photographers deal in things

which are continuously vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth

which can make them come back again."









Future Goals for the Field

The extended public outreach and political influence that photography provides for science

suggests that environmental photojournalism should be a planned component to any research or

conservation effort that intends to make a difference. Achieving such collaboration requires

greater dialogue between conservation researchers and photojournalists to establish mutual goals

and improve working dynamics. In the future, photojournalists should not need extensive science

training to work well in tandem with researchers. Shared conservation goals should provide

common vision to establish the interdisciplinary partnership, as long as the value of combining

professional photography and conservation science is adequately recognized.

One of the hopes expressed for the future of conservation photography as a field is that it

will lead to greater opportunities for funding projects, independent from existing media or

science budgets. It will also be helpful for mainstream media outlets to publish more

conservation content.

Universities should also continue the development of interdisciplinary curricula for

conservation communications. Additionally, strides for conservation awareness can be gained if

the majority of nature photographers, amateur and professional, will become more engaged in

conservation issues, recognizing their ability to be activists with the cameras.









CHAPTER 4
AUTHOR'S FIELD EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATIONS

Conceptual Orientation

Like conservation photography itself, this interdisciplinary thesis has been part art and part

science, resulting from extensive study in ecology and anthropology combined with the

academic and professional pursuit of documentary photojournalism. Science has provided the

vision and photography has developed as the voice.

The focus of my academic interest has been the relationship between humans and the

natural environment, approached from an ecological perspective that places human beings within

nature; we are the product of an evolutionary history that follows the same natural laws and is

built from the same elements as the other forms of life with which we share the planet. My

photographic vision is built upon this intellectual view of the world, including a range of

assumptions. When I refer to nature, I am referring to the natural environment, physical and

biological, and the network of life within it. As a naturalist, I see nature as an external reality

(unlike post-modernists who believe aspects of our perception are entirely relative with no

absolute reality). To some extent, I am also an environmental determinist, seeing nature as the

foundation and driving factor in many aspects of human culture.

This ecological perspective places high value on natural landscapes free to breathe with

natural, stochastic, self-governing processes outside of the direct influence of industrial societies

and observes that the network of biological diversity that exists in the natural world is necessary

to support life on earth. The conclusion is that these natural ecosystems must be conserved in

order to maintain the balance that will allow humans and other living things to persist into the

future. This leads to a strong conservation ethic, seeking to protect natural environments from









damage and over-exploitation by humans. An associated bias views nature communities as

"good" and modem human societies as "bad" in terms of their influence on nature.

Through my environmental and social education I have also become increasingly aware of

the side effects to free-market capitalism and believe that without strong regulation, processes of

greed and competition will ultimately destroy the natural world. Capitalism can also have a

tendency to marginalize societies with less access to modern technologies. So in the modern

world, people living closer to the land with less resource-intensive technologies can often be

seen as victims of more developed societies who reshape both natural and cultural landscapes. In

this sense, I have a tendency to view closeness to nature as "good" (i.e. a traditional native

community) and distance from nature as "bad" (i.e. a New York financial executive without

interest in his or her ecological footprint). This polarization may overly simplify human

proximity to nature, but the perspective is grounded in the observation that societies

disconnected from nature, buffered by their technologies, can easily continue to exploit nature at

unsustainable intensities because they do not receive direct feedback on their behaviors. This is

the tendency in western societies. On the contrary, societies more connected to nature are

positioned to be more sustainable in their resource use because they can be more aware of their

environmental impacts.

Introduction to Photography Projects

The Interdisciplinary Ecology program at the University of Florida provided the structure

to pursue graduate training in ecology and conservation biology while undertaking a written

thesis and professional project relating to environmental photojournalism. The thesis developed

into this broader examination of conservation photography, but the photographic component

began as a documentary field project I produced as an intern with the Smithsonian Institution,

focusing on biodiversity in Gabon, Africa. The field work, which extended from 2001 until 2004,









provided first-hand experience with the process of combining photography and science on the

front lines of research and conservation. The work was essentially an experiment in

"conservation photography," although that term would not begin to carry much meaning in

photography and science circles until 2005.

The majority of this chapter is dedicated to discussion of the Gabon biodiversity project

and production of the book, The Edge of Africa, which is accompanying the Professional Project

portion of this thesis: a portfolio of photographs archived in the Allen H. Neuharth Library of the

College of Journalism and Communications. Introducing the Gabon project in this chapter,

however, does suggest that is a seminal work in conservation photography. But its inclusion is

necessary to relate this written thesis to the photographic field work and publishing effort that

formed the basis of this academic inquiry. Beyond this function of relating to my own attempts at

conservation photography, this chapter includes personal observations from the field; exploration

of the process of combining photography with science.

Photographs from conservation stories subsequent to the Gabon work are also represented

in the professional project, including samples from four projects: The Desert Elephants ofMali,

Last Frontier -The Living Heritage of Florida Ranchlands, and Andros -Creating a New

National Park in the Bahamas. The purpose of the professional project is to relate photography

to this writing and further illustrate the author's recommended approach of developing

photography projects in partnership with scientists and conservationist.

The Biodiversity of Gamba

There is a magical place at the edge of Africa where rainforest meets ocean, where
elephants and buffalos walk white sand beaches, and hippos, crocs and sea turtles share the
surf. The forest rises a hundred feet tall, full of life in a layered complexity stretching far
beyond the horizon. Forest, grasslands, rivers and lagoons form a unique landscape
mosaic. There is no place like it on earth (Ward et al 2003).









The landscape of Gamba, in the southeastern corner of Gabon, is wild and undeveloped, like

much of country, providing refuge for a wealth of biological diversity, including many species

endangered elsewhere on the continent. Contiguous to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo,

and by extension Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, the network or

tropical rainforest anchored in the west by Gabon is the second largest in the world (second to

the Amazon). These Central African forests are of global importance for conservation. This is

especially true in Gabon. With a human population of just over one million and an economy

which has been sustained by rich oil reserves, nearly 80 percent of Gabon is still covered by

rainforest (Quammen 2003).

With oil reserves declining and logging pressure on the rise, Gabon has reached an

important crossroads in its development as a nation where the leaders have a unique opportunity

to incorporate conservation into their plans. The Gamba region in southwestern Gabon has been

recommended for official protection, but prior to 2001 there had been no comprehensive

assessment of biodiversity to substantiate the recommendation. Accompanying the lack of

scientific knowledge, there was little awareness or appreciation within Gabon or among the

international community for the biodiversity of Gamba.

In July 2001, through a partnership with Smithsonian Institution's Monitoring and

Assessment of Biodiversity Program (SIMAB), I had the opportunity to participate in the first-

ever multi-taxa biodiversity assessment of region. A major component to SIMAB's objectives in

Gabon was to "disseminate the scientific information generated from the biodiversity

assessments to a wide range of audiences" (Dallmeier 2001). SIMAB provided opportunity for

me to complete the fieldwork for my thesis project and the photography provided them with a

means to carry science-based messages to many people who otherwise may not have paid









attention to facts and figures alone. I was able to develop a visual communication strategy and

become employed by the Smithsonian for seven expeditions and eight months of field work over

the course of three years.

Objectives / Project Significance

The purpose of this project was to visually document Gamba: the landscapes, the wildlife

and the people, in order to raise environmental awareness within Gabon and among the

international community and inspire conservation action.

The value of conserving biological diversity has become widely recognized in recent years,

particularly in tropical forests.

Every second, 1 hectare (2.4 acres) of rainforest -- the size of two U.S. football fields -- is
destroyed. That's an area larger than New York City destroyed each day, an area larger
than Poland destroyed each year .Along with forest loss comes species extinction. Renown
Harvard University entomologist and ecologist E.O. Wilson estimates that 137 life forms --
from microorganisms to insects to mammals -- are driven to extinction each year (1992
estimate). Nearly half of all life forms on the planet live in tropical rainforests (Alonso
2001).

Recognizing the conflict with nature implicit in the development of modern human

societies, my work in Gabon was approached from a conservation perspective. By using

photography as a voice to express my conservation ideas, I had the opportunity to influence

public attitudes toward biodiversity and hopefully steer decision makers toward greater

stewardship of natural resources. My project was geared toward this purpose to improve

appreciation for Gamba's biodiversity within Gabon and internationally and use the photographs

as a tool to implement change, at the local level and at the policy level.

Following the field work, the photographs became part of an effort to achieve the greatest

possible appreciation for Gamba's landscapes and biodiversity. Many of the publications

produced were the first in the western media focused on the Gamba region, including The Edge

of Africa. The book was the first of its type focused on Central Africa. With inspiration from the









biodiversity series by Conservation International, the author and the SIMAB management team

designed The Edge of Africa for political influence, including introductory letters by President El

Hadj Omar Bongo of Gabon, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Smithsonian Secretary Larry

Small, and Shell CEO Phil Watts.

Methodology

Documenting this amazingly diverse region required a wide variety of photographic

techniques, from aerial photography of landscapes to micro photography of insects. On average,

the sun in Gamba broke through the clouds in just one out of three days. Good lighting was a

blessing when it came, but the weather changed rapidly and was difficult to predict. The typical

dim lighting required the use of heavy tripods and fast lenses. High humidity and constant

rainfall conspired against equipment, and salt air and wind-driven sand in the coastal areas added

to the toll. It was necessary to store cameras in dry boxes with desiccant to keep them

functioning.

Camera equipment. I used a Nikon SLR camera system, including 35mm film-based

camera bodies and a Dlx digital camera body, with lenses ranging from 20 mm to 600 mm.

Macro lenses 60 mm, 100 mm, and 200 mm which allow close focus and high magnification,

were the cornerstones of my studio photography. Otherwise, preferred lenses were 600 f/4 for

wildlife and 28mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/2 for photographing people. For film, when not shooting

digital, I relied on Fuji Velvia 50 and Kodak E100G/GX, often pushed one stop.

Studio photography. To illustrate the diversity of wildlife in vivid detail, particularly

reptiles, amphibians, insects and small mammals, I configured a modular studio consisting of

two to four diffuse light sources and a black velvet backdrop. To maintain flexibility, I designed

variable power supplies that allowed the use of 110/240 volt current, AA batteries, or a 12-volt

car battery charged from solar panels.









Continuing the studio approach with birds, I built an enclosure based on the concept

described by John S. Dunning (1970) in Portraits of Tropical Birds. My bird studio was

constructed from white sailcloth and aluminum poles, creating a three-meter long by one-meter

high rectangular enclosure with a hole for the camera in the front and a removable background.

After ornithologists studied a bird caught in a mist net, I put the bird in the studio to perch on the

one available branch. Four strobes provided lighting from the outside through the translucent

sailcloth. After posing for photographs, birds were released back into the forest.

Landscapes, wildlife and people. The purpose here was to capture the essence of place,

from the light on the land, the posture of an elephant, or the eyes of a tribesman. I took a

documentary approach, always seeking a moment to illuminate place more clearly. For

landscapes, I identified representative scenes and then returned and waited for suitable lighting.

For wildlife, I studied movements, tried to anticipate where I would have the best chance of

encountering action, and then searched out good light and informative placement within the

habitat. Rainforest animals are very elusive even enormous hippos and elephants are difficult

to locate. Patience was necessary and progress was slow. Wildlife photographs often required

waiting for hours in newly built hides or setting up camera traps. To photograph people (which I

had to do primarily on my own because it was not considered a priority to the research agenda), I

moved among towns and villages, trying to keep a low profile and always showing respect. The

greatest acceptance and access usually came after several return visits.

Camera traps. Many forest animals are elusive or nocturnal, making them extremely

difficult to photograph by traditional means. Camera traps, which use an infra-red beam to

trigger a camera, allow an animal passing through the beam to make its own picture. Scientists

and hunters have used this method for years to record the presence of animals along trails. While









their photos are useful for identification, they are not of publishable quality. To produce high-

quality results, I reconfigured Trail Master camera trap systems to fire Nikon professional

cameras and strobes. Working with custom-built camera traps was tedious, labor intensive and

filled with risk I had setups drowned by floodwaters, smashed by fallen branches, and bashed

by gorillas. But in the end, they produced photographs that were not otherwise possible.

Aerial photography. Photographing from above provided an informative perspective on

the landscape, revealing interface and linkages among habitats. This approach was particularly

important in Gabon where the patchwork of coastline, grasslands, water, and forest defines the

ecosystems. Aerial pictures were made from radio towers as well as a low-flying Cessna 182

aircraft.

Lessons Learned from Gabon

The need for a photographic communications strategy. Photographers, like other artists,

often pursue personal vision that may not be easily understood by others, and the perspective of

art often seems abstract from the quantitative perspective of science. In order for art and science

to work well together, there needs to be clear communication of mutual goals and common

vision. This is a lesson learned during three years working with Smithsonian scientists.

During the first Gabon expedition, there was not a coordinated plan for the role of the

photography, primarily because it was the first time the group of scientists had worked with a

professional photographer in the field. The full research team had not been presented with the

purposes of the photography, leading to some mismanaged expectations. There was lack of

appreciation by the scientists for the difficulty of the photography or its importance for

conservation. The lesson I learned has since guided my approach to working alongside

researchers on the front lines of conservation: all of the problems were the result of inadequate

communications and failure to establish clear common goals.









Prior to the second expedition, these problems were solved when I wrote a Photographic

Communications Strategy, which included proposed publications, the types of photographs

needed to support those publications, and the resources and time required to create the

photographs. Even though I entered the work with Smithsonian with degrees in biology, spoke

the language of science and shared many of the researchers' perspectives, without a mutually

agreed communications strategy, we were not reading from the same page.

Challenges to maintaining focus on conservation. Designing The Edge of Africa as a

conservation tool presented a number of challenges. Most of the issues arose from the

interrelated challenges of maintaining focus on content and place and from advancing an ideal-

driven book in a profit-driven world. Addressing conservation concerns in any particular

landscape requires a focus on place as well as a certain degree of sophistication to address the

issues. There is a balance between making a book generally appealing to attract broad audiences

and specific enough to serve the conservation issues being explored. I presented this dilemma to

Sean Moore, director of Hylas Publishing, who eventually published the book in partnership with

the Smithsonian Institution. Initially, Hylas promoted the idea for a generic collection of animal

photographs titled, All Life is Here. The motivation was general appeal and estimated sales. They

feared that a book about Gabon or even Africa would be too specific and limit sales. That may

been true, but I knew that any book would lose its power for conservation influence unless it

dealt specifically with the place of concern.

I presented to Hylas that the story was about a place called Gamba, on the coast of Gabon,

where elephants roam the beaches, hippos ride in the surf and hundreds of equally impressive

birds, reptiles and amphibians make the rainforests dance with life. This place Gamba was

the crux of the story, unique to the world and virtually unseen by western eyes. If we did not









retain focus on the specific places, we would lose the ability to advance awareness for issues and

conservation there.

Hylas Publishing finally accepted this point of view, but we had to seek outside funding

for publishing costs. With a portfolio of prints, SIMAB director Francisco Dallmerier and I

convinced the CEO of Shell Gabon, Frank Denelle, to pre-order 5,000 books, sufficiently

subsidizing the overall print run of 15,000. Outside funding allowed the book to remain focused

on Gamba, science and conservation issues, and also reach the broader public. All of the copies

allocated for retail markets sold out within the first six months. The experience showed that

books which are conservation tools can require support and that outside funding will often be

necessary to create conservation literature for the public.

Potential problems with profile. The same high-profile nature that makes photography-

rich publications influential can also be the source of problems in the dynamics of funding

scientific research. In the case of the Smithsonian work in Gabon, the principal project sponsors,

Shell International, Shell Gabon, and Shell Foundation, all received positive public relations

value from the photography-rich publications. In Gabon, these companies demonstrated a sincere

interest in conservation of biological diversity, but once such companies have received their

positive public image from association with conservation there is the risk that they could reduce

funding for less glamorous aspects of scientific research and training. There is also the potential

for a company to use environmental publications to "green wash" their image, selling themselves

as more environmentally friendly than they are. These tendencies seemed well-managed with the

Gabon project because stakeholders considered such potential detractions when planning the

conservation communications efforts.









Project Outcomes

The overarching objective of the photographic communications was to positively affect the

course of development in Gabon to appreciate and safeguard biological and cultural diversity.

The approach to this goal was to generate high-profile publications, seeking to educate and

inspire the public and decision makers.

The central product was The Edge of Africa, which was also distributed in Gabon with the

French title Gabon: Paradis de la Biodiversite. The photography led to more than an dozen

magazine articles in Africa, Europe and the United States, and was featured in television

documentaries and web productions. An exhibition of fifty photographs also travelled to Gabon,

London and New York, where it was featured by the United Nations. These various publications

are listed in the references.

The scope of the communications exceeded the expectation of the research team and

illustrated what coordinated photography can do to enhance outreach of science and

conservation. The relatively small investment to include a professional photographer as part of a

research expedition led to exponential increase in exposure for the science-based messages.

Selected Conservation Photography Projects by the Author, 2004-2007

After the completing the Gabon project and publishing The Edge of Africa, my subsequent

photography endeavors have shared common themes which I propose to be important for

successful conservation photography. These include: conservation as primary purpose,

collaboration with scientists and conservation organizations, and portraying local culture in the

representing nature. The projects The Endangered Desert Elephants ofMali, Last Frontier The

Living Heritage of Florida Ranchlands, and Andros -Creating a New National Park in the

Bahamas, will be briefly discussed in relation to the above themes and are illustrated by the

professional project.









The Desert Elephants of Mali

There is an endangered population of elephants in the Sahel of Mali (and Burkina Faso)

which endure a 500 mile annual migration, the longest of any land animal, in their annual search

for food and water. Desertification, overgrazing, and lack of water, and settling of formerly

nomadic tribes, are presenting environmental challenges for both the elephants and local people.

The Toureg and Fulani herders were included in the photography because their culture depends

on the same conservation needs as the elephants. By mitigating damage to the Sahel, these

cultures can both save the elephants and save themselves.

Photography was coordinated with Save the Elephants and the Wild Foundation, research

and conservation organizations working to understand and protect the last elephants in the Sahel.

The photographs supported photo-identification study of the elephant population and also helped

spread the story through mainstream media outlets.

Last Frontier The Living Heritage of Florida Ranchlands

Nearly one fifth of Florida is still covered by working cattle ranches and Florida boasts

America's longest history in ranching. Today, Florida has five of the top ten cattle operations in

country, including the top producer. Cattle raising was Florida's first industry agriculture is

Florida's second largest industry behind tourism today. In addition to these cultural attributes,

the relationship between Florida ranches and the natural environment is the most important part

of the story.

Of all extractive land uses in Florida, responsible cattle ranching is the most compatible

with preservation of native habitats, wetlands and wildlife. Yet Florida ranchlands are under

siege. With 1,000 new residents moving to Florida each day, the state loses 200,000 acres of

agricultural and natural land every year. Much of this loss is ranchland and your average citizen









in not even aware of its existence. Black bears walk through palmettos as they once did in every

Florida county and cowboys drive cattle across the range as they have been going for centuries.

As with the Malians and the Sahel, the culture of Florida cattle people is endangered by the

same environmental factors that threaten the ranchlands. Florida ranchers depend on landscape

that has shaped them and that they in turn protect. Therefore, the photography has equally

emphasized ranch culture along with wildlife and landscapes of their land.

Collaborations have included Audubon ofFlorida, Conservation Trust for Florida, Florida

Cattlemen's Association, Florida Department ofEnvironmental Protection, Legacy Institute for

Nature & Culture (LINC), The Nature Conservancy, 1000 Friends of Florida, and World

Wildlife Fund, all which have used the photographs to advance their missions to protect Florida

ranches.

Andros Creating a New National Park in the Bahamas

The west side of Andros Island is one of the last remaining pristine wilderness areas in the

Bahamas and the proposed site of a new national park. The mangrove habitat provides critical

nursing grounds for fish species of economic importance as well as one of the hotspots for

juvenile sea turtles for the entire Atlantic and Caribbean.

In order to establish priorities for protection, the Nature Conservancy coordinated the first-

ever ecological assessment of western Andros in 2006. The expedition included ten scientists and

several students who gathered data throughout the mosaic of coastal habitats.

Photography focused on the key species and landscapes being studied, as well as the

cultural connections to the natural resources, including recreational fishing, for which the area

draws international fame. TNC is using the photography, in collaboration with the Bahamas

National Trust, the Bahamian Government and the Kernzer Family Foundation to pursue public

support for the proposed park.









Future Goals for the Author

The author's goal is to build a legacy of conservation influence in Florida, primarily

through conservation photography. Focus will include Florida ranchlands, coastal fishing

communities, Tampa Bay, the Everglades, as well as native and rural communities. He would

also like to see LINC continue to grow in its ability to empower photographers to develop critical

awareness for Florida's conservation issues and expand the scope to utilize a broader array of

arts for conservation communications.










APPENDIX A
RESOLUTIONS IN CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE 8TH WORLD
WILDERNESS CONGRESS IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, OCTOBER, 2005





RESOLUTION #24

TITLE: Recognition of International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP)

WHEREAS:

The conservation community has not had an internationally recognized body of professional conservation
photographers to work with;

The very best images illicit the strongest human emotional responses crucial in influencing public on
conservation issues;

The most important conservation issues deserve the highest quality visual imagery available to facilitate
the greatest chance of success;

THEREFORE:

Recognizes the need for quality professional images in those campaigns, and hereby

RESOLVED:

The establishment of the International League of Conservation Photographers as a catalyst for
communication between mass media and conservation be recognized by the public and all relevant
institutions;

PROPOSER: Cristina Mittermeier- CGMittermeier@aol.com

SECONDER: Marty Maxwell
Cathy Hart cathy hart@dot.state.ak.us










RESOLUTION #27


TITLE: Working Relationship between Scientists and Photographers

WHEREAS:

Effective conservation is founded on sound science and good communications;
Science does not always successfully reach the general public or adequately inform policy decisions;

Photography is a powerful communications tool which is not always properly planned or funded in
scientific endeavors;

There exists a lack of interaction, understanding and exchange between scientists and photographers.

THEREFORE:

Recognizes the ability of photography to bridge the gap between conservation science and the general
public.

RESOLVED:

The International League of Conservation Photographers create an effective interface between scientific
and photographic communities; promote the mutual benefits of photographers and scientists working
together; and establish good working practices including those related to initial funding and ethics.

PROPOSER: Christian Ziegler zieglerphoto@yahoo.com
Associate for Communication, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Piotr Naskrecki p.naskrecki@conservation.org
Director of Invertebrate Diversity Initiative,
CABS, Conservation International, Harvard University

SECONDER: Carlton Ward Jr carlton@carltonward.com
Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture, www.LINC.us

Djuna Ivereigh djuna@indonesiawild.com
Indonesia Wild

Leda Huta leda@findingspecies.org
Managing Director, Finding Species

Jeremy Monroe
Freshwaters Illustrated

Catherine Cunningham

Richard Edwards
Arkive Director- Wildscreen










APPENDIX B
THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHERS



The International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) was founded at the 8th
World Wilderness Congress in Anchorage, Alaska in October 2005.




ILCP Core Values (www.ILCP.com):

* An outstanding commitment to conservation
* The highest ethical standards in the practice and business of photography
* Mastery in the fine art of photography
* Leadership to achieve change.



ILCP Objectives:

* To use the power of photography to help educate the world community and to further
conservation goals.
* To create compelling and informed images and to develop visually based campaigns to
promote conservation issues.
* To facilitate the connection of photography with environmental, scientific, cultural
media, governmental, religious and educational resources.
* To be a virtual clearinghouse of information for members.
* To develop a code of conduct for photographers.
* To promote business practices that demand truth in and high ethical standards in
captioning and manipulation.
* To encourage conservation education.
* To encourage an ethnically and geographically diverse membership.
* To attract fellowships and grants to support young photographers or photographers with
innovative ideas to promote conservation.










ILCP Membership October 15, 2007


Fellows:


Alison Jones
Amy Gulick
Annie Griffiths Belt
Art Wolfe
Boyd Norton
Brian Skerry
Carlton Ward Jr.
Chris Rainier
Christian Ziegler
Colin Prior
Connie Bransilver
Cristina Mittermeier
David Doubilet
Dorothy and Leo Keeler
Flip Nicklin


Associate Members (pending):


Beverly Joubert
Daniel Beltra
Francisco Marquez
Frans Lanting
Klaus Nigge
Luciano Candisani
M Balan


Florian Schulz
Florian Mollers
Gary Braasch
Igor Shpilenok
Jack Dykinga
James Balog
James H. Barker
Jim Brandenburg
Joel Sartore
Karen Hollingsworth
Karen Huntt
Karl Ammann
Kevin Schafer
Matthias Breiter
Michael "Nick" Nichols


Magnus Elander
Michael Aw
Michael Forsberg
Norbert Rosing
Paul Nicklen
Peter Cairns
Rob Rozinski


Michele Westmorland
Niall Benvie
Patricio Robles Gil
Phil Borges
Piotr Nasckrecki
Robert Glenn Ketchum
Roy Toft
Staffan Widstrand
Stephen G. Maka
Theo Allofs
Thomas D. Mangelsen
Tom Blagden
Tui De Roy
Wade Davis
Xi Zhinong


Sandesh Kadur
Stefano Unterthiner
Steve Winters
Suzy Esterhas
Tim Laman
Vincent Munier
Wendy Shattil


Affiliate Members:

Amy Marquis, Assistant Editor National Parks Magazine
Bill Konstant, Conservation Director, Houston Zoo
David Anderson, Director, Focus on Planet Earth
Eric Samper, Terre Sauvage Magazine, France
Gerry Ellis, President Globio
Helen Cherullo, Publisher The Mountaineers Books
Jared Diamond, Author and Pulitzer Prize winner, US
Jeff Corwin, Animal Planet
Joe Rhode, Imagineer, the Walt Disney Company
John F. Martin, President Images for Conservation Fund









John Nuhn, Editor National Wildlife Federation Magazine
Kathy Moran, Senior Editor Natural History National Geographic Magazine
Larry Minden, President, Minden Pictures
Mark Godfrey, Director of Photagraphy, The Nature Conservancy
Marlin Green, President ThreeHats.com
Mark Lukes, President, Fine Print
Mark Plotkin. The Amazon Conservation Team, US
Melissa Ryan, Editor, The Nature Conservancy Magazine
Michael Hutchins, President The Wildlife Society
Miriam Stein, Editor, National Geographic Explorer Magazine
Patricio Robles Gil, President Agupaci6n Sierra Madre
Peter Laufmann, Natur Kosmos Magazine, Germany
Rod Mast, Conservation International, US
Roz Kidman Cox, former editor BBC Wildlife Magazine, UK
Sterling Zumbrunn, Director of Photography, Conservation International
Steve Freligh, President Nature's Best Foundation
Susan McElhinney, Editor Ranger Rick Magazine
Tom Carlisle, Chair, Environment Committee, NANPA
Swati Thyagarajan ND 24/7 TV, India
Harriet Nimmo, Director Wildscreen Film Festival
Richard Edwards, Director, ARKIVE
Rob Sheppard, Editor Outdoor Photographer Magazine
Sophie Stafford, Editor BBC WIldlife Magazine
Deborah Sage, Competition Director, Shell-BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Gemma Webster -- Competition Officer,BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Helen Gilks, Director Nature Picture Library, UK



Board of Advisors:

Sir David Attenborough, naturalist and broadcaster
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Executive Director for Marine Conservation, Conservation International
Dr. Mike Fay, Science and Exploration Program, Wildlife Conservation Society
Armando Garcia, Vice President for Development, Cemex
Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of The Jane Goodall Institute, Messenger of Peace for the UN
Sir Ian Douglas Hamilton, President & CEO, Save the Elephants
Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, President, The Heinz Center
Dr. Vance Martin, President, The WILD Foundation
Dr. Russell Mittermeier, President, Conservation International
Dr. George Schaller, Chief Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society









APPENDIX C
LETTER PROPOSING CONCEPT OF LINC


10 August, 2004


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

My recent work in Africa (Gabon with the Smithsonian Institution and Mali with the WILD
Foundation and US State Department) has shown me the value of using documentary
photography to make a difference for conservation.

Now, I return to Florida with a renewed sense of urgency to promote conservation of natural
habitats and cultural legacies here in a state where development pressures are especially strong
and natural heritage is largely unappreciated and vanishing at an alarming rate.

My new book, The Edge of Africa, is a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and other
scientific organizations, the governments of Gabon and the US, and Shell Oil Company, all
working together for conservation. The book and associated exhibitions have made clear the
power of photography to change perspectives and catalyze change. During my travels, several
locals told me the photos made them proud to be Gabonese; they saw their natural heritage in
new light. Similar positive influence is being achieved in Mali by using photographs to raise
awareness, political support and funding for the protection of endangered desert elephants.

Using photography to promote conservation has become the driving force in my life and I intend
to create a non-profit organization for that purpose an institute for documenting environmental
and cultural issues in order to promote conservation of environmental and cultural heritage. This
institute will provide a vehicle for my vision and a platform from which I can form partnerships
with research and conservation organizations, government agencies, corporations and
individuals.

My work will begin here in Florida, where I am best suited to make a difference due to my
background and education. I feel especially connected to Florida's landscape and cultural history
due to my personal experiences and a family history that traces back eight generations.
Additionally, I have gained a broad and interdisciplinary perspective on conservation problems
from my graduate education in ecology and environmental journalism at the University of
Florida. Based on my recent experiences overseas in environmental photojournalism, I will also
pursue projects international in scope where I see the opportunity to make a difference.

Projects and initiatives for 2004 and beyond:

The Florida Cattle Ranch -Nature 's Last Stand- an in depth look at the environmental
conservation value of beef ranching in Florida with a goal of raising awareness and influencing
policy change to encourage ranching over other more destructive land-uses, such as intensive
agriculture and residential developments.











Strategic Partnerships with other organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy and the State of
Florida to promote acquisition of priority conservation habitat, or USAID and the WILD
Foundation to raise awareness for imperiled desert elephants in Mali.

Scholarships and Fellowships I would like to offer one student scholarship and one
professional fellowship/sabbatical each year to individuals using documentary photography to
make a difference for conservation. Once I raise necessary funds, this aspect will be administered
under a foundation within the institute (e.g. Legacy Foundation)

Naming the Institute

I am seeking a name which is descriptive to the institute's purpose, yet easily recognizable at the
same time. I have been pondering this issue for several months and have arrived at a first choice
and several alternatives. Please provide feedback on the following ideas, and please share any
new ideas you may have.

LINC Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture

Draft Mission Statement:
The Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) aims to raise awareness for natural
environments and cultural legacies, educate about important connections between human
societies and natural ecosystems, and promote conservation and stewardship of natural heritage
for the betterment of present and future generations. The main tool of the institute is
photographic documentary of threatened or changing landscapes, ecological and cultural. Visual
communications is the main voice of LINC's educational and political purposes. LINC will also
create scholarships and fellowships to empower other journalists to pursue meaningful projects
within the scope of the institute's mission.

I like LINC because the acronym is easy to remember and plays off the notion of connection. It
is also general enough that beyond my Florida projects I will be able to partner with international
organizations. I was also able to reserve the web domain: www.LINC.us.



Best regards,



Carlton Ward Jr.










APPENDIX D
CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY SURVEY OCTOBER 15, 2007

Questions:

1) What is the difference between Conservation Photography and Nature Photography?
2) Do you see Conservation Photography as an emerging field?
3) What are your hopes for the role of Conservation Photography in the coming decades?

Responses:

Jim Balog

Conservation Photography (CP) is Nature Photography (NP) with an edge. NP generally is focused solely
on celebrating the beauty of nature. While much CP certainly focuses on beauty, CP is invested with
another meaning too: the natural world is in danger and must be preserved.

In the techno-consumerist-industrial age of today, where the human race is brutalizing nature at an ever-
faster pace, CP emerges as a focused force with an intensity much greater than anything that photography
mustered in decades or centuries past. We MUST use these tools as eloquently as we can or else we can
simply congratulate ourselves on living through the extinction of nature. There is no room for uncertainty,
no room for cynicism, no room for doubt or else those who follow us on this planet will damn us for our
weakness. The least we can do is the best we can do.

Gary Braasch

1. In general CP is a subset of NP, in which the photos are made to show, and/or interpreted for the viewer as
illustrating, an issue of conservation, preservation or natural history science. CP also includes images of
indigenous peoples and the social issues they face. There is frequently an overt attempt of persuasion or
advocacy accompanying the photos. The larger realm of nature photography includes photos made to
extoll, display or study the beauty and complexity of nature, without any apparent issue or advocacy
involved. Sometimes it is a matter of the caption,but as practiced by many members of ILCP, CP is the
outgrowth of an interest in conservation or a particular issue which lead to the creation of the images.

I have long used the term environmental photographer to describe what I do -- which is meant to evoke the
ideas of our whole world in which we live and the field of environmentalism, or the full range of
conservation advocacy and politics.

2. No, it is really one of the first purposes photography was put to, recalling the images that helped convince
the Congress to establish the National Parks and preserve part of the Yellowstone region. It did not have a
name nor an organization to foster it until recently. The most famous nature photographers like Eliot Porter
and Ansel Adams were absolutely in thrall of the beauty of nature. But both were very active
conservationists who used both existing photos as well as purposefully made ones to advocate for
conservation and preservation. I don't know what they called themselves. I think I saw in Ansel's writings
that he felt this was what a photographer and citizen did when he saw how threatened his subject locations
and other natural areas were.

3. That it have a greater voice. I mean that word specifically. Certainly I want our photos to reach a broader
audience. But I also want our expertise, knowledge, backgrounds and intelligence to be a larger part of
national and international decisions about environmental issues. Apart from the indigenous people and the
current land managers and scientists, there is no other group of people who knows as much about our
planet's wild places and endangered life as nature photographers. Those of us who wish to should be called










on more often into national debates and negotiations over environmental and conservation matters --- and
everything that affects them.

Connie Bransilver

1. In nature photography it's just about the pretty picture without regard for the creatures or the environment
in which the image is made. Conservation photography is intended to illustrate a scene or area or issue,
etc., to awaken public attention and a drive toward conservation

2. Most certainly, but to be really successful, it needs to be positive. People want and need hope and beauty
rather than ugliness and despair.

3. That the conservation movement matures toward positive answers to the now-obvious issues facing our
species and all other species with which we share the planet.

Amy Gulick

1. Nature photography illustrates nature subjects, whereas conservation photography illustrates the
conservation of nature. It's like the difference between nature writing and investigative journalism with
conservation as the subject. Conservation photography seeks to use images to strengthen the case for
conserving threatened species and habitats, and solving today's pressing environmental issues.

2. Yes, finally. While it's been around for a long time, it hasn't received the attention it deserves. As
conservation topics finally make headline news (e.g. global warming, fossil fuels and associated
environmental costs, alternative energy, etc.), images to illustrate these issues are increasingly important.

3. I would like to see more conservation photographers make images that show people the connection
between a healthy environment and their own well-being, from ecological, economic and social
standpoints. I would also like to see more and more nature publications, as well as mainstream publications,
embrace conservation photography stories and realize that they won't lose readership if the stories are
presented in a way that connects with viewers in a positive way, empowering them to make lifestyle
changes that will benefit all life on earth.

Allison Jones

1. Nature Photography focuses on the beauty and diversity of species and ecosystems. Conservation
Photography focuses on that, but just as importantly or perhaps more importantly on the threats to the
delicate balance of nature and consequences of those threats. As well, Conservation Photography goes one
step further by disseminating images in an effort to provoke and promote paradigm shifts in consumption
and conservation of our natural resources. And lastly, Conservation Photography also focuses on and
ecosystem and bioiversity management systems being put in place.

All of that indicates that Nature Photographers are looking for landscapes without indications of human
influence, just as did their predecessors the fine arts, salon-type of painters with their strict definitions of
what constitutes a "landscape." However, Conservation Photographers are constantly looking for ways to
illustrate damaging elements of the human footprint, in order to raise an awareness of and thus prevent
further degradation.

2. Most definitely. Al Gore's movie has proved that visual media can make a difference and that we must pay
attention to the crises now facing this planet.

3. That we'll be able to get all the funding and other support we need to do the footwork in mobilizing a
change in attitude towards conserving this planet before it's too late. Conservation Photographers are










passionate and willing to go the extra mile to make a difference, even when it means exposure to dangers
ranging from malaria to bears to extreme altitudes or temperatures. They are willing to be the foot
soldiers on the battle front, but they need backup support!

Robert Glen Ketchum

1. Conservation photography acknowledges work that is being directed in an advocate/pro-active way on
behalf of a specific issue/cause, not simply nice pictures of nature.

2. Not a field, a personal belief and commitment.

3. That photographers working in this way will accelerate the dissemination and use of stories and images that
will be pertinent to the future of species survival on this planet.

Florian Mollers

1. CP is more than a hobby or a passion or a profession, which might apply to NP. It means that you
understand the needs of how to communicate conservation, scientific research or the aims of special
programs to protect species or habitats and much more important that you especially design your work
to match these needs. The main reason for any CP output is to raise awareness and promote conservation
issues. On the contrary NP is something that is intended to give you pleasure, relaxation and an intimate
encounter with the wild, but does not follow any conservation purpose as such. The benefit is to the
photographer not to a species or a habitat.

2. Unfortunately, not at all.

Here in Europe, many hobbyists give away their pictures for free to conservation groups, NGO and their
magazines. But, not so much because of their moral obligation to contribute to conservation but to have
their work published and gain personal satisfaction and a higher social status.

Professionals still don't bother much and just try to make a living, which is hard enough as we all know.

I think one important reason for that is that CP/NP is not considered to be worth paying for. Everybody
does it (NP). The internet is swamped with pictures of natural subjects and nobody cares about the aesthetic
appeal, scientific correctness or photographic impact of an image if there is not enough budget reserved to
pay a photographer for his/her work. Not NatGeo rates, but pay him/her at all or reimburse for expenses,
etc.

There are other missing stimuli for (PRO) photographers to devote their time and talent to CP: output often
low quality, low numbers, bad printing, missing photographer/copyright information, etc.

I have the feeling, many of us desperately want to give something back and would like to put more effort in
CP or switch to it completely. But we (PROS) have to make a living just like other people (biologists,
graphic designers, project managers, staff) and conservation still has to understand that. On the other side
we have to work hard on promoting that. ILCP would be the right "force" behind such PR.

3. More joint projects including many photographers (RAVE; WILD WONDERS OF EUROPE etc) to
deliver more impact on the public, A better way of understanding each others needs/of communication on
the NGO side/on the photographers side

Flip Nicklin

1. For me it is not what you do, but what you do with it. Using Nature photography to further conservation
issues.










2. I really think of it as a way to pay back, not as a field of work.


3. That nature photography can make a difference in our efforts to keep systems working.


Michael Nichols

1. I believe that would-be conservation photography clearly has a mission rather than pure entertainment. The
photographer chooses subject matter and publication outlets that can effectively help conservationists to get
their message, do fund raising, affect legislation and so on. Nature photography might be defined as "pretty
pictures" of nature, and nothing wrong with this if it does some good.

2. I think the question is asked because we are experiencing an effective awareness about nature in the first
world and therefore photographers that might have concentrated on social issues and war are turning to
conservation. The same is true with publications.
Al Gore's gets the Nobel Prize and I would not be surprised if this year's World Press photo winner is not
an environmental image. IT is in the air now more than ever!

3. No more time for images that do not fight for those and that which has no voice, no doubt our kind of
image making is going to be the next big thing, and frankly it simply has to be this way.

The world is on the brink and I guess we will document the whole thing. It is a shame we cannot win the
war.

Tui de Roy

1. Conservation Photography is the use of Nature Photography to convey a message that is bigger and more
lasting than the images themselves.

It require seeing and feeling the vulnerability of the subject and somehow projecting that unequivocally
through choice of angle and other creative means. And when the photo is taken the job doesn't end in fact
it often only just begins: Using words, sequences, venues, music, and a myriad other means to strengthen
and focus the conservation message held within the image. Just as Ballet in a combination of Music, Dance
and Set, Conservation Photography is the marrying of Subject, Creative eye and Delivery. As such it could
be seen as a whole new discipline.

2. CP has always been here, but neither the photographer nor the audience has necessarily been aware of it it
has often been a haphazard, disjointed process. The ILCP has now become the catalyst for people inside
and outside the trade to hear the message loud and clear, to give a voice to the movement. And, not least,
to bestow upon its practitioners a real sense of responsibility based on exacting ethics: an imposter, or even
freeloader, will tarnish the entire movement.

3. I hope CP will go from strength to strength as an unbiased medium by which to connect the plight of the
natural world with the people physically removed from it. We must therefore never rest in our pursuit of
increasingly sophisticated ways of reaching our audiences' hearts, because at the end of the day, how we
treat the planet will hinge primarily on how we feel about it. There is no better medium than truthful yet
creative visual communication to make people CARE.

Joel Sartore

1. To me, nature photography could best be described as straightforward photos of plants, animals and
landscapes. They can be in nice light or not, show behavior or not, but they usually don't go beyond the
obvious.

Conservation photography, on the other hand, speaks more to man's hand on the planet and the need to
conserve places or species. It comes in a myriad of forms. The bottom line is that these are pictures that go










to work. They allow the reader a chance to understand what's happening out in the world, even the ugly
stuff.

The nature photograph shows a butterfly on a pretty flower. The conservation photograph shows the same
thing, but with a bulldozer coming at it in the background. This doesn't mean there's no room for beautiful
pictures, in fact we need beautiful images just as much as the issues. It does mean that the images exist for
a reason; to save the Earth while we still can.

2. Absolutely. We all know what polar bears look like. Now we need to show the threats to them. There will
be more and more issues arise as the human race continues to expand, dominate, heat the planet and strip it
of natural resources. We need as many conservation-minded photographers as possible to document what's
happening.

3. I hope it moves the masses to care. For example, most folks don't know that we're going to lose at least
half of all amphibian species within the next ten years. I'm currently doing a photo project to tell folks just
that. There are more conservation subjects than there are photographers at this point, however, and
growing. We need to be sure that the power of the photograph is used in as many ways as possible to drive
human understanding of the issues that plague species and habitats. There's no time to lose.

Kevin Schafer

1. In my view, Conservation photography is distinguished by its sense of purpose. It is photography
specifically made with the goal of furthering the goals of conservation rather than simply as a record of
nature's beauty, an aesthetic that informs much of conventional nature photography. There is considerable
overlap, of course: the skills required for top-quality photography remain the same, and photographs take
by photographers not specifically dedicated to conservation can still have enormous power.

2. In a sense, conservation photography is nothing new. Photography has always been an essential tool in
conservation, illustrating what is at stake, and worth protecting. Nature magazines like Audubon and
Nature Conservancy have used photography to educate and advocate, and NGOs worldwide depend on
photography to get their message across and to give it impact.

One of the most dramatic pairings of photography and advocacy, however, was the influential Sierra Club
book series of the 1970's and 1980's: in these books, photographers like Eliot Porter and Philip Hyde used
their landscape photographs to help preserve land in the US. Robert Ketchum carried on this tradition with
his book on the Tongass, which was groundbreaking because it showed not just the beauty of threatened
areas, but also the realities of devastation. This was conservation photography at its best, and it is silly for
us to suggest that anyone, including the ILCP, invented the idea! What we can do is promote the idea of
advocacy.

Having said this, it is important to distinguish between CP as a "field" and as a "profession." Very few of
us, although we are committed to conservation, can hope to make a living entirely through this specialty.
For years I have given away photography to support small NGO's, gifts subsidized by my commercial
work. Yet the promotion of the idea of CP can hopefully generate new interest in and new funding
sources for photographic projects targeted specifically at promoting conservation goals.

3. I hope the renewed interest in CP will result in more people choosing to use their photographic skills in
support of conservation in their local areas and around the world.

Christian Ziegler

1. purpose, and a goal of supporting the conservation of that specific part of nature, be it an area or a species
2. surely is
3. I hope that people get more responsible, in that they can't ignore the problems, while photographing nature.










Balan Madhavan


To start with; Conservation photography is the highly evolved form of nature photography. As someone has said
"All nature photographers will eventually become naturalists and all naturalists would also become nature
photographers over a period of time". When you maintain a long term relationship with nature and become a
witness to the great show from the front seat, you start to develop an emotional attachment to your subjects and
surroundings. It is this attachment or love for his subject that prompts the photographer to become a conservationist.

And what separates the conservation photographer from the others is his/her concern on the well being of their
subject and the urge to do something to protect them. It's almost like a parent's feelings towards their children.
More over the conservation photographer is much more deeply involved in his work and quite often would be a
specialist in his area and subject. While nature photographers are happy with great shots showing the beauty of their
subjects, conservation photographers should cover all aspects of the subjects both beautiful as well as shocking.

Anyone who can afford a fortnight in Kenya could come back with great wildlife pictures, but there is no long
lasting relationship or concern for the welfare of the subject. Whereas, conservation photographer takes great pains
to understand the subject, the issues related to its protection, find explanations and possible solutions all through
the medium of photography. And it involves time, money and motivation. To put it simply, it's a full-time job.

I do not feel that Conservation Photography is a new branch of photography. Though the term was not in usage,
many of the serious nature photographers were actively involved in conservation projects and had used their images
to create awareness among the masses on environmental issues. In India, there were only a handful of photographers
who used to venture into the forests in the 60's and 70's and most of them were conservationists to the core. They
lacked the high-tech gear that has become a symbol of the modern-day nature photographers, but they compensated
it with their in-depth knowledge of the forests and each and every animal they photographed. They were also
accepted by the government officials and tribals alike and their opinion mattered in the conservation circles.

The 80's and 90's witnessed a sea-change in technology and nature photography became much easier with the
arrival of auto-focus SLR cameras and supporting electronic gadgets. Nature photography became a fashion
statement A large number of youngsters joined the bandwagon. These so-called nature photographers were more
interested in winning awards and prizes in Photo Salons and Contests and when the competition became aggressive,
all the values and ethics were dumped. To give an example; in the city of Bangalore in S.India, there were hundreds
of nature photographers who would venture into the rural villages on every weekend looking for bird nests that they
can shoot and local village boys were paid to locate nests for these amateur photographers. Some even paid money
to destroy nests so that nobody else would bag that frame... I was shocked to hear about this and with the support of
a few dedicated photographers and naturalists managed to ban nest photographs in photo salons in India. And most
of the photographers lost interest in bird nests after the ban came into effect.
Conservation photography is of utmost importance and is a very effective tool in preaching the message of
conservation. This is the era of the visual media and we should use it to the maximum benefit. The works of
conservation photographers should excite the viewer and also hit him under the belt. The viewer should feel his
responsibility. However, I feel that more attention should be given to the third-world and developing nations.
Similarly, the effort should focus on youngsters and school children as they are the future citizens and it is easy to
mould them into nature lovers at a younger age than knocking some sense into the politicians' heads. I am greatly
inspired by the example shown by Ms. Belinda Wright who shot award winning films like "Land of the Tiger".
After realizing the fact that tigers would vanish from the face of earth very soon, she left her career as a film maker
to start the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). She has dedicated her whole life for tiger conservation and
especially anti-poaching work. Her recent images of tiger skin trade in Tibet created worldwide rage and forced the
Chinese authorities to take action against the traders.

Powerful visuals have always influenced human conscience. Hats off to Cristina for forming this organization that
has brought the conservationist in the photographer to the forefront...









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Steichen, E. 1958. Photography: witness and recorder of humanity. Page 45 in G. Garner.
Disappearing witness: change in twentieth century American photography. Johns
Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Strieker, G. 2002. New wildlife parks in Gabon. CNN.com, Atlanta. Available from
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/09/30/gabon.parks/index.html.
(accessed September 2003)

Sullivan, T. 2001. Making deals with loggers in effort to save rain forest: environmental tactics
in Africa not universally applauded. Washington Post.com, Washington, D.C. Available









from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contented
=A59270-2001Dec5¬Found=true> (accessed September 2003)

Trescott, J. 2003. Smithsonian's Arctic Refuge exhibit draws Senate scrutiny. Washington Post,
Washington, D.C. (May 21):C01.

Trimble, S. 2006. Philip Hyde: inspiring a generation of wilderness photographers. New West,
Missoula, MT. Available from http://www.newwest.net/index.php/topic/article
/7611/C41/L41/ (accessed August 2007).

Tucker, A. W., C. Cass, and S. Daiter. 2001. This was the photo league: compassion and the
camera from the depression to the cold war. Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago.

Ward, C. 2005. Building connections. The Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture, Tampa,
Florida. Available from http://www.linc.us/connections.htm (accessed October 2007).

Ward, C. et al. 2003. The edge of Africa. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and Hylas
Publishing, New York.


Wagner, J. 1979. Images of information: still photography in the social sciences.
Sage Publications, Beverly Hills.

Welna, D. 2003. Smithsonian defends move of ANWR photos: officials say captions advocate
protecting controversial refuge. National Public Radio, Washington, D.C. Available from
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyld=1269389 (accessed August 2007).

Wignall, J. 2005. The last wilderness. Outdoor Photographer Magazine (January):48-53.

Wilson, E. O. 1984. Biophilia. Harvard University Press, Cambridge,
Massachusetts.

Wilson, E.O. 1998. Consilience: the unity of knowledge. Alfred A. Knoff, New York.

Wollen, P. 2003. Shooting wars. The Nation, New York. Available from
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20031006/wollen/3 (accessed September 2007)

Wolfe, A. 2000. The living wild. Wildlands Press, Seattle.

Xiao, L. 2006. Monkeying around. China Daily, Xinhau (November 25). Available from
http://www.china.org.cn/english/environment/190235.htm (accessed September 2007).

Yates, Douglas A. 1996. The rentier State in Africa: oil rent dependency and
neocolonialism in the Republic of Gabon. Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ.









PHOTOGRAPHY AND WRITING BY THE AUTHOR RELATED TO THE STORIES
FEATURED IN THE THESIS, PAGES 70-80, AND THE PROFESSIONAL PROJECT

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

Bancroft, C. and C. Ward. 2005. A home for the range. St. Petersburg, Florida (January 17).
Available from http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/17/Floridian/Ahome for
therange.shtml (accessed October 2007).

Bennett, L and C. Ward. 2004. Eye to eye: standing up to wild elephants and oil executives,
environmental photographer Carlton Ward Jr. balances shared interests and ends up with
art. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida. Available from http://www.sptimes.
com/2004/04/1 1/Floridian/Eye to_eye.shtml (accessed November 2007).

Bourchert, P and C. Ward. 2005. The best of Africa Geographic. Africa Geographic, Cape Town,
South Africa. 30.

Bowermaster, J. and C. Ward. 2005. Gabun: von der wildnis verschluckt. Geo, Germany.
(October): 14-30.

Bowermaster, J. and C. Ward. 2006. Animali: nella forest tropical del Gabon, alla scoperta di
specie rare. Geo, Italy. (July):152-164.

Cade, M. and C. Ward. 2006. Saving Florida. Range Magazine. Carson City, Nevada.
54(3):90-96.

Grossman, D and C. Ward. 2007. Before they're gone: three photographers dedicated to
preserving a disappearing America. Popular Photography and Imaging Magazine
(June):64-70.

Grunwald, M. and C. Ward. 2006. Everglades. Smithsonian Magazine, Washington, D.C.
(March):46-57

Helmuth, L and C. Ward. 2005. Saving Mali's migratory elephants. Smithsonian Magazine,
Washington, D.C. (July):56-62

Klinkenburg, J and C. Ward. 2006. Bagging the big one. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg,
Florida (November 12). Available from http://www.sptimes.com/2006/11/12/Floridian/
Bagging the big_one_.shtml (accessed October 2007).

Klinkenburg, J and C. Ward. 2007. A love of the land. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg,
Florida (January 21). Available from http://www.sptimes.com/2007/01/21/Floridian/
Alove of the land.shtml (accessed October 2007).

Lee, M and C. Ward. 2004. Secrets of the forest. Africa Geographic, Cape Town, South Africa.
(August):50-56.









Loschke, S and C. Ward. 2005. Giganten auf der spur. Geo Lino Extra, Germany. 56-63.

Masanu, B and C. Ward. 2004. Au Coeur du Paradis de la biodiversity. L'union, Libreville,
Gabon. (February 15):20.

Perello, I and C. Ward. 2005. Saving wildlife and land with a digital camera. Outdoor
Photographer, Los Angeles. (March). Available from http://www.outdoorphotographer.
com/content/2005/mar/saving. shtml (accessed November 2007).

Ryan, P and C. Ward. 2004. You can do it: stunning frog portraits can be easier than you think.
Popular Photography & Imaging, New York. (November):77-79.

Tangley, L and C. Ward. 2003. Portraits in the wild: in an unexplored region of Africa's Atlantic
coast, an innovative photographer captures Gabon's bountiful wildlife. Smithsonian
Magazine, Washington, D.C. (October):60-67.

Tangley, L and C. Ward. 2004. Portraits of diversity: in an unexplored and biologically rich
region of Africa, a pioneering U.S. photographer captures a treasure trove of tropical life-
forms on film. National Wildlife Magazine, Reston, Virginia. (December/January):80-85.

Ward, C. 2003. The life and times of a Florida cowboy. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg,
Florida (June 1).

Ward, C. 2006. Listen to the voice of the heartland. FORUM. Florida Humanities Council, St.
Petersburg, Florida. (Winter):34-37.

Ward, C. 2006. Tracking history. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida (March 17).

Ward, C. 2007. Africa's other elephants. National Wildlife Magazine, Reston, Virginia.
(October /November):30F-3 OK.

Ward, C. 2007. Elephants of Timbuktu: restless spirits of the desert. Africa Geographic, Cape
Town, South Africa. (July):34-41.

Ward, C and I. Gray. 2004. Finding nature's frame: the territory of the image in conservation
photography. Watershed Journal, Brown University. 1(2):34-44.


Television

Bowermaster, J. 2007. Lost coast of Gabon: sea kayaking West Africa. Oceans 8 Films, New
York.

Hite, B. 2004. Interview with Carlton Ward. News Channel 8, Tampa, Florida. (September).

Lee, M. and C. Ward. 2004. Interview: Paradis de la biodiversity. BBC Africa, Libreville
(February).










TVE. 2003. Oil's well? BBC Earth Report. Television Trust for the Environment, London.
Syndicated via BBC (September).

Books

Alonso, A. et al. 2006. Gamba, Gabon: biodiversity dune fort equatoriale africaine. Biological
Society of Washington, Washington, D.C.

Pauwels, O. et al. 2007. Reptiles and amphibians of Gabon. Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C.

Ward, C et al. 2003. The edge of Africa. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and Hylas
Publishing, New York.


Travelling Exhibition from The Edge of Africa

2004. Intercontinental Hotel. Libreville, Gabon. (February)

2004. Waldorf Astoria Hotel and United Nations, New York. (September)

2005. Royal Geographic Society, London. (March)









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Carlton Ward Jr. is a conservation photographer from Tampa, Florida. He earned his

bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University in 1998 where he majored in biology with

minors in anthropology and environmental studies. After college, Ward interned in the

photography department at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. In

2000 he began graduate training in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida,

studying biology, anthropology and photojournalism. He was also a photography intern with the

St. Petersburg Times and won the Student Portfolio of the Year at the 2001 Atlanta

Photojournalism Seminar.

Ward worked for the Gabon biodiversity project with the Smithsonian Institution starting

in 2001 and published The Edge of Africa in 2003. The Gabon project helped establish Ward's

vision for combining photography with science as a tool for conservation. In 2004, he returned to

Florida where he has eight generations of heritage and began projects focused on the vanishing

heritage of Florida coastal fishing communities and ranchlands.

In June 2007, Popular Photography Magazine featured Ward as one of three

photographers working to save the American wilderness based on his Florida ranchlands work

which will be published in a book titled Last Frontier with the University Press of Florida. Ward

has also joined conservationists working to protect the desert elephants of Mali and create a new

national park in Andros, Bahamas. His photography and writing is regularly published in

.SiNithiuiuian, Africa Geographic, GEO, National Wildlife and Outdoor Photographer and can be

seen at www.carltonward.com.

Ward founded The Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC) in 2004 as a vehicle for

conservation communications and is a founding member of the International League of

Conservation Photographers.





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CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY By CARLTON WARD JR. A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2008 Carlton Ward Jr.

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To my family for encouraging my vision, and all the dedicated hearts and minds bringing this movement to life.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are many people to thank for the time and support they gave this project. I will start with Steven Humphrey, Director of the School of Natural Re sources and Environment, who accepted me into his new program despite my nont raditional path, and John Kaplan, Professor in the Department of Journalism, who took me on as a student and provided entr e into the world of photojournalism, despite my lack of training in the subject. I would also like to thank the other members of my committee, Allan Burns and Hugh Popenoe, for their example and encouragement. In addition, I am grateful to the people at the Smithsonian Institutions Monitoring and Assessment of Bi odiversity Program (SI/MAB) w ho created the opportunity for me to work in Gabon, particularly Francisco Da llmeier for his faith in the power of photography and Michelle Lee for her vivid narratives that helped make The Edge of Africa complete. Additional acknowledgements include the researcher s and editors with whom I worked, Michael Nichols for his vision and advice, all of the inspiring individu als and organizations who are dedicated to stewardship and sust ainability and are fighting for the future, especially Cristina Mittermeier for her leadership in Conservati on Photography, and finally, my family for their constant love and encouragement. 4

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ...............8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ ....9Building Connections with Photography ................................................................................10Documentary PhotographyBearing Witness .........................................................................11History of Social Documentary Photography .........................................................................12PhotojournalismThe Legacy of Documentary Photography ................................................15History of Photogra phy and Conservation .............................................................................16Contemporary Examples Of Conservation Photography .......................................................22Cultural Conservation Photography .......................................................................................25Concerned Photography a nd Political Scrutiny ......................................................................27Literature Review ...................................................................................................................29Articles about Conservation Photography .......................................................................29Seminal Nature Photography Books ...............................................................................31Cultural Conservation Books ..........................................................................................35Books Produced by Conservation Organizations ............................................................37The Influence of National Geographic ...........................................................................39Web-Based Documentaries .............................................................................................422 FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW DISCIPLINE ......................................................................44Blending Disciplines: Ecology, Sociology and Art ................................................................44The Missing Link: Role of Conservation Photography ..........................................................46Refocusing Nature Photography .............................................................................................48Perspective on Conserva tion and Photography: An Interview with Cristina Mittermeier ......................................................................49Survey: Conservation Photography versus Nature Photography ....................................513 ESTABLISHING THE FIELD ...............................................................................................54The International League of C onservation Photographers (ILCP) .........................................54The Current State of C onservation Photography ....................................................................57Balancing Journalism and Advocacy ......................................................................................61Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........63Future Goals for the Field .......................................................................................................674 AUTHORS FIELD EXPERIEN CE AND OBSERVATIONS .............................................68

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Conceptual Orientation ........................................................................................................ ...68Introduction to Photography Projects .....................................................................................69The Biodiversity of Gamba ....................................................................................................70Objectives/Project Significance .......................................................................................72Methodology ................................................................................................................... .73Lessons Learned from Gabon ..........................................................................................75Project Outcomes .............................................................................................................7 8Selected Conservation Photography Projects by the Author, 2004-2007 ...............................78The Desert Elephants of Mali ..........................................................................................79Last FrontierThe Living Herita ge of Florida Ranchlands .............................................79AndrosCreating a New National Park in the Bahamas .................................................80Future Goals for the Author ....................................................................................................81 APPENDIX A RESOLUTIONS IN CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE 8TH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS IN ANCHOR AGE, ALASKA, OCTOBER, 2005 .................82B THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION P HOTOGRAPHERS .............84C LETTER PROPOSING CONCEPT OF LINC .......................................................................87 D CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY SURVEY .................................................................89 LIST OF REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................95BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................105 6

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CI: Conservation International FCA: Florida Cattlemens Association ICF: Images for Conservation Fund ILCP: International League of Conservation Photographers LINC: Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture SI/MAB: Smithsonian Institution Monito ring and Assessment of Biodiversity Programs TNC: The Nature Conservancy 7

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY By Carlton Ward Jr. May 2008 Chair: John Kaplan Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology Conservation and photography are two words representing distinct fields that when put together take on new meaning. What is conser vation photography and how is it evolving into a newly recognized and influential discipline ? Conservation photogra phy is simply photography that empowers conservation. Its importance is incr easingly recognized within both the scientific and photographic communities as a powerful tool for sustaining the diversity of life on earth. This thesis surveys the history of photography applied to conservation of natural and cultural resources, including insight from social docum entary photography and nature photography. Case studies of projects with measurab le conservation influence illustra te the foundations of the field and show that conservation photography is actually the oldest form of photography to affect social change. The emergence and function of organizations dedica ted to conservation photography, such as the International League of Conservation Photographers, founded in October 2005, also helps define the field. Docu menting biological diversity in Gabon, Africa with the Smithsonian Institution provided th e authors primary photographic experience, including production of his first book, The Edge of Africa A professional project accompanying this thesis, including this book and a portfolio of the authors cons ervation photography, is archived in the Allen H. Neuharth Library of the College of Journali sm and Communications. 8

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Conservation photography is simply: photography that empowers conservation. Photography has served this role since th e 1860s, although not widely acknowledged. Renewed emphasis on photography-for-conservation has aris en at the beginning of the twenty-first century, primarily in response to the human-cau sed environmental crisis, recognizing that the current global pattern of ecosystem degradation is not sustainable. Sustainability refers to, human activities conducted in a manner that respects the intrinsic value of the natural world, [and] the role of the natural world in human well-being (Groom et al 2006). Yet the erosion of biologi cal and cultural diversity (the biosphere and ethnosphere) continues to accelerate due to anth ropogenic factors such as climate change, resource consumption, pollution, habitat fragment ation, and globalization. Modern humans have caused the rate of species extin ction to increase 100 to 1000 time s since industrialization (Pimm 1995) and from similar factors half of the earth s 6000 spoken languages will be lost within the next 50 years (Davis 2001). The article Trends in the state of natur e and their implications for human well-being reported: the changes currently underway are for the mo st part negative, anthropogenic in origin, ominously large and accelerating. The impacts of these changes on human societyfor the most part also appear to be negative and substant ial (Balmford and Bond 2005). Conservation photography as a field is emerging to address these trends. Science teaches the need for c onservation, but often falls shor t in communicating this fact to the public. To achieve sustai nability, the general gap between scientific knowledge and public behavior needs to be bridged. Science-base d communications provide an ideal tool for constructing that linkage. Within the communi cations fields, documentary photography, which bears witness to social issues, has proven its ability to ge nerate public awareness and inspire 9

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10 change. Similarly, nature photography can pr ovide a pervasive vehicle for conservation messages. But unlike social documentary pho tography, modern nature photography is less commonly used to address issues. The emerging discipline of conservation phot ography combines nature photography with the proactive, issue-oriented a pproach of documentary photography as an agent for sustaining the biosphere and ethnosphere. The centr al question to this thesis e xplores: What is conservation photography and how is it evolving in to an influential field today? Building Connections with Photography In the modern world, where societies are grow ing increasingly distant from nature and increasingly reliant on media for information on the world around them, photography has a real opportunity to help connect people with their vanishing natural heritage and e xplore the often overlooked links between human societies and na tural ecosystems. The field of conservation photography is emerging at a time when segments of the scientific community are beginning to embrace the power and importance of art for advanc ing conservation. An article in the February 2007 issue of the scientific journal, Conservation Biology concluded Promoting conservation through the arts may reach a more diverse au dience and reach them more successfully by engaging their hearts as well as minds (Jacobson et al. 2007). The same article stated: If we are going to have a new connection to the environmen t it will have to happen in individual hearts and soulsthe artist can help us fall in love with the earth again (Berensohn 2002). Photography can be an ideal tool for building this type of conn ection between people and issues. Good photographs are easy to recognize and di fficult to forget. As such, photography has been a powerful public awareness tool in commun icating both social and environmental issues, transcending boundaries of language culture and time. This point of view is expressed in the

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words of Edward Steichen, describing his m onumental international documentary photography project, The Family of Man Over three and a half million people have seen the exhibit; a million copies of the book, The Family of Man have gone all over the world.This is irrefutable proof that photography is a universal languag e; that it speaks to all peop le; that people are hungry for that kind of language. They are hungry for pictur es that have meaning; a meaning they can understand (Steichen 1958). The universal language of photogr aphy has proliferated since The Family of Man Modern societies are immersed with im agery, including the seemingly boundless influence of advertising and entertainment media. Society is visually inundated with messages about what is good and what is worth attention. Thus if conservation is sues stand to compete for space in mainstream consciousness, they need to be carried by the same tool that has made advertising and corporate media messages so contagious creative photo graphy. Text can no longer command attention on its own. Today, images still provide the best hope for connecting people to issues, just as photographs have been used in the documentary tradition ever since th e advent of portable cameras. Documentary Photography Bearing Witness Conservation photography, focused on conservati on of biological and cultural diversity, is a modern breed of documentary photography, sh aring many of the same principles which can be seen in the foundations of the field. According to Gretchen Garners book Disappearing Witness: [Documentary photography] is not simple reportage of objective fact or institutional recordkeeping: instead it is issue-drive n, focused on a social issue about which the photographer cares stro ngly (Garner 2003). The conservation photographer a pproaches his or her work with a mission to share social realities with his or her audien ce, not only to create a document, but to create a means to add dimension to societys perceptions. Historian Marianne Fulton wr ites, Being there is important, 11

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being an eyewitness is significant, but the crux of the matter is bearing witness. To bear witness is to make known or confirm, to give test imony to others (Fulton 1989). References to documentary photography throughout this paper will assume a pro-active role according to these definitions. The remainder of this introduction will explore the history of documentary photography as a tool for social change. Then, through case studie s and a literature review, the focus will turn to the history of nature photography and conservation. History of Social Documentary Photography The ability to expose social issues thr ough photography was born with the advent of portable cameras and magnesium flash at the end of the 19th century. No longer constrained by the heavy cameras in need of tripods and long exposures incapable of stopping motion, photographers were for the first time able to go out and capture real moments from life. New York police reporter Jacob Riis photogra phed the slum conditions shared by three quarters of New York Citys populati on. Through his photographs, published in Scribner's Magazine and in his 1890 book, How the Other Half Lives Riis inspired politicians to take action by improving housing, lig hting and sanitation, as well as the construction of city parks and playgrounds. This marked the beginning of th e eye of conscience school of American photography (Gildgoff 2001). A new window in to the world had been opened. From that time forward, documentary photogr aphy emerged as a means to expose social concerns, often with significant political in fluence. Not only were photographers bearing witness, they were affecting change. Lewis Hine, a school teacher traine d in sociology, turned his lens toward the abuses of children working in factories. The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), founded in 1904, hired Hine to photog raph working conditions for children throughout the country. The publishing of Hiness photographs led to the creation and enforcement of new 12

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child labor laws. Hine defined his work as social photography and by the time of his death in 1940, social reform photography had become a widely accepted tradition. Following the social reform philosophies set fo rth by Riis and Hine, the Depression era of 1930s brought the field of documentary into its heyday, largely through the photography of the Farm Security Administration and the forma tion of the Photo League. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as part of his New Deal assistance programs, established the Resettlement Administration (RA), which was ab sorbed into the Department of Agriculture and became the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937. The new head of the agency, Rexford Tugwell, chose to hire a team of photographers to create a photographic survey of rural areas in the United States as part of the governments pro-active role in improving socio-economic conditions. The FSA staff of thirteen photographers included Do rthea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, John Vachon and Marion Post Wolcott. In exposing the realities of farm wo rkers to the rest of the country, sociologist and director of photography Roy St ryker said, We introduced Americans to America (Goldberg & Silberman 1999). FSA photographers were encouraged to look to socioeconomic research during the Depr ession in order to find subjects who needed economic empowerment. Motivated to inspire social change with their cameras, the photographers shared a sense of purpose. Rega rding Dorthea Langes famous work, Miss Langes real interest is in human beings and he r urge to photograph is aroused only when values are concerned (Garner 2003). The FSA photographers created a legacy by providing further clar ity on the purpose and function of documentary photography. Stryker la ter wrote about documen tary photographers: Their education should never stop... They should know something about economics, political science, philosophy, and sociology. They have to be able to conduct research, gather and correlate factual information, a nd think things through. Then they can go out and make pictures than mean something (Bezner 1999). 13

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This philosophy of documentary photography (which could have been written about conservation photography today) wa s manifest in the pursuits of the Photo League, formed in New York in 1936. Much of the Photo Leagues initial inspiration came from the combined artistry and social influence of Lewis Hine, the spiritual le ader of documentary photography, as he was called in the le agues monthly newsletter, Photo Notes (Benzer 1999). FSA photographers Lange, John Vachon and John Rothstei n were also active as members, teachers and speakers. Supported entirely by its membershi p, the Photo League grew to include the most distinguished photographers of the time, such as : Paul Strand, Sid Gros sman, Arthur Leipzig, Beaumont Newhall, Arnold Newman, Walter Rosenbloom, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, and Ansel Adams (who will be discussed further in the next section for his use of photography for conservation). Henri Cartier-B resson worked closely with the league as well. Among the league and its supporters was a common belie f in the purpose and power of documentary photographs. In For A League of American Photographers, its executive board stated: Photography has tremendous social value. Upon the photographer rests the responsibility and duty of recording a true image of the worl d as it is today. Moreover, he must not only show us how we live, but indicate the logi cal development of our lives (Photo League 1938). The Photo League advanced the value of their craft and its pu rposes as the only noncommercial photography school in America and its social co mmitment shined through group projects, such as Harlem Document and Rural America collectively photographing and exhibiting areas that needed public attention and reform The collaborative nature and political function of the Photo League, as it created awareness and action on soci al issues, foreshadows the philosophies to be applied toward the conservation movement by the International Lea gue of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) in 2005 (the ILCP will be discussed in detail in Chapter 3). 14

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The Cold War and fear of communism in Am erica brought socially active organizations such as the Photo League under scrutiny in the 1940s, and from that point forward, sense of purpose in photography became more subtly integrated into the artistic expressions and many photographers began pursing art for aesthetic purposes independent of issue or cause. Even so, the legacy of documentary photography as a powerf ul political tool has remained, continuing to affect change on important issues, as many of its tenants were absorbed into the field of photojournalism. Photojournalism The Legacy of Documentary Photography Often called the father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson, born in France, began his career in the early 1930s. He used compact Leica rangefinder cameras to capture decisive moments on black-and-white film Cartier-Bresson was a student of Robert Capa, with whom he cofounded Magnum Photos, along with Da vid Seymour, in 1947. Capas brainchild, Magnum, a cooperative photo agency, began dispatching its photographers around the globe covering conflicts, news events and social issues. The photogra phs brought the world to the public through the pages of U.S. and European media, including Life Magazine which featured assignments by Cartier-Bresson over a period of three decades. Cartier-Bresson published The Decisive Moment in 1952. He was a leader in both the craft and philosophy of photojournalism and became possibly the most referenced and influential photographer of the 20th century. Cartier-Bresson was concerned as much about the artistry of his photographs as he was about their content and context. While emphasizing visual appeal is central to the hybrid art of photojournalism, this emphasis also represents an era when photography was becoming a quest for beauty, often independent of purpose. Cartie r-Bressons intense focus on art is probably the reason his photographs were the most widely pu blished and exhibited in the twentieth century, although he rarely set out with a primary pur pose of social change. The shift toward 15

PAGE 16

photography-as-art in social do cumentary mirrors the de-emphasis of purpose in nature photography which also became preval ent in the twentieth century. Cartier-Bresson did occasionall y turn his camera towards important social issues and human conflict, particularly early in his career, and he recognized th e responsibility of his role in serving as the eyes for society: As photojournalists we supply information to a world that is overwhelmed with preoccupations and full of people who need the company of images....We pass judgment on what we see, and this involves an e normous responsibility (Bresson in Schonauer 1997). As the craft of photojournalism flourished th rough the 1950s, some photographers embraced their responsibility more than ot hers and continued harnessing the power of their craft to tackle social issues with the same sense of purpose seen in the early documentarians. Consider civil rights photographer, Charle s Moore, who documented violent protests between whites and blacks in his native Alab ama in the early 1960s. Moore was disgusted by the racial abuses, including fire hoses and dogs being turned against black citizens. He said, I wanted to show the appalling violence of dogs biting people because of the color of their skin (Gilgoff 2001). Moores photographs were published in Life Magazine which at the time was Americas leading news source, reaching half the nation. Many cr edit Moores dramatic photos with transforming the national m ood and quickening the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 (Kaplan 1998). Moore had helped transform ci vil rights from a regional topic to a national issue. History of Photography and Conservation In addition to being influential on social issues, photography has also shaped societal views and policies on issues related to the na tural environment. The relationship between conservation and photography actually started well before the time of Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, 16

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Dorthy Langue and Henri Cartier-Bresson; decades before the birth of social documentary. On June, 29, 1864, the US Congress enacted a bill signed by Abraham Lincoln, establishing Yosemite as the nations first legislated nature preserve, to be mana ged through the State of California. The support of the Congress was secu red, in part, through landscape photographs of Yosemite by pioneering photogra pher Carleton Watkins, presented to Congress by Senator John Conness (Cahn 1981). Then, five years after Yo semite received federally mandated state protection, photography was again used to build support for pr otecting Yellowstone, in the Wyoming Territory, helping create the worlds first national park. Photographer William Henry Jackson joined the first geol ogical surveys of Yellowstone in 1870 and 1871. The second survey was led by Dr. Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, the director of th e U.S Geological and Geographical survey of the Territories. Hayde n, spearheading the movement for Yellowstone preservation, distributed Jacksons s photographs to Congress and exhibited them in the Capitol rotunda (Cahn 1981). When the Yellowstone bill was introduced to both houses of Congress in December 1871, seeking protection for more than two million acres of wilderness from logging and other exploitations, there was little opposition. On March 1, 1872, president Ulysses Grant signed the Yellowstone Act into law and the wo rlds first national park was born (Schonauer 2007). Watkins and Jackson were conservation photographe rs in the truest sense. Working closely with explorers, scientists and politicians, thei r efforts steered public opinion and resulted in lasting protection of natural he ritage. We can see that photog raphy has empowered conservation since the beginning of the environmental movement in America. Yet it has taken more than one hundred thirty years for conservation photography to start gaining recognition as a field. 17

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Through the work of Watkins and Jackson, it appears that conservation photography was actually the first form of effective do cumentary photography, pre-dating photographys application to social issues by more than twenty years. This advance probably has more to do with technology than anything el se, as the cameras of the 1860s and 1870s used larger glass plates as negatives and require d long exposure times. Watkins cam eras used eighteen by twentytwo inch glass plates and exposure times as long as ten minutes, not well suited to human subjects outside of a studio se tting. But with the advent of por table and instant cameras near 1900, photographers could begin capturing human life as they saw it and documentary photography began its marriag e with social issues. In the twentieth century, conservation photography continued to grow in parallel with the establishment of national parks, embraced by a young Ansel Adams, who was the only member of the Photo League who focused his camera prim arily on wilderness and later became the most famous photographer to have worked for cons ervation. Widely known by the general public for his vivid black and white photographs of western landscapes, Adams is less known for his proactive role in conservation. He worked passio nately to promote protection for the places he photographed. Adams worked closely with the Si erra Club, a conservatio n organization founded in California in 1892 under the leadership of famo us wilderness champion John Muir. The Sierra Club became a leading advocate for U.S. Nationa l Parks and a pioneering publisher of nature photography to support its conservation cam paigns. Adams became the clubs leading photographer and a key figure in its history. And as one of the few organizations to use the term conservation photography in the twentieth century the Sierra Club later created the Ansel Adams Conservation Photography Award in his memory (see Chapter 3). 18

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In 1936, armed with a portfolio of prints, Adam s went to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Sierra Club to spend th ree weeks lobbying Congress to establish Kings Canyon National Park. With pressure from logging companies, th e bill did not pass, but Adams kept trying. His Kings Canyon photographs were presented to Presid ent Franklin D. Roosevelt by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. Congress passed the b ill later that year to create King Canyon National Park and Adams book was cited as for its importance to the campaign (Cahn 1981). The same time Adams was beginning to influe nce conservation was also the heyday of social documentary photography. Cartier-Bresson sai d, The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and [Edward] Weston are photogr aphing rocks! (Cahn 1981) Cartier-Bresson clearly did not appreciate the revolutionary ro le of conservation photography at the time. In a letter to Adams, Weston later wr ote, I agree with you that there is just as much social significance in a rock as in a line of unemployed. All de pends on the seeing. Seeing the need for conservation in 1930s was far less common than seeing the more recognizable social inequities following the great depression, and Cartier-Bressons perspective suggests why conservation photography did not gain the same acceptance as documentary photography during the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century there is growing recognition that conserva tion and social issues are interrelated and that sustainable solutions must involve both environmental and cultural dimensions (see Chapter 2). That Cartier-Bre sson did not fully appreciate the value of environmental photography was likely more a symp tom of the time, when society as a whole placed much more much emphasis on growth than the sustainability of ecosystems and cultures. The same was true of the scientific community. Twentieth century biology, not unlike the 19

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broader field of nature photography, was more about exploring nature for truth and beauty than informing society about sustainable practices. Since Adams, nature photography proliferated as an art form and industry (although often divorced from conservation purposes). Many of na ture photographys masters can certainly be credited with raising environmen tal awareness through their imager y, but have not done so with the same degree of follow-through as Adam s, who was a prototype for conservation photography. Other photographers have shared thes e characteristics with Adams: 1) conservation remained their primary objective and 2) measurable results were achieved (i.e. land protection or new legislation), although their names and accomplishment have been much less well known. While Adams was just learning to photogr aph and hike through the wilderness as a California teen in 1915, a Japanese immigrant, George Masa, was a rriving in the mountains of North Carolina. His photography built lasting infl uence in his new home, including inspiring the creation of Smokey Mountains National Park and mapping the entire North Carolina portion of the Appalachian Trail (Bonesteel 2003). Masas studio was based in Ashville, but he spent extended periods photographing in the wilderness of the Smokies. He often worked with author, national pa rk proponent, and close friend, Horace Kephart. Their magazine articles, celebrated the wilderness, and in 1925 they together published a large-form at pamphlet titled, A Nati onal Park in the Great Smoky Mountains. The park vision was realized offi cial under President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940 and today the mountains remember their champi ons: there is a 6,217-foot peek named Mount Kephart and a 5,685-foot peek on the southwes tern side named Masa Knob (Ellison 2004). In 1947, a photographer named Philip Hyde en tered Adams photography program at the California School of Fine Arts and soon became the most influential conservation-oriented 20

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photographer of his generation. Like Adams, Hyde worked closely with the Sierra Club and it was through this partnership that most of hi s communications campaigns were waged. Battle books, as Hyde called them, were their prim ary weapon for winning public support. Hydes photography helped create Dinosaur National park and make the Grand Canyon a symbol of American wilderness, launching the Sierra Club into a national organization (Trimble 2006). Today the North American Nature Photogra phy Association (NANPA) offers an annual environmental photography grant honoring his leg acy. The Philip Hyde grant is named for the pioneering 20th century photographer Philip Hyde, who dedicated his career to using photography for the advancement of conservation (nanpa.org). In Australia, Peter Dombrovskis is credited for helping start the national environmental movement by turning his camera toward the wild rivers of Tasmania, where proposed hydroelectric dams threatened to flood valleys, de stroy wildlife habitat, and disrupt water flow. Some dams were built in spite of his efforts, but Dombrovskis helped stop the Franklin Dam project, saving a vast expa nse of pristine wilderness. Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend his most famous photograph, depicted a section of the Fr anklin River which would have been flooded, visually spearheading Australia s 1982 No Dams campaign and helping make the Franklin River a household name. The public debate over the fate of the Franklin River gave birth to the environmental movement in Australia (Mitterm eier 2005). As a conservationist, Dombrovskis worked closely with The Wilderness Society a nd later published calendars featuring incisive commentary from pre-eminent environmen talists, as well as his acclaimed 1983 book Wild Rivers. In 2003, he was inducted into the Interna tional Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. He was the first Australian to receive this honor. 21

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Watkins, Jackson, Adams, Masa, Hyde and Dombrovoskis were all nature photographers who used their craft to accomplish a primary objec tive protecting the lands and waters depicted in their images. They also set historical pre cedent because their conservation efforts achieved results, ultimately creating national parks a nd inspiring new laws. Conservation purpose and achieving measurable influence can be seen as two main characteristic which distinguish conservation photography from other forms of nature photography (the differences will be further discussed in Chapter 3). These essentia l qualities, conservati on purpose and results, are embodied by a select group of contemporary photographers. Contemporary Examples of Conservation Photography Photographer, Xi Zhinong, for example, has be come a leader in the Chinese environmental movement. Zhinong began his conservation caree r in 1983 as a student at the biological department of Yunnan University, where he assi sted Professor Wang Zijiang in the production of a scientific and educational film, A Paradise for Birds Through the mid-1990s, Zhinong was working as a photographer for the Yunnan Forestry Bureau. He went deep into the Baimang Nature Reserve to photograph the Yunnan snub-nos ed monkey, a species under first-class state protection. He became the first to photograph th e species in the wild (Hart 2007). When Zhinong discovered that the Deqin County government wa s engaged in illegal logging in an area, threatening to destroy the snub-nosed monkey habita t, he wrote to government leaders in protest. His pleas were shunned and he was fired from his job. Zhinong collaborated with Friends of Nature, Chinas first nongovernmental environm ental-protection organization, and continued working on the story with his wife, Shi Lihong, then a China Daily journalist with family connections to China Central Television. They aired a vivid documentary on national television about the plight of the monkey, leading to cascadi ng media support and student rallies. They then organized an investigative media expedition to the Baimang Nature Reserve, recorded by 22

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renowned journalist Shen Xiaohui. The government finally ordered an end to the illegal logging. This was the first time that conservation organizations, with the help of the media, successfully changed government policy in China, bolstering the growing non-govern mental conservation movement (Xiao 2006). Zhinong has continued working for conservatio n, including efforts to save the Tibetan antelope. He has recently returned to Yunna n and established Green Plateau, a nongovernmental organization promoting the ecological protect ion in the Yunnan Province. One of Zhinong photographs of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey w on the Endangered Species Award from the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and in April 22, 2000, he received the Earth Award, the highest award for environmental protection in China (Schmidt 2004). Another contemporary conservation photographe r, Michael Nick Nichols, has built a lasting legacy influence. He began as a photographer with the U.S. Ar my, studied under civil rights photographer Charles Moore, was a nom inated member of Magnum Photos from 1983 until 1995, and joined the staff of National Geographic in 1996. Nichols photographs powerfully advocate for endange red wildlife and ecosystems. Im very mission oriented. Im here to help the gorillas. I dont need to be bigger than the work. I dont want you to know my name. I want you to know the image (Nichols 2005). One of the presentations Nichols gives through the National Geographic Speakers Bureau is entitled, Giving Voice: Using Photography and Me dia as Powerful Conservation Tools Nichols works closely with conservationists and his phot ographs often empower their campaigns. He has collaborated with researchers to save tigers in India, Jane Goodall to protect the worlds great apes and with Wildlife Conservation Society biologist, Michael Fay to rescue endangered elephants in Zakouma, Chad. Prior to the Za kouma project, Nichols and Fay had worked together in Africa for ten years, culminating in the Megatransect a project where Fay and a 23

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small team walked through the remote heart of Af rica. The two-year trek traversed two thousand miles, starting in Congo and emerging on the At lantic coast of Gabon. Nichols spent months documenting the expedition with the goal of bringi ng critical awareness to the threatened species and habitats along the way. The Megatransect drew international me dia attention, became a three-part series in National Geographic. With conservation at the end goal, Nichols photographs provided the teams most powerful weapon. When Fay presente d the photographs to Gabons president, El Hadj Omar Bongo, he decided to create a system of thirteen national parks, the most significant conservation result to have been inspired by photography in recent decades. From the worlds first national park in Yellowstone to its newest in Gabon, from Jackson to Nichols, photography empowered substantial conservation. Helping create new park systems and inspir ing national environmen tal movements are the benchmarks of what is possible through c onservation photography, yet there are other photographers making measurable an d important contributions at va rious levels on influence. Mexico native, Patricio Robles Gil, was honored with the Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year awar d by the North American Nature Photography Association in 2006, but his most remarkable accomplishments may result from his dedication when hes not behind the camera. Robles Gil established Agrupacin Sierra Madre and Unidos para la Conservacin two organizations that work to guarant ee the permanence of Mexico's biological wealth and promote a conservation culture am ong the population. His commitment has made him one of Mexicos most influential conservati on leaders, responsible for reintroducing pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep in Caihuila, completi ng a jaguar survey in the Mayan jungle, and the promotion of the El Carmen-Big Bend Conservation Corridor Initia tive, a trans-boundary 24

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conservation area at the Mexican and US boarders. As part of his conservation marketing efforts, Robles Gil helped produce more than twenty books featuring internationa l conservation strategy. Robert Glenn Ketchum is a dedicated a nd outspoken ambassador of conservation photography whose words carry his mission beyond his photographs. One topic Ketchum explores in his books and public speeches is the history and re lationship of photography with the American landscape. He says: Politics and conservation should consciously be part of our daily dialogues. Photographs live far beyond their initial creation and have repe rcussive effects: they need to be carefully considered in all of their uses and contexts, so that their impact has positive and protective results. Far too many contemporary photogra phers dismiss these considerations and responsibilities (Ketchum 1981). Ketchums photographic endeavors mirror hi s written philosophies. He photographed Alaskas Tongass National Forest which was being cl ear-cut in the late 1980s. He then exhibited photographs of the lush temperate rainforest on Capitol Hill and published a book that was given to every member of Congress, helping push the Tongass Timber Reform Act that President H.W. Bush signed into law in 1990 (Nixon 1994). The group of contemporary photographers working for conservation is extensive (see Appendix B). Many dedicate years to a single is sue, for example: Gary Braasch and global warming, Charlie Ott and Denali, Florian Schult z and the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor, Chris Ranier and the ethnosphere, and Cristina Mittermeier and the indi genous people of Brazil. These and other dedicated photographers c ontinue to create critical awar eness for wildlife and cultures at risk of extinction. Cultural Conservation Photography Conservation photographers are working to protect not only landsca pes and wildlife, but indigenous cultures as well. The diverse cultur es of the world comprise the ethnosphere, the cultural web of life. According to anthropologist Wade Davis: 25

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The ethnosphere is the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, and intuitions brought into being by the hu man imagination since the dawn of consciousnessEvery language is an old grow th forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, an ecosystem of spiritu al possibilities (Davis 2003). Yet like the biosphere, the ethnosphere is being se verely eroded at an unprecedented rate. There are six thousand different languages in the world today, yet less than half of those languages are being taught to children (Davis 2001). That m eans half the worlds la nguages are effectively dead. Language is the manifest ation of culture, comprising di verse worldviews, intimate knowledge of local landscapes, and unique solutions to humanitys problems. This vast cultural diversity which is legacy to hundred s of thousands of years of development is being lost forever. And unless something changes, we stand to lose ha lf of the earths cultural diversity within the span of a single human lifetime. As an explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society and through his writing and photography, Davis is a leading proponent for the ethnosphere. He co-directs the Cultural Ethnosphere Program with Ranier, whose life's mi ssion is to put on film both the remaining natural wilderness and indigenous cultures around the globe and to use images to create social change. Born in Mexico, Cristina Mittermeier was a marine biologist w ho found her photographic niche by recognizing that natural ecosystems and native cultures often face similar threats and can be protected by similar solutions. In many of the most remote and inaccessible corners of our planet indigenous people are still living traditional lifestyle s and surviving in great intimacy with nature. In some places, these indigenous nations are the last line of defense between what we call development and our planets last remaining wilderness (Mittermeier 2007). Mittermeier now uses her photography as a tool to give voice to the native cultures and ecosystems of Amazonia. She has been working extensively with the Ka yap indigenous nation, a tribe occupying a 30 million acre indigenous re serve in the southern Amazon. The land and 26

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watersheds of the Xing Valley, on which the Ka yap depend, are being degraded by outside interests. Planned hydroelectric da ms threaten to destroy the Xing River, a major artery of the Amazon. One of the five proposed dams would beco me the fourth largest ever built and create the largest man-made lake in th e world. Thousands of acres of ra inforest in the Kayap territory would be flooded. Other threats include increased pollution by massive soybean plantations and the clearance of large areas of fore st near the rivers tributaries. Mittermeier has been campaigning for th e Kayap and their land for since 1991. Her photographs have been published in newspape rs, magazines and books worldwide, and her slideshows have helped raise the one million doll ars annually that D.C-based environmental nonprofit Conservation International (CI) spends on Kayap conservation. The politically savvy Kayap appreciate the power of photography and we lcome and recruit the attention of outside media. Anthropologist Dr. Terence Turner, who has been working with the Kayap since the 1960s, has provided them with photography, video and audio equipment to document their own lives. From recording the promises made by Brazilian government officials to placing photographs and videos in the mainstream press, photography has empowered their representation. Because the vast majority of Amazonia is contro lled by indigenous nations like the Kayap, Mittermeier sees great hope in repea ting their example to pr otect diverse cultures, wildlife and ecosystems. Concerned Photography and Political Scrutiny Whether focusing on people or the environment, photography with purpose carries risks because its political nature can be seen as subversive to government and corporate power. Consider the demise of the Photo League after it came under scrutiny by the United States Government, stifling the Leagues programs a nd the field of documentary photography as a 27

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whole. As the United States was entering th e Cold War with Russia, politicians became increasingly wary of communist and overtly socialist agendas. The Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) of the House, and the Senate committee, headed by the infamous Senator Joe McCarthy, led a series of investigations seek ing to uncover Communists and their allies in America. The Attorney General published a list of organizations and individuals in question. With no real evidence, and to the surprise of the members, the Photo League appeared on the blacklist in 1947, and two years later an informan t testified that it was a Communist front. These claims were never substantiated. The league st ruggled through the next two years, but the Communist label, once applied in that era, was too difficult to shed. Membership dropped, media coverage subsided, and in 1951 the League disbanded. In the politic al climate of the Cold War, organizing around social issues had beco me much more difficult than before. New cultural and ideological conditions in the cold war years forced traditional presumptions concerning social documentary to be inexorably altered, regarded as suspect and even dangerous. This parallel between the decline of documen tary photography and the rise of political oppression is no mere co incidence a redbaiting, blacklisting climate forced many artists to retreat into sa fer, more private realms (Benzer 1999). As seen with the demise of the Photo Lea gue, exposing social injustice is not always welcome. Today, conservation-oriented photogra phers can face similar resistance. An active conservation photographer who was suppressed by political scrutiny is Subhankar Banerjee. A physicist and computer sc ientist and a native of India, Ba nrjee worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Boeing Co rporation, before setting out to spend 2 years above the Arctic Circle, photographing the fragile ecosyste ms of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). An amateur photographer who had ne ver published his work, Banerjee was soon center stage of international medi a attention and political contr oversy. His polar exploration led to his first book, Seasons of Life and Land: Arct ic National Wildlife Refuge, published by Mountain Press and a prominent exhibition was planned at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural 28

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History in Washington, D.C. The spotlight turned to Banerjee on March 19, 2003, when California Senator Barbara Boxe r introduced an amendment to prevent oil drilling in ANWR. During her arguments, she held up a copy of Bane rjees book before the assembly and urged the senator to read it and to visit the upcoming Smith sonian exhibit before dismissing the region as a flat white nothingness as it had been described by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton (Olson 2003). Following the Senate debate, th e Smithsonian exhibits department informed Banerjee that there was pressure to cancel the show, supposedly by ranks of Congress who supported oil drilling in ANWR. The exhibition was ultimately hung, but interpretive captions were removed and photographs were moved to an obscure basement hallway, rather than the prestigious gallery, Hall 10, where it was originally planned to show. Political manipulation may have become a blessing for Banerjee and ANWR due to the media attention the project recei ved, including an article in Vanity Fair (by Sischy 2003), a multi-part series published in the Washington Post (by Trescott 2003) and thorough coverage on National Public Radio (by Welna 2003). But the ability of co rporate interests to suppress the publication of photographs echoes the undercurrent s at the demise of the Photo League and forewarns of the obstacles that may face the In ternational League of Conservation Photographer as it seeks public and political influence. Literature Review Articles about the Emerging Field of Conservation Photography Photography has been widely applied for nature and culture c onservation since the nineteenth century, but the concept of conserva tion photography as a discipline has not been well established. In 2007, sear ching publications, online da tabases, and journals for conservation photography yielded few returns. Of these references, the majority discussed 29

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archival conservation of photographs and artif acts in museums and libraries, not conservation photography of living nature as described by this thesis. Conservation Photography: Art, Ethics and Action (2005) by Cristina Mittermeier appeared in the International Journal of Wilderness This was the fist-published academic paper calling for the establishment of the field. After th e death of Hyde, one of the fields pioneers, The New York Times (2006) published an article titled: Philip J. Hyde, 84, Conservation Photographer one of the few times the phrase has been printed in mainstream media with its current context. The Psychology of Photographic Image ry in Communicating Conservation (2006) by psychology professor, Olin Eugene My ers Jr., Ph.D., was written for the ILCP about the influence of photographic imagery on public attitudes toward conservation. Popular Photography and Imaging (2007) presented conserva tion photography to its mainstream readership in Before Theyre Gone: Three photog raphers dedicated to preserving disappearing America. The introduction read: Whenever we take a picture, we capture a mome nt that will never exist in exactly the same way again. Every photo is an ele gy of sorts, an immediate memo rial to an instant that's gone forever. But for these three photographers this idea has meaning on a greater and more pressing level. Whether due to developm ent, climate change, or public policy, many facets of America are going faster than we can capture them with our cameras. Carlton Ward, Jr., Ron Niebrugge, and Annie Gri ffiths Belt are committed to photographing imperiled nature and culture, and they're figh ting to make sure that their photography won't be the only thing that remains (Grossman 2007). The featured photography, includi ng the work of the author, was presented as a pro-active tool for conservation, not just pa ssive documentation. Belt, a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine, said, We really do have the power to influence with our images. Especially when photographers can work together, we really are a force. 30

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The largest advance for the term conserva tion photography in mainstream media came from a special issue of American Photo Magazine, titled Assignment Earth: How Photography Can Help Save the Planet (2007). The introduction read: A new school of conservation phot ography is helping to reshape the way we think about naturededicated discip les of this movement, all members of the International League of Conservation Photographers, show us what is really at stake in the modern environmental battle (Schonauer 2007). This issue presented conservati on photography to its readers for the first time, including sixteen articles profiling the fields leading photographers and organizations. The Photos that Made Us Conservationists interviewed ten public figures about the images that most influenced their views of nature. Barbara Baxter, U.S. Senator and Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said: I have a poster with this Ansel Adams picture hanging in my office in Washington, D.C. It reminds me that out natural environment surp asses anything that human-kind could ever construct. We have a moral obligation to pr otect it for our childre n and grandchildren. With this issue of American Photo the conservation-oriented nature photography received mainstream recognition under its new name conservation photography. Seminal Nature Photography Books The progression of nature photography as a fiel d, and its key contributors, can be seen though the books published during the past centur y. Several increased e nvironmental awareness while others focused on the aesth etics of nature with less em phasis on conservation issues. In 1932, Edward Weston and contemporaries, including Adams and others, co-foundered the f/64 Group, sharing a philosophy of r ealist photography with maxi mum sharpness and depth of field achieved using high aperture numbers like f/64. In addition to Western landscapes, Weston is best known for his photographs of human figures as well as highly detailed portraits of plants, vegetables and seashells. Although realistic his selective concentration on singular forms 31

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advanced a style of nature photography where su bjects became art independent of place or context. According to Curator Jennifer Watts, W eston was about finding the essence in natural form; finding the beauty in the common place (NPR 2003). In 1937, Weston received the firstever Guggenheim fellowship for photography, allo wing him to spend a year focusing on the landscapes of Death Valley and the West, which he published in California and the West (1940). In his quest for photographic beau ty, Weston did not share the cons ervation impulse or political ambition of Adams, though his photographs were published in a special edition of Walt Whitmans Leaves of Grass (1941). Twenty years later, color photographs of Ne w England woodlands by Eliot Porter were published with writings from He nry David Thoreau in the book In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World (1962). Porter had studied bacteriology a nd biochemistry at Harvard University, where he received his medical degree and worked as a researcher and professor for ten years, before changing careers to become a full-ti me photographer. Port er had a passion for photographing birds. Because black and white images could not show the color of their plumage, he became a pioneer in the dye transfer proce ss. His color portraits of birds received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to exhibit at both Museum of Modern Art and American Museum of Natural History. Thr oughout his career, Porter publis hed landscapes and details of nature in vivid color. In addition to fost ering appreciation for eas tern landscapes, his revolutionary work established color natu re photography as an accepted art form. Utilizing refined mountaineering skills and li ghtweight cameras, Galen Rowell introduced a new, interactive way of seeing landscapes in Mountain Light: In Search of the Dynamic Landscape (1986). Rowell demonstrated and taught a brand of partic ipatory wilderness photography, where no longer just an observer with a camera, the photographer became an active 32

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participant in the photograph. In teracting with the landscape, and often running or climbing intensely to capture moments such as the unexp ected convergence of lig ht and form in fastchanging mountain conditions, Rowell introduced a photojournalistic approach to nature photography. In Galen Rowells Vision: The Art of Adventure Photography (1993), the photographer expands on his philo sophies of active visual expl oration. He writes, The art becomes the adventure, and vice versa. Rowell also discusses the importance of emotional connection within the phot ographer as a key element to successful images. Jim Brandenburg also approached nature as a photojournalist, seeking to capture decisive moments. He worked for ten years as news paper photographer and th en twenty-five years producing stories for National Geographic His first book, White Wolf (1990), provided window into the lives of seldom-seen arctic wolves living on Elle smere Island, Canada, followed by Brother Wolf (1993) which portrayed the elusive timber wolves of Northern Minnesota with unprecedented intimacy. Brandenburgs photographs helped promote appreciation and protection for wolves species which had been vilified during the first part of the twentieth century. As a photojournalist, Brandenburgs cons ervation ethic remained subtly integrated into his work, evident in his choice of stories rather than a stated objective of his publications. The mission was clear, however, in 1999 when he founded th e Brandenburg Prairie Foundation to promote, preserve and expand the native pr airie of southwest Minnesota. Rowell and Brandenburg practiced a genre of high-impact, color nature photography which became a recognized style published in magazines such as National Geographic Beyond the beauty, the varied pers pectives and captured moments brought pages to life. Franz Lanting, good friend to Rowell and partner in the Living Planet project, became one of nature photographys masters, as seen in Life: A Journey Through Time (2006), which portrayed the 33

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story of a fragile and evolving planet. With similar style and acclaim to Lanting, Art Wolfe published 42 nature photography books, including The Living Wild (2000), which featured essays from prominent naturalists Jane Goodall, George Schaller, and William Conway. Although not produced in association with any pa rticular environmental organization, The Living Wild advocated for conservation through its conten t. In the books opening essay, William Conway stated, Wildlife conservation is des tined to be one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. Whenever possible, Wolfe approached each species from a wide-angle perspective to emphasize the relationship to surrounding habita t a new innovation compared to traditional telephoto wildlife photography. From beneath the surface of the water, underwater photographer David Doubilet exposed a previously unseen world, publishing 70 articles in National Geographic starting in 1971. His book Water Light Time (1999) includes photographs from thir ty different oceans and seas shot over three decades of exploration, portraying the underwater world with unprecedented storytelling artistry that fostered ne w appreciation for that realm. Like Doubilet, Yann Arthus-Bertrand brought new perspective to nature through The Earth from Above (2003). Working with UNESCO (the envi ronmental division of the United Nations), to assemble a global portfolio of 200 aerial phot ographs, Arthus-Bertrand provided a powerful vision for understanding the eco logy of the planet and the undeniable impact of human development. He writes, The earth is art. The photographer is only a witness. Yet he served as a witness in the most pro-active sense, hosting outdoor exhibitions in major cities throughout the world and positioning the photographs in the contex t of environmental stewardship, for which he received the most prestigious award in France, Legion Dhonneur. 34

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The Tongass: Alaskas Vanishing Rainforest (1994) by Robert Gle nn Ketchum stands as a benchmark of photography influencing conserva tion. In the tradition of Adams and Hyde, Ketchum set out to save the American landscap e with his camera, namely the Tongass National Forests of Alaska. He used his book to lobby Co ngress and helped build support for the Tongass Timber Reform Act which ultimately protecte d a million acres of old growth forest (Nixon 1994). Ketchum was later acknowledged by Audubon Magazine as one of the 100 people who shaped the environmental movement of the twentieth century (Seideman 1998). National Geographic staff photographer, Michael Nichols, dedicated most of his career to raising awareness for nature in th e rainforests of Central Africa. Brutal Kinship (1999) was published with Jane Goodall to bring atte ntion to the plight of chimpanzees. The Last Place on Earth (2005) presented the wildlife and habitat of the Congo in two-volume boxed set, including an eleven by fifteen inch, 344 page portfolio of 250 photographs and sepa rate volume of text from Michael Fays journals during their epic Megatransect expedition. Publishing costs were subsidized by the National Geographic Societ y, Wildlife Conservation Society and private sponsors, so that sales from this powerful an thology of Nicholss Central Africa photographs could directly fund conservation efforts in the region. Cultural Conservation Books Several key books have focused on conserva tion of indigenous cu ltures within their environmental contexts. Where Masks Still Dance: New Guinea (1996), by ethnographic photographer Chris Rainier, documented diverse and seldom seen tribes of New Guinea and their cultural traditions over a ten year time period. Content from the book was later exhibited at the United Nations reproduced as an on line report from Time Magazine. Tibetan Portrait: The power of Compassion (1996), by Phil Borges with text by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai La ma, portrayed the non-violent re silience and strength of the 35

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Tibetan people and their culture, despite inva sion and oppression by Chinese communists. The Dali Lama advocated: We Tibetans have an equal right to maintain our own distinctive culture as long as we do not harm others. Materially we are backwar d, but in spiritual matters in terms of development of the mind we are quite rich. Borges Enduring Spirit (1998) presented a collection of portr aits of native peoples from around the world, advocating for conservation of globa l cultural diversity. Th e introduction quoted a study by Ken Hale of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, estimating that 3,000 of the 6,000 languages that exist in the world are fated to die because they are no longer being spoken by children. In the spirit of cultural pres ervation, the book was published with Amnesty International to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The photographs celebrate d cultural diversity through the beauty and dignity of native faces with strong connections to their environmental contexts. Based on twenty five years of research exploration, Light at the Edge of the World (2001) by cultural anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residen ce Wade Davis, shed light on native cultures from around the world. Da vis expert writing an d evocative photography provided one of the most insightful and comprehensive views of the ethnosphere ever published, challenging readers to appreciate and preserve indigenous knowle dge living in cultures still connected to the land and their pasts. Faces of Africa (2004) by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fischer was another powerful collaboration of art and science. Beckwith, a fine artist by training, and Fischer, a social scientist, joined forces to document African culture through writing and photography. They worked together for 25 years in 36 African countries, producing 8 previous books. Faces of Africa culminated as an anthology of their careers, showcasing the most comprehensive single 36

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collection of African cultural photographs, including ceremonies, rituals and portraits from 150 tribes, to have been published in book format. Books Produced by Conservation Organizations Ansel Adams Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail (1938) celebrated th e Sierra Nevada Mountains, Kings Canyon and the surrounding sequoia fore sts. In addition to being Adams first major book, Sierra Nevada was designed as a political tool to raise awareness for the fragile landscapes it depicted. The book was championed by U. S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, gifted to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and is cited for helping inspire the creation of Kings Canyon National Park (Cahn 1981). In doing so, this pioneering project also helped define a genre of environmental advocacy books based on nature photography. The success of Adamss photography for cons ervation led to a new exhibition project, initiated by the Sierra Club and National Park Service in 1954 and culminating in a new book: This is the American Earth (1960). The collaborative project relied on Adams landscape images, but also included photographs from Edward Weston, Williams Garnett, and Elliot Porter, as well as from social documentarians Cartier-Bresson and Margaret Burke-White. The result was a sweeping panorama of human and natural scenes with both text and photographs inspiring appreciation of the values underlying democracy and freedom (Cahn 1981). The exhibition opened in Yosemite in 1955 and then, under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, travelled for seven years throughout the United States and abroad. The Sierra Clubs subsequent books became ef fective weapons in the ongoing battle to protect the landscapes and wildlif e of the western United States. This is a Dinosaur by Philip Hyde (1955) continued the advocacy tradition, building profile for a landscape that became protected as Dinosaur National Monument. David Brower, the outspoken executive director of the Sierra Club from 1952 to 1969, commissioned H yde to continue creating books to serve as 37

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cornerstones to Sierra Clubs environmental cam paigns. Hyde and the Sierra Club published more than a dozen books together, including Time and the River Flowing: Grand Canyon (1964), which turned the canyon into a national symbol of imperiled wilderness and helped save the Colorado River. Tom Turner, senior editor with the environmental law firm Earth Justice, described the book as quoted in Hydess New York Times obituary: It was published explicitly to stop the federa l government from allowing dams to be built in the Grand Canyon, mostly for power generati on and a little for irrigation. The text was hard-hitting and it succeeded. No one had done books like that before, and they had more impact than they would today (Turner in Brozan 2006). The Sierra Clubs battle book approach was resurrected for the inte rnational arena with the publication of Megadiversity (1997) the first in a seri es of four books on the earths biological diversity by Washingt on, D.C. based Conservation International, working in collaboration with Agrupacion Sierra Madre in Mexico and with support from CEMEX Corporation. Subseque nt titles included Hotspots (1999), Wilderness (2002), and Hotspots Revisited (2005). Each book contained nearly 600 page s, measured twelve by fourteen inches, and weighed twelve pounds. These books brought a new dimension to th e coffee-table genre. According to Conservation Internationals President, Russell Mittermeier, th ey were too big to fit on most book shelves and as a result often reside on the coffee tables and desks of world leaders, including heads of state. The series was richly illustrated by dozens of th e worlds leading nature photographers. The collaboration toward inte rnational conservation awareness under the leadership of conservation sc ientists helped lay the philo sophical foundation on which the International League of Conservation Photographe rs (ILCP) would later be built. Science set the agenda and the photographers came together to help make the case. Following its creation in October 2005, the ILCP became a formal partner in producing the second version of the Conservation Internat ional and Sierra Madre series, along with the 38

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Wildlife Conservation Society, th e WILD Foundation, and the Wo rld Conservation Union. Titles include Transboundary Conservation: A New Vision for Protected Areas (2005), The Human Footprint: Challenges for Wilderness and Biodiversity (2006) and A Climate for Life (2007). These titles relied on the worlds leading photogra phers of nature and na tive cultures, with photo credits including: Yann Artu s-Bertrand, Jim Brandenburg, Carr Clifton, Jack Dykinga, Peter Essick, Patricio Robles Gil, Chris Johns, Robe rt Glenn Ketchum, Fran s Lanting, Steve McCurry, Michael Melford, Michael Nichols, Pete Oxford, Tui de Roy, Joel Sartore, Anup Shah, Florian Shultz, George Steinmetz, Maria Stenzel, and Art Wolf. In similar philosophy to the Cons ervation Internat ional series, Living Planet: Preserving Edens of the Earth (1999) was produced by the World Wildlife Fund to call atte ntion to globally endangered landscapes and wild life. The project called upon Fr anz Lanting, Galen Rowell and David Doubilet, all le ading contributors to National Geographic The Influence of National Geographic It is not just coincidence that many of the seminal books in nature photography were produced by photographers who were also frequent contributors to National Geographic Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the National Ge ographic Society has produced the preeminent magazine for bringing world atten tion to conservation issues. The society was founded in 1888 for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge and used photography as a tool since the beginning. By 1908, photographs o ccupied half or more of the space in their monthly magazine, which published its first color photographs in 1910. National Geographic developed as the primary source of natural-co lor photographs from the landscapes and cultures of the world and the Society soon became the worl ds largest non-profit scie ntific and education institution. Magazine stories fostered appreciation for cultural and natural resources from the start, and the Society officially adopted conservation into its mission later in the twentieth 39

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century. Many of the major stories related to conservation were shown to the world through photography in National Geographic, at times paired with writing by scientists on the forefront of exploration. My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees (1963), written by Jane Goodall and photographed by Baron Hugo van Lawick, introduced the world to humanitys closes t living relative. The 36-page article included 36 color photograp hs depicting never-before seen natural curiosity and social interactions in a natural setting. In Life with the King of Beasts (1969), biologist George Schaller used writing and photography to share insights from his groundbrea king three-year study of lions in Serengetti National Park, Tanzania. The research found, for exampl e, that lions serve an integral role in the ecosystem by keeping populations of hoofed animal s in balance. Publishing those findings with photographs in National Geographic helped share that new information with the world, and like Goodalls story about chimpanzees, helped establish a format for science-based natural history journalism centered on a charismatic species. Making Friends with Mountain Gorillas (1970) by Dian Fossey and photographer Robert M. Campbell, followed suit. Fossey, like Goodall, spent years gaining the trus t of a group of apes so she could study their behavi or in the wild. Then thr ough her writing and Campbells photography, National Geographic changed the way people viewed Gorillas. Fossey reported on the gentle nature of gorillas, a species she s howed to have been, one of the most maligned animals in the world. The article made clear that the largest living primates were rather vulnerable and at great risk of ex tinction without habitat protection. Humpbacks: The Gentle Whales (1979), by marine biol ogist Sylvia Earle and 40

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photographer Al Giddings, provided new insight into the beautif ul cetaceans whose populations were declining. The article made the point that the humpb acks had suffered from over hunting and the ungraceful connotations of their na me. The text reminded that 40 ton whales could perform back flips and fill the oceans with song. The photographs confirmed their grace. Sharks: Magnificant and Misunderstood (1981), written by biologist Eugenie Clark with photography by David Doubilet, dedicated 48 pages and 39 photographs to te lling the real story about sharks species that had been vilifie d by sailors myths and the fictitious movie Jaws (1975). The photography celebrated the incredible diversity and beha viors of the important ocean fauna that were not always menacing and in fact needed our protec tion. Doubilet used his underwater photography again to promote conservation in Plight of the Bluefin Tuna (1982). In addition to setting the standard for raising awareness of charismatic and threatened species such as gor illas and sharks, National Geographic has also taken the lead on broader conservation issues. A Place for Parks in the New South Africa (1996) by National Geographic Photographer Chris Johns and write r Douglas Chadwick brought to life the bold and visionary choices for conservation in an economically depressed and war-ravaged nation. Johns photographs showed the promise of a bright futu re for wildlife and nati ve cultures alike. As a special edition millennium supplement, Biodiversity: The Fragile Web (1999), the entire issue was dedicated to the diversity of life on earth and the extinction crisis. The introduction to one 82 page section read: Species too numerous to count are disappearing too quickly to record. From Central America to Asia, five articles take you to th e front lines of the fight to save Earths biological treasures. The group of stories contained 52 photographs by Franz Lanting. The richly illustrated section addressed topics including: The Variety of Life, The Sixth Extinction, Restoring Madagascar, and 41

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In Search of Solutions. In the same issue, Forest Elephants by photographer Mi chael Nichols and biologist Michael Fay revealed th e nature of these seldom-seen and endangered creatures of the Congo forests. Nichols and Fay teamed up again in a thre e part series which helped create 13 new national parks in Gabon. Megatransect: Across 1,200 Miles of Untamed Africa on Foot (2000), The Green Abyss: Megatransect Two (2001), and Megatransect Three: End of the Line (2002) chronicled the nearly two-year walk by Fa y and team. Designed with National Geographic communicators and the Wildlife Conservation Society scientists to build cr itical awareness, the highly visible Megatransect project helped create 13 new national parks in Gabon and became one of the most successful conservation campaigns in history. National Geographic has also remained a strong voice for cultural diversity. Vanishing Cultures (1999), written by Wade Davis and photographed by Maria Stenzel, turned attention toward the human dimensions of conservation. The introduction read: Indigenous peoples ha ve become the equivalent of endangered species. Now many battle to save the things that define them; their lifeway, their language, and their land. Stenzels photographs exposed read ers to diverse cultura l realities across seve ral continents. One common theme arose: with degradation of natura l habitat or lost conne ctions to historic landscapes, native cultures face the same fate of extinction as any animal with no home. Web-Based Documentaries With the expansion of broadband access in the twenty-first century, the internet has become a growing venue for documentary journa lism, providing a unique platform for non-linear productions that combine photography, text, audio, video, and animated graphics. FusionSpark Media (fusionsparkmedia.com) has specialized in applying these communications tools to conservation story-telling. They produced One World Journeys: Where People and the Planet 42

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Connect (oneworldjourneys.com), includi ng conservation projects such as: Mercury Rising: Bearing Witness to Climate Change Salmon: Spirit of the Land and Sea Chimpanzees: Messengers form the Forest, and Cougar: Spirit of the Americas FusionSpark also produced Waters Journey: Everglades (theevergladesstory.org) and Floridas Springs: Protecting Natures Gems (floridasprings.org), both sponsored by th e Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to educate students and the pub lic about the value of protecting the states water resources. To help adva nce the distinct art of web documentaries, Russell Sparkman, Executive Producer with FusionSpark Media, founded the Internati onal Web Documentary Association (iDocumentary.com). Franz Lantings Life: A Journey Through Time (lifethroughtime.com) expanded the content of the book and traveling exhibition in to an interactive, multimedia web production, complete with photography, music, animated text and informational graphics. Such story telling earned the Los Angeles Times the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2007 for Altered Oceans: A Five-Part Seri es on the Crisis in the Seas (2006) written by Kenneth Weiss with photography by Rick Loomis. The documentary presented a comprehensive investigation of ocean conserva tion issues, including habitat loss, toxins, red tides, litter and chemical a lteration, along with their imp lications for the planet. Born from the vision of renowned Ha rvard biologist, E.O. Wilson, the Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) is hosted by the Smithsonian Instit utions National Museum of Natural History. It was being developed in 2007 as an ecosystem of websites that ma kes all key information about life on Earth accessible to anyone, everywhere in the world. The unprecedented, collaborative educational project relie s on photography to safeguard the richest spectrum of biodiversity. 43

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44 CHAPTER 2 FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW DISCIPLINE Blending Disciplines: Ecology, Sociology and Art There exists a strong tradition between docum entary photography and the social sciences. Documentary photography has long been a central tool to the social sciences, giving birth to the hybrid fields of visual social science and visual anthropology where photography is included as a research tool. There is le ss tradition, however, between photography and the ecological sciences. While the contributions of photography to ecological issues have been significant, the interdisciplinary role between the fields has remained less developed. As conservation photography emerges as a field, like visual social sciences in the past, it is blending disciplines; converging art and science from a broad base of inquiry. Let us first consider the interdisciplinary na ture of documentary photography, a longestablished tool for building publ ic consciousness as portrayed in the words of Psychiatrist Robert Cole: Documentary work is a journey, and a li ttle more, too, a passage across boundaries (disciplines, occupational constraints, definitio ns, conventions all too influentially closed for traffic), a passage that can become a quest even a pilgrimage, a movement toward the sacred truth enshrined not only on tablets of stone, but in th e living heart of those whom we can hear, see, and get to understand. Ther eby we hope to be confirmed in our own humanity the creature on this earth whose ve ry nature is to make just that kind of connection with others during the brief stay we are permitted here (Coles 1997). Documentary photographers, thr ough their own journey for discovery and truth, develop a personal vision which becomes a connection between social realities and the eyes of society. Conservation photography is much the same; it is documentary photography applied to conservation issues. Documentary photography already incorporates many of the social science disciplines: sociology, anthropology psychology, journalism and poli tical science. Conservation photography adds ecology, geography and conservation biology to the list.

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The ecological sciences (i.e. marine ecology, wetlands ecology, tropical ecology, conservation biology) are by their nature interdisciplinary, exploring the connections in the natural world and uniting biologi cal fields which were previous ly treated more separately. Furthermore, the spheres of the ecological and so cial sciences are beginni ng to overlap. Biologist E.O. Wilson calls this tendency Consilience the unity of knowle dge (Wilson 1998). There is certainly consilience through the lens of conservation, as the plights of the biosphere and ethnosphere call out for a unity of ecological and social concern. As seen in Mittermeiers work with the Kayap indigenous nation, the issues that threaten an ecosystem are often the same issues that threaten the surviv al of the cultures which live there. The conservation goals for culture and environment become one. It should not be surprising, the n, that we see strong parallel s in environmental and social concern. Both ecologists and sociologists have become critical of global consumerism, which places immediate gain before the long-term h ealth of ecosystems and human populations. The list of concerns is extensive. Consider, for example: globalization, ex ploitation of developing nations, inequitable distribution of resources, polluted drinking water, degradation of coastal ecosystems and fisheries, desertification, and sealevel rise. All of these issues are eroding both the biosphere and ethnosphere. They are all rooted in short-sighted exploitation and they can all be solved or mitigated through conservation. Cons ervation unifies biological and social concern and the biological and social sciences. Conservation also blends science with art. Art and science are often treated as mutually exclusive fields, an idea which is propagated in their respected practices. It is not uncommon for scientists to avoid connotations w ith art to maintain cr edibility with peers. But segments of the scientific community are warming up to association with art. 45

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Many scientists fight the urge to be artful, and manage to be conventional in their mode of presentation. Some may come to see, however, th at there is more than one way to let others participate vicariously in th e processes of data gathering and reasoning which lead the scientist to results. They may realize that ostentatiously la beling an idea hypothesis does not make it a better idea, and that unconve ntional modes of presentation which use the resources typically associated with art ma y be well suited to the purposes of science (Becker 1981). Good documentary photography, like science, gr ows from understanding gained by large amounts of time invested in the project or prob lem, and there are indeed a growing number of conservation biologists who embrace the art of photogr aphy as an important tool in their quest to protect biological diversity. In conservation photography, art b ecomes a vehicle for science. Photographs capture the attention of the public and decision-makers and share a science-based message. The Missing Link: Role of Conservation Photography Connectivity is the first principal of eco logy as well as the underlying philosophy to conservation photography. All life is interconnected, yet there is growing disconnection in the world today, imposing barriers to sustainability of natural systems and indigenous cultures, as well as global economies. Just as natural landscapes are fragmented to an unprecedented degree, numerous disconnects persist in human behaviors as we relate to our natural environment, including: Growing distance between modern [urban] society and the natural world Gaps between scientific knowle dge and public understanding Separation between science-ba sed advice and public policy Disjoining of cultural tr aditions and modern life Distancing of natural truths from our collective consciousness These trends of disconnection (W ard 2005) are eroding the ecologica l fabric of our planet and demand our immediate attention. The most dire ct remedy is reconnection; rebuilding and maintaining the connections that lead toward su stainable balance. Acco rding to Larry Seltzer, 46

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president of The Conservation F und, if the citizens of tomorrow dont have a connection to the land and an appreciation for natural, historic and cultural resources, then they certainly will not protect them when they have to make t ough choices on budget and policy (Lerner 2007). In the modern world, photographic communications provide the best t ools for constructing and maintaining the connections needed to make sustainable deci sions. Through photographic communications, society can reconnected with the natural world, scie ntific knowledge can connect to public understanding, science-based advice can connect to public policy, cultural traditions can connect to modern life, and natura l truths can connect to collective consciousness. Striving to build these connections, scien ce provides the road map, and photographic communication serve as the most ef fective vehicle. Powerful imag ery opens a direct window into social consciousness and is a pr oven catalyst for change. Such co mmunications efforts can also provide a synergistic eff ect, inspiring organizations and indi viduals to work together toward common goals. Why are there so many photographers draw n to photograph nature? The idea of biophilia provides insight as presented by Harvard biologist Ed Wilson; that people have an instinctive yearning to be close to nature. To an extent still undervalued in ph ilosophy and religion, our existence depends on this propensity [biophilia], our spirit is woven from it, hope rises on its currents (Wilson 1984). Biophilia makes sense, considering that from a background of tens of thousands of years of human history only for the past century have we been living in an industrial and urban era. People co me from nature and are part of Nature (although out material culture tells us otherwise). No wonder why urban people are drawn to nature for their recreation, mainstream nature photogra phy being a prime example. 47

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This emotional attraction to nature is a re al asset for promoting conservation. As Wilson writes in the concluding chapter of Biophilia The goal is to join emotion with the rational analysis of emotion in order to create a deeper and more enduring conservation ethic (Wilson 1984). Through education if we can develop a conservation ethic in the vast population of nature photographers currently without it, then we will have aligned with tremendous potential for public influence. If most nature photographe rs went out into the world informed about conservation issues and with a purpose of sh aring those issues with the people around them, photography would become an incredible link between society and nature. Today, an artists perspective of the natural world has grea ter value than ever before because man has removed himself so far from natu re that an artists work is often the only thing that keeps the observer in contact with it (Ketchum 1981). Ketchum realized the value of photography to reconnect people to nature in 1981. James Balog revisits photographys role in conservation in his 2007 essay, How Photography Can Help Save the Planet : Photography can help us remember and reclaim our identities as part of the natural world [It is] an antidote to the disorientation of our time; it replaces fragmentation with focus, forgetting with memory, indifference wi th affection. These are the impulses shaping a new breed of activist photogr aphy oriented to the conserva tion of the natural and human environment (Balog 2007). Both Balog and Ketchum stated th e need to reconnect to the natu ral world and believed that the power of photography could enab le that connection. Refocusing Nature Photography In the early twenty-first century, recognizing the potential for photography to serve an influential role for conservation led to a general sense of frustration with nature photography that did not focus on issues. Many saw a need for refo rm, to establish new priorities that would allow photography to better fulfill its potential for a dvancing conservation. In early 2005 (prior to her 48

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founding of the ILCP), I se nt the following questions to Cristina Mittermeier, Seni or Director of Visual Resources, Conser vation International. Perspective on Conservation and Photography: An Interview with Cristina Mittermeier Have you always considered yourself a conservati onist? If not, what lead you to become one? I have often asked myself about the origins of th is "environmental ethic" and have asked others like Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle about it. We all agree that it co mes from early childhood experiences that influence the way we apprec iate and empathize with nature. For me, the epiphany came while traveling as an observer in a Mexican shrimp trawler on my last year in college. When the nets were dumped on deck and I realized that most of the catch consisted of accompanying fauna (including a very dead sea turtle) I remember being horrified into rethinking the goals of my career as a fisheries expert. At this stage in your career what is more important to you, the photography or the conservation implications of the work? The conservation implications without a doubt. Sometimes I mourn the loss of time not spent photographing and I envy others (like yourself) fo r the time you spend out there. However, I understand that the task for me now is to legi timize conservation photography in such a way that when I am able to go out in the field for extende d periods of time, my work will have meaning in a larger conservation context. Who would you consider the best examples of other photographers using mission-driven photojournalism to promote conservation? Lately I have had long conversati ons with other photographers about the kinds of attributes that make a "conservation photographer" and I have come to the conclusion that even under the broadest of definitions, many of the great photographers of our times fail to make the requirements to fit into this category. Thinking of the creation of an aw ard, I have come up with three simple criteria to be met in order to be considered a conservati on photographer: 1) The mastery of the technical aspects of the craft; 2) a proven record of conservation actions on the ground; 3) the creation and use of images for the specific purpos e of conservation. Try to think of some of the best photographers you know, and very few have actually gone out of their way for a conservation cause. There are t hose however, like Patric io Robles Gil, who do more than take pictures; he act ually takes his images to the international public opinion court and spends a lot of his time lobbying ranchers, raising money for conservation projects, talking to scientists, promoting the involvement of corpor ations and governments. Very few others go to these great lengths. Most are competent only in categories 1 and 3. Many are all devout conservationists but are not will ing to take the time to truly get involved in any one issue. There are several however, who qualify in all: Tim Laman and his work with orangutans, Karl Amman and his work in Central Africa, Xi Zh inong in the Tibetan Plateau, Subankhar Banerjee in ANWR. 49

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What percent of nature photographers (amateur and professional) would you consider to be conservation photographers? I am going to say that probably one-third is willing to let their images be used for conservation (I am thinking of all the grass-roots organizations th at rely on amateurs). However, less than 10% are true conservation photographers. I know you agree that solid visual communicati ons should be a key ingredient to any successful conservation campaign. What is yo ur vision for the ideal role of photography in the future field of conservation? My intention is to gain enough recognition of this fact and educate conservation organizations and donors about the importance of budgeting for th e use of existing images and the creation of new ones. The most important outcome of the conservation photography symposium in Alaska will be the creation of a Global Visual Co mmunications Strategy for Conservation (and a budget to go with it). Mittermeiers answers confirm that the majority of nature photographers would not qualify as conservation photographers, even if they consid er themselves to be conservationists. But her suggestion that only ten percent of nature photographers would quali fy is both a source of alarm and of hope. Unfortunately, it appears that most nature photographers are pursuing art from nature as their end goal, while conservation photo grapher would argue that the art should not be the end, but rather a means toward a greater goal of achieving c onservation. Conservation photographers should seek pictures with the potential to make a difference and then put those pictures to use, either personall y of by placing them in the hands of organizations that can use the pictures to affect change. The hope that lies in the current state of na ture photography is the potential for a ten-fold increase in the number of photographers addr essing conservation. Natu re photographers value the natural world and are drawn to it for their art. A conservation ethic could come naturally. This disconnection between attraction to natu re and taking action to protect nature may seem strange from the perspective of a working conservationist, but a co nservation ethic is not innate; is something that e volves through education and expe rience. There are interesting 50

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parallels which can be drawn between the curr ent state of nature phot ography and the general state of the biological sc iences in the 1980s. Prior to 1980, many of the biological sciences were driven by a purely academic quest to explore and understand. But more recently there ha d been a broad shift to ward applying science to growing problems and conservation biol ogy was born. Conservation Biology is a multidisciplinary science that has deve loped in response to the crisis confronting biol ogical diversity today (Soul 1985 in Primack 1995). Substitute photography for biology and art for science in this twenty-year-old definition and we have a definition accurate for conservation photography today. Conservation Photography is a multi-disciplinary art that has developed in response to the crisis confron ting biological diversity today. Before the 1980s, biologists were connected to nature (like nature photographers today), but had not purposefully addresse d conservation in their work. But since then, the biological sciences swiftly responded to growing concerns for the sustai nability of the biosphere and conservation biology was established as a prim ary field. Likewise, the field of nature photography could be in the early stages of a si milar evolution. Nature photographers, already connected to nature through thei r craft, will embrace the need to confront similar issues of habitat loss, extinctions, and su stainability of human societies, and conservation photography will be firmly established, with its roots in the late nineteenth century and its recognition as a field in the early twenty-first. Survey: Conservation Photography versus Nature Photography The following questions were sent to well-know n conservation-oriented photographers in October 2007. Selected responses are included as Appendix D.: 1. What is the difference between conser vation photography and nature photography? 2. Do you see conservation photography as a new field? 3. What is the role for conservation photography in the coming decades? 51

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Each of the fourteen photographers replie d that Conservation Photography (CP) was indeed different from Nature Ph otography (NP). Several suggested that CP is a subset of NP. Most said that NP focuses on beauty and CP although often beautiful, focuses primarily on conservation issues. According to Sartore, The nature photogra ph shows a butterfly on a pretty flower. The conservation photograph shows the same thing, but with a bulldozer coming at it in the background. Regarding CP, he said, The botto m line is that these ar e pictures that go to work. They allow the reader a chance to understand what's happening out in the world, even the ugly stuff. Among the other photographers, ther e was consensus that sense of purpose and application were the main differences between CP and NP. Most photographers also agreed that CP was a new field. On ly a few, such as Ketchum and Nicklin did not. Ketchum said it a personal belief and commitme nt, and Nicklin said it was a way to pay back. Nicklin also said, Its not what you do, but what you do with it, using NP to further conservation issues. And Ketchum said that CP is NP directed in an advocate/protective way on behalf of a specific is sue. Regarding the future of CP, both Nicklin and Ketchum expressed hope that NP would be be tter applied to conservation. Although they did not claim CP to be a new field, their view of th e purpose and function of the discipline and future needs was concurrent with the other responses. The majority responded with conviction that CP was a new field. Bransilver said Most certainly. Jones said, Most defi nitely. Sartore said Absolutel y. Ziegler said Surely is. Gulick said Yes, finally. Those surveyed knew the long history of NPs influence on conservation, yet they still saw th e named field of CP as new. Balog offered perspective into the groups ent husiasm for CPs emergence, primarily the critical timing of the conservation movement: 52

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In the techno-consumerist-industrial age of today, where the human race is brutalizing nature at an ever-faster p ace, Conservation Photography emerges as a focused force with an intensity much greater than anything that photography mustered in decades or centuries past. We must use these tools as eloquently as we can or else we can simply congratulate ourselves on living through the extinction of nature. There is no r oom for uncertainty, no room for cynicism, no room for doubt or else those who follow us on this planet will damn us for our weakness (Balog). The sense of urgency shared by Balog is the driving force behind the emergence of CP as a field. Concerned nature photographers are organizing themselves to he lp prevent the extinction of nature. Sartore said: I hope it moves the masses to care. For example, most folks don't know that we're going to lose at least half of all amphibian specie s within the next ten yearsThere are more conservation subjects than there are photographe rs at this point, however, and growing. We need to be sure that the power of the photograph is used in as ma ny ways as possible to drive human understanding of the issues that plague species and hab itats. There's no time to lose. Nichols echoed: No more time for images that do not fight fo r that which has no voice. No doubt our kind of image making is going to be the next big th ing, and frankly it simply has to be this way. The world is on the brink and I guess we will document the whole thing. Nichols also suggested that th e urgency shared among photographers was timed with increased environmental awareness in the First World. He gave the example of Al Gore winning the 2007 Pulitzer Peace Prize for his documentary film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, and said that photographers who might have otherwise concentr ated on social issues or war are turning to conservation. 53

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CHAPTER 3 ESTABLISHING THE FIELD The International League Of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) In October 2005, the first-ever symposiu m on conservation photography convened in Anchorage, Alaska, marking a pivotal point in the development of the field. More than forty photographers gathered from across the world. Most had been working for conservation in some form for much of their careers, yet in a matter of a few days they gave themselves a new identity as conservation photographers. The symposium was conceived by Cristina Mittermeier, Senior Director of Visual Resources at Conservation International and or ganized in association with the 8th World Wilderness Congress. The opening speech to Congress was gi ven by Ian Player, the South African conservationist who founded the Wilderness Leadership School the Wild Foundation and the first world wilderness congress in 1977. One of the worlds lead ing ambassador for wilderness, Players words at the start of the 2005 Congress captured the essence of the global conservation movement and its current needs: The abandonment of ethically and spiritually based relationship with nature by our western ancestors was one of the greatest and perilous transformations of the western mindToday nearly all of modern mans ills spring from this abandonment and this is way wilderness has become so important because it reconnects us to that ancient world Marie-louise Von Franz, a great depth psychol ogist, said: Western civilization is in danger of building a wall of rationality in its society, whic h feeling cannot penetrate. Everything has to be rational and emotion is frowned upon. This makes the poets critically important to our cause. Wilfred Owen, a First World War poet, said that all a poet can do is to warn, and that is why true poets must be truthful. Poets warn us and they inspire us This is our task in the 21st century We need something that will stir our psychic depths and touch the images of the soul. It has to surpass creeds and instantly be recognized. We must learn a new language to convey the f eelings of beauty, hope, inspiration and sacredness for humanity and all other life. We need to remember the first principle of ecology: that everything is connected to ev erything else. And the wilderness experience is the spiritual spark that ignites the unders tanding (Player 2007). 54

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Players words were heard by several hundred peop le in the audience: sc ientists, land managers, government employees, lawmakers, politicians, Alas kan Indians, students, interested public, and a handful of photographers seeking to better position their craft as a tool for conservation. Player was speaking broadly about the conservation moveme nt and the path of humanity, yet his words could have been written as a char ge directly to the photographers. Photography can help break down the wall of rationality and provide the poetry to warn and inspire. Photography has the power to touch the images of the soul and to become that new language to convey the feelings of beaut y, hope, inspiration and sacredness for humanity and all other life. Photography can provide connec tion to the wilderness experience, remind us that we are all connected, and provide the spiritu al spark that ignites unde rstanding. As Player described general conservation needs for 21st century, he was essentially describing the role of conservation photography. Many of the worlds most accomplished conser vation-oriented photographers, editors and scientists spent four days disc ussing the role and focus of the new organization and the field. In addition to photographers such as David Doubilet, Art Wolf, and Joel Sartore, to name a few, the group was also joined by marine biologist Sylvia Earle, Presiden t of Conservation International Russell Mittermeier, and legendary field ecologist George Schaller. In his address to the group, Schaller said, photographers have done more for conservation than scientists and writers combined. Whether or not this bold statement is entirely true, Schaller at least gave testimony that conservation photography is an esse ntial part of the broader effort. On the last day of the symposium the photographers and editors divided into working groups to create the new resolutions for conser vation photography that would make the efforts official in the record of th e World Wilderness Congress. Resolution 24 Recognition of 55

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International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and Resolution 27 Working Relationship between Scientists and Photographers are included as Appendix A. The Conservation Photography symposium in Anchorage punctuated the emergence of the field presently taking shape. Since its establishment in 2005, the ILCP has grown in membership and accomplishments. There are more than forty member photographers and representing fifteen countries, as well as thirty-s ix affiliate members including leading magazine editors, agency representatives, authors and producers (see Appendix B). The ILCP board of advisors includes distinguished conservationist scientists such as George Schaller and Jane Goodall. With its direction being charted by leaders of both the photogra phic and scientific communities, the ILCP is accomplishing the dual mission of improving the willingness and ability of photographers to focus on conservation issues, and the willingness and ability of the conservation and research organizations to in corporate the use of pr ofessional photography in their programs. The ILCP is advancing th e field of conservati on photography through its leadership and core values, which include: an outstanding commitment to conservation, the highest ethical standards in the practice and bus iness of photography, mastery in the fine art of photography, and leadership to achieve change Establishing the va lues, objectives, and organizational structure of the ILCP has been major advance for the new field. One unique ILCP program is the Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) It is modeled after scientific expedi tions called Rapid Ecol ogical Assessments (REA), which sends a team, often including botanists, ornithologists, herpetologists, mammalogi sts, ichthyologists, and other specialists, to assess the ecology of a region. These methods are commonly employed by Smithsonian, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy and other research 56

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organizations. The REA concept was reinvented for photography to give rapid exposure to an area needing attention. The first RAVE occurre d in April, 2007, in Mexico's El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve with the purpose of documenting one of the hemisphere's last remaining cloud forests. The expedition was led by Patricio Robles Gil and included Jack Dykinga, Florian Schultz, Fulvio Eccardi, and Tom Mangleson. All of the photographers volunteered their time the expedition was supported by the National Geographic Expeditions Council and Conservation International The resulting collection of photographs is the most powerful ever made for the region, providing the foundation of a diverse communications stra tegy which is being deployed to help ensure El Triunfos conservation (fundoe ltriunfo.org.uk). Based on the initial success of the RAVE program, the ILCP will deploy teams to other regions needing protection. The Current State of Conservation Photography In addition to the ILCP, there are several other organizations currently advancing the field of conservation photography. ARKive, based in London, is global initiati ve which assembles films, photographs and audio recordings of the worlds species into one centralized di gital library. ARKives virtual conservation effort involves finding, sorting, cataloguing and c opying the key audio-visual records of the worlds animals, plants and fungi, and building them into comprehensive multimedia digital profiles. ARKives record of th e worlds biodiversity complements other species information datasets, making a key resource availa ble for scientists, cons ervationists, educators and the general public. The premise for ARKive is that photography and films are an emotive, powerful and effective means of building environmental awar eness, showing what a species looks like and why it is special. (ARKive.org) 57

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Blue Earth Alliance emphasizes that t he link between compelling documentary photography and our collective motivation to cha nge attitudes, behavior, even policies is strong (Blueearth.org). Based in Seattle and founded by photographe rs Phil Borges and Natalie Fobes, Blue Earth Alliance supports photography that makes a difference by providing its taxexempt, non-profit fundraising status to selected documentary projects. Through this approach, Blue Earth Alliance has helped raise almost a million dollars for issues often overlooked by traditional media, such as the Ar ctic conservation, global warming, urban sprawl in Los Angeles, racism faced by farmers, disappearing traditions of New England Fishermen, and the role of grandmothers in AIDS-ravaged Africa. Blue Earth conservation phot ography projects are featured in books such as The Living Wild by Art Wolfe, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by Subhankar Banerjee, and Life on Earth: A Journey Through Time by Frans Lanting. The Conservation through Photography A lliance is an initiative by Conservation International (CI) with funding from the BG Grou p, an international provi der of natural gas. Embracing photography as a strategic conservation solution CI says, This partnership will allow [people] to see why it is so important that we protect our planets biodiversity. Nothing does more to inspire people to protect and conserve like a vivid photo image (R. Mittermeier 2006). The alliance will train field conservationists in photography, enhance coverage of undocumented places and species, build a library of conser vation photography, and disseminate conservation messages through international photo exhibi ts, in partnership with the ILCP. The Global Justice Ecology Project ( GJEP) combines environmental advocacy with social change photography through its Grassroots Soci al Change Photography program. GJEPs photography documents indigenous communities that are both suffering from and resisting economic, environmental and social injusti ces. The photography is deployed through the 58

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internet, mainstream media, and a travelling ex hibition which GJEP calls guerilla because it can be displayed in remote and low-income communities which would normally be overlooked by exhibits, yet where the social and environmental injustice themes are often most relevant. GJEP is co-directed by photographe r Orin Langelle and is based in Vermont. It has been our experience that images are criti cal to reach beyond words to give people the ability to see and decide for themselves what the issues ar e and what is at st ake (Langelle 2004). The Images for Conservation Fund (ICF), founded by John Martin in Texas, proclaims Photography is the most powerful conservation t ool on the planet (imagesforconservation.org). Recognizing that ninety-six percent of Texas a nd ninety percent of the Western Hemisphere is privately owned, ICF focuses its programs pr imarily on conservation of private land, using photography tournaments as educational and economic incentives to encourage private landowners to restore, preserve and enhance wildlife habitat. The ICF Pro Tour of Nature Photography pairs twenty professi onal photographers with twenty private land owners in a given region to compete in a month-long competition. Each year the winning photographs are exhibited and published in a book. ICF intends to expand their model to other states and to establish a new Private Lands Nature Photo Tourism Industry, givi ng landowners profitable incentive to preserve natural wildlife habitats. The Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) seeks to raise awareness for natural environments and cultural legacies, educat e about important connections between human societies and natural ecosystems and promote conservation and st ewardship of natural heritage (www.linc.us). LINC will offer the worlds fi rst Conservation Photography Fellowship in 2008. The $25,000 award will empower a professional photographer to focus on an important conservation issue in Florida each year. There will also be a $5,000 stude nt scholarship. Other 59

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programs include improving coverage of Florida conservation in the mainstream media through MediaLINC and raising awareness for specific issues needing visibility through collaborative communications campaigns. LINC was founde d by the author in 2004 (see Appendix C). The Environmental Committee of North American Nature Photography Association offers the NANPA Phillip Hyde Grant each year. Honoring the legacy of Hyde, who dedicated his career to advancing conservation, the $5,000 aw ard helps a photographer complete an environmental project. Past recipient include Gary Braasch and global warming, C.C. Lockwood and the swamps of Lousiana, and Florian Sc hultz and the Yellowst one to Yukon corridor. Photovoice blends a grassroots approach to photography and social action. It provides cameras to people with least acce ss to those who make decisions affecting their lives. From the villages of rural China to the homeless shelte r of Ann Arbor, Michigan, people have used the program to amplify their visions and experience. Photovoice has three goals. It enables people to record and reflect their comm unity's strengths and problems. It promotes dialogue about important issues through group discussion and photographs. Finally, it engages policymakers. Photovoice founder, Caroline C. Wang explains, "Wha t experts think is important may not match what people at the grassroots think is important (photovoive.org)." In Yunnan, China, The Nature Conservancy adapted the Photovoice methodol ogy to promote a participatory approach to environmental health, including creating and protecting a system of national parks. The Sierra Clubs Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography seeks to honor photographers who have used their talents in conservation efforts. This award has been given to both amateur and professional pho tographers, including Clyde Butc her, Franz Lanting, Robert Glen Ketchum and Galen Rowell. 60

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Conservation photography courses. In addition to the emergence of organizations dedicated to conservation photograp hy, there are new university cour ses that have been created to study the topic. Conservation Photography a graduate seminar offere d by conservation psychiatrist Gene Myers at Western Washington University s Huxley College of the Environment in spring 2006. The course focused on the philo sophy and application of photography in conservation. Nature and Conservation Photography was taught by Dr. Gary A. Klee in the San Jose State University Environmental Studies Depa rtment. The curriculum included instruction in photographic technique, st udent participation in conservation photography projects, and study of photographers such as Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher. Balancing Journalism and Advocacy Because conservation photography proclaims a purpose, there are some journalists and scholars who would consider this an inappropriate bias. This thes is suggests that a conservation photographer should foremost be a conservationi st. But some people may disagree, suggesting that a conservation photographer should be foremo st a journalist with th e intention of reporting both sides fairly. The difference of opinion is based on seeing c onservation as a bias. But the authors position is that conservation is actually not a bias, and there is no reason a conservation photographer should not be able to produce balanced journalism. To test this notion, questions about conservation photography and advocacy we re sent to a few leading editors and photographers. Joel Sartore, a photographer who has covered major cons ervation stories for National Geographic said: Some 20 years ago, my journalism school ingr ained 'objectivity' into me. But over time, I've come to realize that the best thing I can do with my work is to try and change the world for the better. The whole question is, in deed, something to ponder. Not sure I have the answers, other than for both of us to try and do what we believe to be right and fair. Kathy Moran, the natural history editor at National Geographic responded from a different perspective: 61

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Advocacy journalism is a slippery slope can you present all sides fairly if the reporter/photographer announces a bias upfront? A journalist, lik e a scientist, must report fairly, with transparency, regardless of pe rsonal bias. You can be an environmental reporter. In fact, there is a society of environmental journalists, much like what we are trying to establish with the ILCP. That sai d, you cannot wear your environmental reporter and environmental advocate hats at the same time, same place. Advocacy/opinion belongs on the Op-Ed page. There do not seem to be any universal definiti ons for what degree of advocacy is allowable and semantics clearly serve a role in determining what is appropr iate and what is not. Advocacy journalism carries connotations of inappropriate bias and would likely find a place in the newsletter of the Sierra Cl ub but not in the pages of National Geographic. But at the same time the National Geographic Society is probably the worlds leading advocate of conservation. Their magazine reports on conservation issues with fair and balanced journalism and employs many conservation photographers to produce its stories. National Geographic does not produce advocacy stories, but the stories ends up functio ning as advocacy for whatever topic is being covered. Regardless of the nuances of language, th ere seems to be fundamental truth in Morans observation that a journalist, like a scientist, must report fairly, with transparency, regardless of personal bias. Fairness and transparency are the bases for maintaining integrity and credibility with readers. There is no reason to pass negative ju dgment on a conservation photographer whose motivation is to try and change the world for th e better, and who is guided by doing what is right and fair. While there are people today who believe that the wild life and native cultures of this planet do not deserve to be protected, recognizi ng that humans are destroying the biosphere and ethnosphere is not a matter of opinion ; it is science-based f act. It is also a fact that life on earth as we know it is not sustainable unless we mitigate our destruction of the biosphere. Conservation photography is the form of journali sm that addresses this story. 62

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Science provides an example for how photograp hy can approach conservation stories with integrity There are thousands of Ph.D. level sc ientists working under the title of conservation biologist in research institutions and cons ervation biology departments throughout the world. The main difference between a conservation bi ologist and another bi ologist is that the conservation biologist selects research projects based on questions that will address the global loss of biological diversity. The work of these conservation biologists is published in the most distinguished peer-reviewed scie nce journals, and few people que stion their abil ity to conduct sound science with transparent and unbiased resu lts. The same should be true for conservation photographers. The difference between a conservation photographer and a general nature photographer is that the conservation photographer selects projects that will address the global loss of biological and cultural diversity. Just as a conservati on biologist must conduct sound and transparent science, a conservation photographer must conduct fa ir and balanced journalism. From this position, honest, transparent, and ba lanced journalism should be the conservation photographers version of the scientific method, helping avoid accusations of biased advocacy. Conclusion Photography is strong tool, a propaganda de vice, and a weapon for the defense of the environment and therefore for the fostering of a healthy human race and even very likely for its survival. When used to its best a dvantage, dramatically, with uncompromising sharpness, it is a most powerful means for demonstrating the need for protecting and preserving the biota. This is because photographs wield a great force of conviction. Photographs are believed more than words; thus they can be used persuasively to show people who have never taken the trouble to look what is there (Porter in Rohrbach et al 2001). In the 1960s, Eliot Porter eloquently describe d photography as a weapon for the defense of the environment. To harn ess this power, factions of the photographic and scientific communities have come together to establish a newly named field conservation photography as a tactical solution to help mitigate the destruction of the biosphere. 63

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By studying the history of documentary photography and case studies of nature photography advancing conservation, we can dr aw conclusions for what makes conservation photography successful. In the cases where photogra phy has created the most measurable impact for conservation, the photographer has most often worked in partnership with a research or conservation organization. William Henry Jackson worked with the USGS to help create Yellowstone National Park. Ansel Adams and Phill ip Hyde worked with the Sierra Club to create Kings Canyon and Dinosaur National Parks. Nick Nichols worked with the National Geographic Society and Wildlife Co nservation Society to create th e national park system in Gabon. If a photographer is committed to conservati on, he or she should not approach the issue alone. There is great synergy to be gained by working with cons ervation and research organizations. Adams, for example, served on the Sierra Club board for 37 years. These organizations need compelling photography to help them advance their programs, and photography can provide access to mainstream media outlets that organizations may not otherwise have. In addition, researchers and conservationists on the front lines will often improve a photographers access to the conservati on story; their expertise can help guide the photographys relevance to conserva tion needs, and their political engagement can help apply the photography to the conservation agenda. New organizations such as the ILCP are helping empower photographers to focus on sustainability issues and are setting new applie d standards for the fiel d of nature photography. Such organizations will help align the field of photography with global conservation priorities, at times connecting the scientific and conservation communities with available journalists for collaborative projects. As ILCP continues to develop its programs, it will seek to pull the field of nature photography in a mo re applied direction. 64

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Conservation photography provides a general ch arge to nature photographers: recognize that you can be the eyes for society at larg e and choose projects accordingly. Throughout the world, there are issues that de serve attention. Yet many nature photographers are continually drawn to commonly exploited subjects over and over again. These photographic exploits can be more harmful than helpful, according to of co-f ounder of Blue Earth Alliance, Natalie Fobes: Anyone who reads popular pho tography magazines knows when and where to go to photograph bears, whales, eagles, puffins, and every other kind of photographic creature. Some photographers, pros and amateurs alike, believe in getting the picture no matter the costs. Nature is their Disneyland; all they n eed to do is pay the pric e. It is a dangerous concept (Fobes 2004). Alternately, photographers can choose to l ook beyond the postcard shot and document an animals behavior, as well as the context for its c onservation. Rather than just take, the resulting images can give back to nature by adva ncing public understanding and appreciation. Photographers will always be dr awn to a famous subject such as the Grand Canyon. But going to the same public vista to make the same photograph that has been made thousands of times before is not likely to help conservati on. As Nichols said, there is no more time for images that do not fight for that which has no voice. Learning what issues the area is facing and approaching from that perspective, however, will allow the photography to be educational as well as inspiring. As Sartore said, these are the pictur es that go to work. Limiting fo cus to issues should not detract from the beauty or impact of the photography. Th ink of a painter selec ting a canvas. No matter the size of the canvas, the crea tive opportunities are in finite. Addressing issues should actually make the photography more relevant and publishable. It is also important, followi ng the examples of Davis, Mittermeier and Rainier, not to exclude humans from nature when approaching a story. Culture and nature are interconnected. The threats to biological and cultu ral diversity are often the same, as are the solutions for their protection. 65

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As the earths population approach es seven billion, a ten-fold increase in just 200 years, the challenges to sustaining the biosphere a nd ethnosphere are also growing. An exponential increase in global conservation awareness and action may be the only solution. Sartore said, There are more conservation subjects than ther e are photographers at th is point. Conservation photography as a field could not be arriving at a more needed time. There are many considerations for how photography can best em power conservation. Borrowing a philosophy from science, it is often helpful to look toward the most parsimonious principals for guidance. As l ong as conservation remains the fo cus, the photography will likely develop in the right direction. To know that there are growin g numbers of photographers who share this vision provides great hope that art will continue deve lop as a strong voice for science and help steer humanity away from crisis. Social purpose and photographic vision were w oven together in the pursuits of early documentary photography, which was born out of the Great Depression when there was seriousness and unity of purpose in America. Today conservation purpose and photographic vision are being woven together in the pursuits of the conservation photographers. Born out of the crises facing the biosphere and ethnosphere the field of conservation photography will continue to grow, embodying hope to educate and inspire humanity to sustain biological and cultural diversity, essential yet imperiled re sources. A quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson speaks prophetically to the challenge for conservation p hotography today, Photographe rs deal in things which are continuously vanishing and when they ha ve vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. 66

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Future Goals for the Field The extended public outreach and political infl uence that photography provides for science suggests that environmental photo journalism should be a planned component to any research or conservation effort that intends to make a diffe rence. Achieving such collaboration requires greater dialogue between conservation researchers and photojournali sts to establish mutual goals and improve working dynamics. In the future, phot ojournalists should not need extensive science training to work well in tandem with research ers. Shared conservati on goals should provide common vision to establish the in terdisciplinary partnership, as long as the value of combining professional photography and conservati on science is ade quately recognized. One of the hopes expressed for the future of conservation photography as a field is that it will lead to greater opportunitie s for funding projects, independe nt from existing media or science budgets. It will also be helpful fo r mainstream media outlets to publish more conservation content. Universities should also continue the devel opment of interdiscipl inary curricula for conservation communications. Additionally, strides for conservation awareness can be gained if the majority of nature photographers, amateur a nd professional, will become more engaged in conservation issues, recognizing their abil ity to be activists with the cameras. 67

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CHAPTER 4 AUTHORS FIELD EXPERIEN CE AND OBSERVATIONS Conceptual Orientation Like conservation photography itself this interdisciplin ary thesis has been part art and part science, resulting from extens ive study in ecology and an thropology combined with the academic and professional pursuit of documenta ry photojournalism. Science has provided the vision and photography has developed as the voice. The focus of my academic interest has b een the relationship between humans and the natural environment, approached from an ecologi cal perspective that places human beings within nature; we are the product of an evolutionary hi story that follows the same natural laws and is built from the same elements as the other form s of life with which we share the planet. My photographic vision is built upon this intellectual view of the world, including a range of assumptions. When I refer to nature, I am referring to the natural environment, physical and biological, and the network of life w ithin it. As a naturalist, I see nature as an external reality (unlike post-modernists who be lieve aspects of our perceptio n are entirely relative with no absolute reality). To some extent, I am also an environmental determinist, seeing nature as the foundation and driving factor in ma ny aspects of human culture. This ecological perspective places high value on natural landscapes free to breathe with natural, stochastic, self-governing processes outside of the direct influence of industrial societies and observes that the network of bi ological diversity that exists in the natural world is necessary to support life on earth. The conclu sion is that these na tural ecosystems must be conserved in order to maintain the balance that will allow hum ans and other living things to persist into the future. This leads to a strong conservation ethic, seeking to protect natural environments from 68

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damage and over-exploitation by humans. An asso ciated bias views nature communities as good and modern human socie ties as bad in terms of th eir influence on nature. Through my environmental and social education I have also become increasingly aware of the side effects to free-market capitalism and be lieve that without strong regulation, processes of greed and competition will ultimately destroy the natural world. Capitalism can also have a tendency to marginalize societie s with less access to modern technologies. So in the modern world, people living closer to the land with less resource-intensi ve technologies can often be seen as victims of more developed societies wh o reshape both natural and cultural landscapes. In this sense, I have a tendency to view closenes s to nature as good (i .e. a traditional native community) and distance from nature as bad (i.e. a New York financial executive without interest in his or her ecological footprint) This polarization may overly simplify human proximity to nature, but the perspective is grounded in the observ ation that societies disconnected from nature, buffered by their technologi es, can easily continue to exploit nature at unsustainable intensities because they do not receiv e direct feedback on their behaviors. This is the tendency in western societie s. On the contrary, societies more connected to nature are positioned to be more sustainable in their resour ce use because they can be more aware of their environmental impacts. Introduction to Photography Projects The Interdisciplinary Ecology program at the Un iversity of Florida pr ovided the structure to pursue graduate training in ecology and c onservation biology while undertaking a written thesis and professional project relating to e nvironmental photojournalism. The thesis developed into this broader examination of conserva tion photography, but the photographic component began as a documentary field project I produced as an intern with the Smithsonian Institution, focusing on biodiversity in Gabon, Africa. The field work, which extended from 2001 until 2004, 69

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provided first-hand experience with the proce ss of combining photography and science on the front lines of research and conservation. Th e work was essentially an experiment in conservation photography, although that term w ould not begin to carry much meaning in photography and science circles until 2005. The majority of this chapter is dedicated to discussion of the Ga bon biodiversity project and production of the book, The Edge of Africa which is accompanying th e Professional Project portion of this thesis: a portfolio of photographs archived in the Allen H. Neuharth Library of the College of Journalism and Communications. In troducing the Gabon project in this chapter, however, does suggest that is a seminal work in conservation photography. But its inclusion is necessary to relate this written thesis to the photographic field work and publishing effort that formed the basis of this academic inquiry. Beyond th is function of relating to my own attempts at conservation photography, this chapter includes pers onal observations from the field; exploration of the process of combini ng photography with science. Photographs from conservation stories subseque nt to the Gabon work are also represented in the professional project, includi ng samples from four projects: The Desert Elephants of Mali Last Frontier The Living He ritage of Florida Ranchlands and Andros Creating a New National Park in the Bahamas The purpose of the professional project is to relate photography to this writing and further illustrate the authors recommended approach of developing photography projects in partnership w ith scientists and conservationist. The Biodiversity of Gamba There is a magical place at the edge of Africa where rainforest meets ocean, where elephants and buffalos walk white sand beaches and hippos, crocs and sea turtles share the surf. The forest rises a hundred feet tall, full of life in a layered complexity stretching far beyond the horizon. Forest, grasslands, rive rs and lagoons form a unique landscape mosaic. There is no place like it on earth (Ward et al 2003). 70

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The landscape of Gamba, in the southeastern corner of Gabon, is wild and undeveloped, like much of country, providing ref uge for a wealth of biological diversity, including many species endangered elsewhere on the continent. Contig uous to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo, and by extension Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, the network or tropical rainforest anchored in the west by Gabon is the second largest in the world (second to the Amazon). These Central African forests are of global importance for conservation. This is especially true in Gabon. With a human population of just over one million and an economy which has been sustained by rich oil reserves, nearly 80 percent of Gabon is still covered by rainforest (Quammen 2003). With oil reserves declining and logging pr essure on the rise, Gabon has reached an important crossroads in its development as a nation where the leaders have a unique opportunity to incorporate conservation into their plans. Th e Gamba region in southwestern Gabon has been recommended for official protection, but prior to 2001 there had b een no comprehensive assessment of biodiversity to substantiate the recommendation. Accompanying the lack of scientific knowledge, there was little awareness or apprecia tion within Gabon or among the international community for the biodiversity of Gamba. In July 2001, through a partnership with Smithsonian Institutions Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program (SIMAB), I had the opportunity to participate in the firstever multi-taxa biodiversity assessment of region A major component to SIMABs objectives in Gabon was to disseminate the scientific in formation generated from the biodiversity assessments to a wide range of audiences (Dallmeier 2001). SIMAB provided opportunity for me to complete the fieldwork for my thesis project and the photogra phy provided them with a means to carry science-based messages to many people who otherwise may not have paid 71

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attention to facts and figures alone. I was able to develop a vi sual communication strategy and become employed by the Smithsonian for seven expe ditions and eight months of field work over the course of three years. Objectives / Project Significance The purpose of this project was to visually document Gamba: the landscapes, the wildlife and the people, in order to raise enviro nmental awareness within Gabon and among the international community and inspire conservation action. The value of conserving biological diversity has become widely recognized in recent years, particularly in tropical forests. Every second, 1 hectare (2.4 acres) of rainforest -the size of tw o U.S. football fields -is destroyed. Thats an area larg er than New York City dest royed each day, an area larger than Poland destroyed each year .Along with forest loss comes species extinction. Renown Harvard University entomologist and ecologist E.O. Wilson estimates that 137 life forms -from microorganisms to insects to mammals -are driven to extinc tion each year (1992 estimate). Nearly half of all life forms on the planet live in tropical rainforests (Alonso 2001). Recognizing the conflic t with nature implic it in the development of modern human societies, my work in Gabon was approached from a conservation perspective. By using photography as a voice to express my conserva tion ideas, I had the opportunity to influence public attitudes toward biodiversity and hopefu lly steer decision make rs toward greater stewardship of natural resources My project was geared toward this purpose to improve appreciation for Gambas biodiversity within Ga bon and internationally and use the photographs as a tool to implement change, at the local level and at the policy level. Following the field work, the photographs became pa rt of an effort to achieve the greatest possible appreciation for Gambas landscapes and biodiversity. Many of the publications produced were the first in the western me dia focused on the Gamba region, including The Edge of Africa The book was the first of its type focused on Central Africa. With inspiration from the 72

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biodiversity series by C onservation International the author and the SIMAB management team designed The Edge of Africa for political influence, including introductory letters by President El Hadj Omar Bongo of Gabon, U.S. Secretary of St ate Colin Powell, Smithsonian Secretary Larry Small, and Shell CEO Phil Watts. Methodology Documenting this amazingly diverse region required a wide variety of photographic techniques, from aerial photography of landscapes to micro photography of insects. On average, the sun in Gamba broke through the clouds in ju st one out of three days. Good lighting was a blessing when it came, but the weather changed rapi dly and was difficult to predict. The typical dim lighting required the use of heavy tripods and fast lenses. High humidity and constant rainfall conspired against equipment, and salt ai r and wind-driven sand in the coastal areas added to the toll. It was necessary to store camera s in dry boxes with desi ccant to keep them functioning. Camera equipment. I used a Nikon SLR camera system, including 35mm film-based camera bodies and a D1x digital camera body, w ith lenses ranging from 20 mm to 600 mm. Macro lenses 60 mm, 100 mm, and 200 mm which allow clos e focus and high magnification, were the cornerstones of my studio photography. Otherwise, preferred lenses were 600 f/4 for wildlife and 28mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/2 for photogr aphing people. For film, when not shooting digital, I relied on Fuji Velvia 50 and Kodak E100G/GX, often pushed one stop. Studio photography. To illustrate the diversity of wildlife in vivid detail, particularly reptiles, amphibians, insects and small mammals, I configured a modular studio consisting of two to four diffuse light sources and a black velvet backdrop. To maintain flexibility, I designed variable power supplies that allowed the use of 110/240 volt current, AA batteries, or a 12-volt car battery charged from solar panels. 73

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Continuing the studio approach with birds, I built an enclosure based on the concept described by John S. Dunning (1970) in Portraits of Tropical Birds My bird studio was constructed from white sailcloth and aluminum poles, creating a threemeter long by one-meter high rectangular enclosure with a hole for the camera in the front a nd a removable background. After ornithologists studied a bird caught in a mist net, I put th e bird in the studio to perch on the one available branch. Four strobes provided li ghting from the outside through the translucent sailcloth. After posing for photographs, birds we re released back in to the forest. Landscapes, wildlife and people. The purpose here was to capt ure the essence of place, from the light on the land, the posture of an elephant, or the eyes of a tribesman. I took a documentary approach, always seeking a mome nt to illuminate place more clearly. For landscapes, I identified representative scenes and then retu rned and waited for suitable lighting. For wildlife, I studied movement s, tried to anticipate where I would have the best chance of encountering action, and then searched out good light and informative placement within the habitat. Rainforest animals are very elusive even enormous hippos and elephants are difficult to locate. Patience was necessa ry and progress was slow. Wildlife photographs often required waiting for hours in newly built hides or setting up camera traps. To photograph people (which I had to do primarily on my own because it was not cons idered a priority to th e research agenda), I moved among towns and villages, trying to keep a low profile and always showing respect. The greatest acceptance and access usually came after several return visits. Camera traps. Many forest animals are elusive or nocturnal, making them extremely difficult to photograph by traditional means. Came ra traps, which use an infra-red beam to trigger a camera, allow an animal passing through the beam to make its own picture. Scientists and hunters have used this method for years to record the presence of animals along trails. While 74

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their photos are useful for id entification, they ar e not of publishable quality. To produce highquality results, I reconfigured Trail Master camera trap systems to fire Nikon professional cameras and strobes. Working with custom-bu ilt camera traps was tedious, labor intensive and filled with risk I had setups drowned by floodwaters, smashed by fallen branches, and bashed by gorillas. But in the end, they produced phot ographs that were not otherwise possible. Aerial photography. Photographing from above provided an informative perspective on the landscape, revealing interf ace and linkages among habitats. This approach was particularly important in Gabon where the patchwork of coastlin e, grasslands, water, and forest defines the ecosystems. Aerial pictures were made from radio towers as well as a low-flying Cessna 182 aircraft. Lessons Learned from Gabon The need for a photographic communications strategy. Photographers, like other artists, often pursue personal vision that may not be easil y understood by others, a nd the perspective of art often seems abstract from the quantitative perspective of science. In order for art and science to work well together, there needs to be clear communication of mutual goals and common vision. This is a lesson learned during three y ears working with Smithsonian scientists. During the first Gabon expedition, there was not a coordinated plan for the role of the photography, primarily because it was the first tim e the group of scientists had worked with a professional photographer in the field. The full res earch team had not been presented with the purposes of the photography, leading to some mi smanaged expectations. There was lack of appreciation by the scientists for the difficulty of the phot ography or its importance for conservation. The lesson I learned has since guided my approach to working alongside researchers on the front lines of conservation: all of the problems were the result of inadequate communications and failure to establish clear common goals. 75

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Prior to the second expedition, these problems were solved when I wrote a Photographic Communications Strategy, which included propo sed publications, the types of photographs needed to support those publica tions, and the resources and ti me required to create the photographs. Even though I entered the work with Smithsonian with degrees in biology, spoke the language of science and shared many of the researchers perspectiv es, without a mutually agreed communications strategy, we were not reading from the same page. Challenges to maintaining focus on conservation. Designing The Edge of Africa as a conservation tool presented a number of challe nges. Most of the issues arose from the interrelated challenges of maintaining focus on content and place and from advancing an idealdriven book in a profit-driven world. Addressi ng conservation concerns in any particular landscape requires a focus on place as well as a cer tain degree of sophistication to address the issues. There is a balance between making a book generally appealing to attract broad audiences and specific enough to serve the c onservation issues being explore d. I presented this dilemma to Sean Moore, director of Hylas Publishing, who eventually publishe d the book in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. Initially, Hylas promoted the idea for a generi c collection of animal photographs titled, All Life is Here. The motivation was general appeal and estimated sales. They feared that a book about Gabon or even Africa w ould be too specific and limit sales. That may been true, but I knew that any book would lose its power for conservation influence unless it dealt specifically with the place of concern. I presented to Hylas that the story was about a place called Gamba, on the coast of Gabon, where elephants roam the beaches, hippos ride in the surf and hundreds of equally impressive birds, reptiles and amphibians make the rainfore sts dance with life. This place Gamba was the crux of the story, unique to the world and virtually unseen by western eyes. If we did not 76

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retain focus on the specific places we would lose the ability to advance awareness for issues and conservation there. Hylas Publishing finally accepted this point of view, but we had to seek outside funding for publishing costs. With a portfolio of prin ts, SIMAB director Francisco Dallmerier and I convinced the CEO of Shell Gabon, Frank Dene lle, to pre-order 5,000 books, sufficiently subsidizing the overall print r un of 15,000. Outside funding allowed the book to remain focused on Gamba, science and conservati on issues, and also reach the br oader public. All of the copies allocated for retail markets sold out within th e first six months. The experience showed that books which are conservation tools can require support and that outside funding will often be necessary to create conserva tion literature for the public. Potential problems with profile. The same high-profile nature that makes photographyrich publications influential can also be the source of problems in the dynamics of funding scientific research. In the case of the Smithsonian work in Gabon, the principal project sponsors, Shell International, Shell Gabon, and Shell F oundation, all received pos itive public relations value from the photography-rich publications. In Gabon, these companies demonstrated a sincere interest in conservation of bi ological diversity, but once such companies have received their positive public image from association with conserva tion there is the risk that they could reduce funding for less glamorous aspects of scientific re search and training. There is also the potential for a company to use environmental publications to green wash their image, selling themselves as more environmentally friendly than they are. These tendencies seemed well-managed with the Gabon project because stakeholders considered such potential detractions when planning the conservation communications efforts. 77

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Project Outcomes The overarching objective of the photographic communications was to positively affect the course of development in Gabon to appreciate and safeguard biological and cultural diversity. The approach to this goal was to generate high-profile publications, seeking to educate and inspire the public and decision makers. The central product was The Edge of Africa, which was also distributed in Gabon with the French title Gabon: Paradis de la Biodiversite. The photography led to more than an dozen magazine articles in Africa, Europe and the United States, and was featured in television documentaries and web productions. An exhibition of fifty photographs al so travelled to Gabon, London and New York, where it was featured by the United Nations. These various publications are listed in the references. The scope of the communications exceeded the expectation of the research team and illustrated what coordinated photography can do to enhance outreach of science and conservation. The relatively small investment to include a professional phot ographer as part of a research expedition led to exponential increase in exposure for the science-based messages. Selected Conservation Photography Projects by the Author, 2004-2007 After the completing the Ga bon project and publishing The Edge of Africa, my subsequent photography endeavors have shared common th emes which I propose to be important for successful conservation photography. These in clude: conservation as primary purpose, collaboration with scientists and conservation or ganizations, and portrayin g local culture in the representing nature. The projects The Endangered Desert Elephants of Mali, Last Frontier The Living Heritage of Florida Ranchlands and Andros Creating a New National Park in the Bahamas will be briefly discussed in relation to the above themes and are illustrated by the professional project. 78

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The Desert Elephants of Mali There is an endangered populati on of elephants in the Sahel of Mali (and Burkina Faso) which endure a 500 mile annual migration, the longest of any land animal, in their annual search for food and water. Desertification, overgrazing, and lack of water, and settling of formerly nomadic tribes, are presenting environmental cha llenges for both the elepha nts and local people. The Toureg and Fulani herders were included in the photography because their culture depends on the same conservation needs as the elephants. By mitigating damage to the Sahel, these cultures can both save the ele phants and save themselves. Photography was coordinated with Save the Elephants and the Wild Foundation research and conservation organizations working to understand and protect the last elephants in the Sahel. The photographs supported photo-identification study of the elephant population and also helped spread the story through mainstream media outlets. Last Frontier The Living Heri tage of Florida Ranchlands Nearly one fifth of Florida is still covered by working cattle ranche s and Florida boasts Americas longest history in ranc hing. Today, Florida has five of the top ten cattle operations in country, including the top producer. Cattle raising was Floridas first industry agriculture is Floridas second largest industry behind tourism toda y. In addition to these cultural attributes, the relationship between Florida ra nches and the natural environmen t is the most important part of the story. Of all extractive land uses in Florida, respons ible cattle ranching is the most compatible with preservation of native habitats, wetlands and wildlife. Yet Florida ranchlands are under siege. With 1,000 new residents moving to Florida each day, the state loses 200,000 acres of agricultural and natural land every year. Much of this loss is ra nchland and your average citizen 79

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in not even aware of its existence. Black bears walk through palmettos as they once did in every Florida county and cowboys drive cattle across the range as they have been going for centuries. As with the Malians and the Sahel, the culture of Florida cattle people is endangered by the same environmental factors that threaten the ranchlands. Florida ranchers depend on landscape that has shaped them and that they in turn protect. Therefore, the photography has equally emphasized ranch culture along with w ildlife and landscapes of their land. Collaborations have included Audubon of Florida, Conservation Trust for Florida, Florida Cattlemens Association, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC), The Nature Conservancy, 1000 Friends of Florida, and World Wildlife Fund, all which have used the photographs to a dvance their missions to protect Florida ranches. Andros Creating a New National Park in the Bahamas The west side of Andros Island is one of the last remaining pristine wilderness areas in the Bahamas and the proposed site of a new nationa l park. The mangrove hab itat provides critical nursing grounds for fish species of economic im portance as well as one of the hotspots for juvenile sea turtles for the en tire Atlantic and Caribbean. In order to establish priorities for protecti on, the Nature Conservancy coordinated the firstever ecological assessment of western Andros in 2006. The expedition include d ten scientists and several students who gathered data th roughout the mosaic of coastal habitats. Photography focused on the key species and landscapes being studied, as well as the cultural connections to the natural resources, including recreational fishing, for which the area draws international fame. TNC is using the photography, in collaboration with the Bahamas National Trust, the Bahamian Government and the Kernzer Family Foundation to pursue public support for the proposed park. 80

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Future Goals for the Author The authors goal is to build a legacy of conservation infl uence in Florida, primarily through conservation photography. Focus will incl ude Florida ranchlands, coastal fishing communities, Tampa Bay, the Everglades, as well as native and rural communities. He would also like to see LINC continue to grow in its ability to empower photographers to develop critical awareness for Floridas conservation issues and expand the scope to utili ze a broader array of arts for conservation communications. 81

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APPENDIX A RESOLUTIONS IN CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE 8TH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, OCTOBER, 2005 RESOLUTION #24 TITLE: Recognition of International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) WHEREAS: The conservation community has not had an internat ionally recognized body of professional conservation photographers to work with; The very best images illicit the strongest human em otional responses crucial in influencing public on conservation issues; The most important conservation issues deserve the hi ghest quality visual imagery available to facilitate the greatest chance of success; THEREFORE: Recognizes the need for quality professional images in those campaigns, and hereby RESOLVED: The establishment of the International League of Conservation Photographers as a catalyst for communication between mass media and conservation be recognized by the public and all relevant institutions; PROPOSER: Cristina Mittermeier CGMittermeier@aol.com SECONDER: Marty Maxwell Cathy Hart cathy_hart@dot.state.ak.us 82

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83 RESOLUTION #27 TITLE: Working Relationship between Sc ientists and Photographers WHEREAS: Effective conservation is founded on sound science and good communications; Science does not always successfully reach the genera l public or adequately inform policy decisions; Photography is a powerful communications tool whic h is not always properly planned or funded in scientific endeavors; There exists a lack of interaction, understanding and exchange between scien tists and photographers. THEREFORE: Recognizes the ability of photography to bridge th e gap between conservation science and the general public. RESOLVED: The International League of Con servation Photographers create an effective interface between scientific and photographic communities; promote the mutual be nefits of photographers and scientists working together; and establish good working practices including those related to initial funding and ethics. PROPOSER: Christian Ziegler zieglerphoto@yahoo.com Associate for Communication, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Piotr Naskrecki p.naskrecki@conservation.org Director of Invertebrate Diversity Initiative, CABS, Conservation International, Harvard University SECONDER: Carlton Ward Jr carlton@carltonward.com Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture, www.LINC.us Djuna Ivereigh djuna@indonesiawild.com Indonesia Wild Leda Huta leda@findingspecies.org Managing Director, Finding Species Jeremy Monroe Freshwaters Illustrated Catherine Cunningham Richard Edwards Arkive DirectorWildscreen

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APPENDIX B THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHERS The International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) was founded at the 8th World Wilderness Congress in Anch orage, Alaska in October 2005. ILCP Core Values (www.ILCP.com): An outstanding commitment to conservation The highest ethical standards in the practice and business of photography Mastery in the fine art of photography Leadership to achieve change. ILCP Objectives: To use the power of photography to help educate the world community and to further conservation goals. To create compelling and informed images and to develop visually based campaigns to promote conservation issues. To facilitate the connection of photography w ith environmental, scientific, cultural media, governmental, religious and educational resources. To be a virtual clearinghouse of information for members. To develop a code of conduct for photographers. To promote business practices that demand truth in and high ethical standards in captioning and manipulation. To encourage conservation education. To encourage an ethnically and geographically diverse membership. To attract fellowships and gr ants to support young photographe rs or photographers with innovative ideas to promote conservation. 84

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85 ILCP Membership October 15, 2007 Fellows: Alison Jones Amy Gulick Annie Griffiths Belt Art Wolfe Boyd Norton Brian Skerry Carlton Ward Jr. Chris Rainier Christian Ziegler Colin Prior Connie Bransilver Cristina Mittermeier David Doubilet Dorothy and Leo Keeler Flip Nicklin Florian Schulz Florian Mllers Gary Braasch Igor Shpilenok Jack Dykinga James Balog James H. Barker Jim Brandenburg Joel Sartore Karen Hollingsworth Karen Huntt Karl Ammann Kevin Schafer Matthias Breiter Michael Nick Nichols Michele Westmorland Niall Benvie Patricio Robles Gil Phil Borges Piotr Nasckrecki Robert Glenn Ketchum Roy Toft Staffan Widstrand Stephen G. Maka Theo Allofs Thomas D. Mangelsen Tom Blagden Tui De Roy Wade Davis Xi Zhinong Associate Members (pending): Beverly Joubert Daniel Beltra Francisco Marquez Frans Lanting Klaus Nigge Luciano Candisani M Balan Magnus Elander Michael Aw Michael Forsberg Norbert Rosing Paul Nicklen Peter Cairns Rob Rozinski Sandesh Kadur Stefano Unterthiner Steve Winters Suzy Esterhas Tim Laman Vincent Munier Wendy Shattil Affiliate Members: Amy Marquis, Assistant Editor National Parks Magazine Bill Konstant, Conservation Director, Houston Zoo David Anderson, Director, Focus on Planet Earth Eric Samper, Terre Sauvage Magazine, France Gerry Ellis, President Globio Helen Cherullo, Publisher The Mountaineers Books Jared Diamond, Author and Pulitzer Prize winner, US Jeff Corwin, Animal Planet Joe Rhode, Imagineer, the Walt Disney Company John F. Martin, President Images for Conservation Fund

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John Nuhn, Editor National Wildlife Federation Magazine Kathy Moran, Senior Edito r Natural History Nationa l Geographic Magazine Larry Minden, Presiden t, Minden Pictures Mark Godfrey, Director of Phot agraphy, The Nature Conservancy Marlin Green, President ThreeHats.com Mark Lukes, President, Fine Print Mark Plotkin. The Amazon Conservation Team, US Melissa Ryan, Editor, The Na ture Conservancy Magazine Michael Hutchins, President The Wildlife Society Miriam Stein, Editor, National Geographic Explorer Magazine Patricio Robles Gil, Pres ident Agupacin Sierra Madre Peter Laufmann, Natur Kosmos Magazine, Germany Rod Mast, Conservation International, US Roz Kidman Cox, former editor BBC Wildlife Magazine, UK Sterling Zumbrunn, Director of Phot ography, Conservation International Steve Freligh, President Na tures Best Foundation Susan McElhinney, Editor Ranger Rick Magazine Tom Carlisle, Chair, Environment Committee, NANPA Swati Thyagarajan ND 24/7 TV, India Harriet Nimmo, Director Wildscreen Film Festival Richard Edwards, Director, ARKIVE Rob Sheppard, Editor Outdoor Photographer Magazine Sophie Stafford, Editor BBC WIldlife Magazine Deborah Sage, Competition Director, Shel l-BBC Wildlife Photogra pher of the Year Gemma Webster -Competition Officer, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Helen Gilks, Director Na ture Picture Library, UK Board of Advisors: Sir David Attenborough, natu ralist and br oadcaster Dr. Sylvia Earle, Executive Director for Marine Conservation, Conservation International Dr. Mike Fay, Science and Exploration Program, Wildlife Conservation Society Armando Garcia, Vice President for Development, Cemex Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of The Jane Goodall Institute, Messenger of Peace for the UN Sir Ian Douglas Hamilton, President & CEO, Save the Elephants Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, President, The Heinz Center Dr. Vance Martin, President, The WILD Foundation Dr. Russell Mittermeier, President, Conservation International Dr. George Schaller, Chief Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society 86

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APPENDIX C LETTER PROPOSING CONCEPT OF LINC 10 August, 2004 Dear Friends and Colleagues, My recent work in Africa (Gabon with the Sm ithsonian Institution and Mali with the WILD Foundation and US State Department) has s hown me the value of using documentary photography to make a difference for conservation. Now, I return to Florida with a renewed sense of urgency to promote conservation of natural habitats and cultural lega cies here in a state where developm ent pressures are especially strong and natural heritage is la rgely unappreciated and vani shing at an alarming rate. My new book, The Edge of Africa is a collaboration with the Sm ithsonian Institution and other scientific organizations, the governments of Gabon and the US, and Shell Oil Company, all working together for conservation. The book and associated exhibitions have made clear the power of photography to change pe rspectives and catalyze change. During my travels, several locals told me the photos made them proud to be Gabonese; they saw their natural heritage in new light. Similar positive influence is being achieved in Mali by using photographs to raise awareness, political support and funding for th e protection of endangere d desert elephants. Using photography to promote conservation has beco me the driving force in my life and I intend to create a non-profit organization for that purpo se an institute for documenting environmental and cultural issues in order to promote conserva tion of environmental and cultural heritage. This institute will provide a vehicle for my vision an d a platform from which I can form partnerships with research and conservation organizati ons, government agencies, corporations and individuals. My work will begin here in Florida, where I am best suited to make a difference due to my background and education. I feel espe cially connected to Floridas landscape and cultural history due to my personal experiences and a family history that traces back eight generations. Additionally, I have gain ed a broad and interdisciplinary perspective on conservation problems from my graduate education in ecology and environmental journa lism at the University of Florida. Based on my recent experiences oversea s in environmental photojournalism, I will also pursue projects international in scope where I see the opportunity to make a difference. Projects and initiatives for 2004 and beyond : The Florida Cattle Ranch Natures Last Stand an in depth look at the environmental conservation value of beef ranching in Florida with a goal of raising aw areness and influencing policy change to encourage ranching over other more destructive land-uses, such as intensive agriculture and reside ntial developments. 87

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Strategic Partnerships with other organizations, such as th e Nature Conservancy and the State of Florida to promote acquisition of priority conservation habi tat, or USAID and the WILD Foundation to raise awareness for impe riled desert elephants in Mali. Scholarships and Fellowships I would like to offer one student scholarship and one professional fellowship/sabbatical each year to individuals us ing documentary photography to make a difference for conservation. Once I raise nece ssary funds, this aspect will be administered under a foundation within the institute ( e.g. Legacy Foundation ) Naming the Institute I am seeking a name which is descriptive to the institutes purpose, yet easily recognizable at the same time. I have been pondering this issue for se veral months and have a rrived at a first choice and several alternatives. Please provide feedb ack on the following ideas, and please share any new ideas you may have. LINC Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture Draft Mission Statement: The Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) aims to raise awareness for natural environments and cultural legacies, educat e about important connections between human societies and natural ecosystems and promote conservation and st ewardship of natural heritage for the betterment of present and future generations. The main tool of the institute is photographic documentary of threatened or changi ng landscapes, ecological and cultural. Visual communications is the main voice of LINC's educational and political purposes. LINC will also create scholarships and fellowshi ps to empower other journalists to pursue meaningful projects within the scope of the institutes mission. I like LINC because the acronym is easy to rememb er and plays off the notion of connection. It is also general enough that beyond my Florida projects I will be able to part ner with international organizations. I was also able to reserve the web domain: www.LINC.us. Best regards, Carlton Ward Jr. 88

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APPENDIX D CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY SURVEY OCTOBER 15, 2007 Questions: 1) What is the difference between Conservation Photography and Nature Photography? 2) Do you see Conservation Photography as an emerging field? 3) What are your hopes for the role of Conservation Photography in the coming decades? Responses: Jim Balog Conservation Photography (CP) is Nature Photography (NP) with an edge. NP generally is focused solely on celebrating the beauty of nature. While much CP certainly focuses on beauty, CP is invested with another meaning too: the natural world is in danger and must be preserved. In the techno-consumerist-industrial age of today, where the human race is brutalizing nature at an everfaster pace, CP emerges as a focuse d force with an intensity much great er than anything that photography mustered in decades or centuries past. We MUST use these tools as eloquently as we can or else we can simply congratulate ourselves on living through the extinction of nature. There is no room for uncertainty, no room for cynicism, no room for doubt or else those who follow us on this planet will damn us for our weakness. The least we can do is the best we can do. Gary Braasch 1. In general CP is a subset of NP, in which the photos are made to show, and/or interpreted for the viewer as illustrating, an issue of conservation, preservation or na tural history science. CP also includes images of indigenous peoples and the social issues they face. There is frequently an overt attempt of persuasion or advocacy accompanying the photos. The larger realm of nature photography in cludes photos made to extoll, display or study th e beauty and complexity of nature, w ithout any apparent issue or advocacy involved. Sometimes it is a matter of the caption,but as practiced by many members of ILCP, CP is the outgrowth of an interest in conservation or a partic ular issue which lead to the creation of the images. I have long used the term environmental photographer to describe what I do -which is meant to evoke the ideas of our whole world in which we live and the field of environmentalism, or the full range of conservation advocacy and politics. 2. No, it is really one of the first purposes photography was put to, recalling the images that helped convince the Congress to establish the National Parks and preserve part of the Yellowstone region. It did not have a name nor an organization to foster it until recently. Th e most famous nature photographers like Eliot Porter and Ansel Adams were absolutely in thrall of the beauty of nature. But both were very active conservationists who used both existing photos as well as purposefully made ones to advocate for conservation and preservation. I don't know what they called themselves. I think I saw in Ansel's writings that he felt this was what a photographer and citizen did when he saw how threatened his subject locations and other natural areas were. 3. That it have a greater voice. I mean that word specifically. Certainly I want our photos to reach a broader audience. But I also want our expe rtise, knowledge, backgrounds and intelligence to be a larger part of national and international decisions about environmental issues. Apart from the indigenous people and the current land managers and scientists, there is no other group of people who knows as much about our planet's wild places and endangered life as nature phot ographers. Those of us wh o wish to should be called 89

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on more often into national debates and negotiations over environmental and conservation matters --and everything that affects them. Connie Bransilver 1. In nature photography it's just about the pretty picture without regard for the creatures or the environment in which the image is made. Conservation photography is intended to illustrate a scene or area or issue, etc., to awaken public attention and a drive toward conservation 2. Most certainly, but to be r eally successful, it needs to be positive. People want and need hope and beauty rather than ugliness and despair. 3. That the conservation movement matures toward positive answers to the now-obvious issues facing our species and all other species w ith which we share the planet. Amy Gulick 1. Nature photography illustrates nature subjects, whereas conservation photography illustrates the conservation of nature. It's like the difference betw een nature writing and investigative journalism with conservation as the subject. Conservation photography seeks to use images to strengthen the case for conserving threatened species an d habitats, and solving today's pressing environmental issues. 2. Yes, finally. While it's been aro und for a long time, it hasn't received the attention it deserves. As conservation topics finally make headline news (e .g. global warming, fossil fuels and associated environmental costs, alternative energy, etc.), images to illustrate these issues are increasingly important. 3. I would like to see more conservation photographers make images that show people the connection between a healthy environment an d their own well-being, from ecological, economic and social standpoints. I would also like to see more and more nature publications, as well as mainstream publications, embrace conservation photography stories and realize that they won't lose readership if the stories are presented in a way that connects with viewers in a positive way, empowering them to make lifestyle changes that will benefit all life on earth. Allison Jones 1. Nature Photography focuses on the beauty and diversity of species and ecosystems. Conservation Photography focuses on that, but just as importantly or perhaps more importantly on the threats to the delicate balance of nature and consequences of those threats. As well, Conservation Photography goes one step further by disseminating images in an effort to provoke and promote paradigm shifts in consumption and conservation of our natural resources. And lastly, Conservation Photography also focuses on and ecosystem and bioiversity manageme nt systems bei ng put in place. All of that indicates that Nature Photographers are looking for landscapes without indications of human influence, just as did their predecessors the fine arts, salon-type of painters with their strict definitions of what constitutes a landscape. However, Conservatio n Photographers are constantly looking for ways to illustrate damaging elements of the human footprint, in order to raise an awar eness of and thus prevent further degradation. 2. Most definitely. Al Gores movie has proved that vi sual media can make a difference and that we must pay attention to the crises now facing this planet. 3. That well be able to get all the funding and other support we need to do the footwork in mobilizing a change in attitude towards conserving this planet before its too late. Conservation Photographers are 90

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passionate and willing to go the extra mile to make a difference, even when it means exposure to dangers ranging from malaria to bears to extreme altitudes or temperatures. They are willing to be the foot soldiers on the battle front, but they need backup support! Robert Glen Ketchum 1. Conservation photography acknowledges work that is being directed in an advocate/pro-active way on behalf of a specific issue/cause, not simply nice pictures of nature. 2. Not a field, a personal belief and commitment. 3. That photographers wo rking in this way will accelerat e the dissemination and use of stories and images that will be pertinent to the future of species survival on this planet. Florian Mllers 1. CP is more than a hobby or a passion or a profession, which might apply to NP. It means that you understand the needs of how to communicate conservatio n, scientific research or the aims of special programs to protect species or hab itats and much more important th at you especially design your work to match these needs. The main reas on for any CP output is to raise awareness and promote conservation issues. On the contrary NP is something that is inte nded to give you pleasure, relaxation and an intimate encounter with the wild, but does not follow any cons ervation purpose as such. The benefit is to the photographer not to a species or a habitat. 2. Unfortunately, not at all. Here in Europe, many hobbyists give away their pictures for free to conservation groups, NGO and their magazines. But, not so much because of their moral obligation to contribute to conservation but to have their work published and gain personal satisfaction and a higher social status. Professionals still don't bother much and just try to make a living, which is hard enough as we all know. I think one important reason for that is that CP/NP is not considered to be worth paying for. Everybody does it (NP). The internet is swamped with pictures of natural subjects and nobody cares about the aesthetic appeal, scientific correctness or photographic impact of an image if there is not enough budget reserved to pay a photographer for his/her work. Not NatGeo rates, but pay him/her at all or reimburse for expenses, etc. There are other missing stimuli for (PRO) photographers to devote their time and talent to CP: output often low quality, low numbers, bad printing, missing photographer/copyright information, etc. I have the feeling, many of us desperately want to give something back and would like to put more effort in CP or switch to it completely. But we (PROS) have to make a living just like other people (biologists, graphic designers, project managers, staff) and conservation still has to understand that. On the other side we have to work hard on promoting that. ILCP would be the right "force" behind such PR. 3. More joint projects including many photographers (RAVE; WILD WONDERS OF EUROPE etc) to deliver more impact on the public, A better way of understanding each others needs/of communication on the NGO side/on the photographers side Flip Nicklin 1. For me it is not what you do, but what you do with it. Using Nature photography to further conservation issues. 91

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2. I really think of it as a way to pay back, not as a field of work. 3. That nature photography can make a difference in our efforts to keep systems working. Michael Nichols 1. I believe that would-be conservation photography clearly has a mission rather than pure entertainment. The photographer chooses subject matter and publication outlets that can effectively help conservationists to get their message, do fund raising, affect legislation and so on. Nature photography might be defined as "pretty pictures" of nature, and nothing wrong with this if it does some good. 2. I think the question is asked because we are experiencing an effective awareness about nature in the first world and therefore photographers that might have conc entrated on social issues and war are turning to conservation. The same is true with publications. Al Gores gets the Nobel Prize and I would not be surprised if this years World Press photo winner is not an environmental image. IT is in the air now more than ever! 3. No more time for images that do not fight for those and that which has no voice. no doubt our kind of image making is going to be the next big thing, and frankly it simply has to be this way. The world is on the brink and I guess we will document the whole thing. It is a shame we cannot win the war. Tui de Roy 1. Conservation Photography is the use of Nature Photography to convey a message that is bigger and more lasting than the images themselves. It require seeing and feeling the vulnerability of the subject and somehow projecting that unequivocally through choice of angle and other creative means. And when the photo is taken the job doesn't end in fact it often only just begins: Using words, sequences, venues, music, and a myriad other means to strengthen and focus the conservation message held within the image. Just as Ballet in a combination of Music, Dance and Set, Conservation Photography is the marrying of Su bject, Creative eye and Delivery. As such it could be seen as a whole new discipline. 2. CP has always been here, but neither the photographer nor the audience ha s necessarily been aware of it it has often been a haphazard, disjointed process. The ILCP has now become the catalyst for people inside and outside the trade to hear the message loud and clear to give a voice to the movement. And, not least, to bestow upon its practitioners a real sense of responsi bility based on exacting ethics: an imposter, or even freeloader, will tarnish the entire movement. 3. I hope CP will go from strength to strength as an unbiased medium by which to connect the plight of the natural world with the people physically removed from it. We must therefore never rest in our pursuit of increasingly sophisticated ways of r eaching our audiences' hearts, becaus e at the end of the day, how we treat the planet will hinge primarily on how we feel abou t it. There is no better medium than truthful yet creative visual communication to make people CARE. Joel Sartore 1. To me, nature photography could best be described as straightforward photos of plants, animals and landscapes. They can be in nice light or not, show behavior or not, but they usually don't go beyond the obvious. Conservation photography, on the other hand, speaks more to man's hand on the planet and the need to conserve places or species. It comes in a myriad of form s. The bottom line is that th ese are pictures that go 92

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to work. They allow the reader a chance to understand what's happening out in the world, even the ugly stuff. The nature photograph shows a butterfly on a pretty flower. The conservation photograph shows the same thing, but with a bulldozer coming at it in the background. This doesn't mean there's no room for beautiful pictures, in fact we need beautiful im ages just as much as the issues. It does mean that the images exist for a reason; to save the Earth while we still can. 2. Absolutely. We all know what polar bears look like. Now we need to show the threats to them. There will be more and more issues arise as the human race contin ues to expand, dominate, heat the planet and strip it of natural resources. We need as many conservation-minded photographers as possible to document what's happening. 3. I hope it moves the masses to care. For example, most folks don't know that we're going to lose at least half of all amphibian species within the next ten years. I'm currently doing a photo project to tell folks just that. There are more conservation subjects than ther e are photographers at this point, however, and growing. We need to be sure that the power of the photograph is used in as many ways as possible to drive human understanding of the issues that plague species and habitats. There's no time to lose. Kevin Schafer 1. In my view, Conservation photography is distinguished by its sense of purpose. It is photography specifically made with the goal of furthering the goals of conservation rather than simply as a record of nature's beauty, an aesthetic that informs much of conventional nature photography. There is considerable overlap, of course: the skills required for top-quality photography remain the same, and photographs take by photographers not specifically dedicated to conservation can still have enormous power. 2. In a sense, conservation photography is nothing new. Photography has always been an essential tool in conservation, illustrating what is at stake, and worth pr otecting. Nature magazines like Audubon and Nature Conservancy have used photography to educate and advocate, and NGOs worldwide depend on photography to get their message across and to give it impact. One of the most dramatic pairings of photography and advocacy, however, was the influential Sierra Club book series of the 1970's and 1980's: in these books, photographers like Eliot Porter and Philip Hyde used their landscape photographs to help preserve land in the US. Robert Ketchum carried on this tradition with his book on the Tongass, which was groundbreaking because it showed not just the beauty of threatened areas, but also the realities of devastation. This was conservation photography at its best, and it is silly for us to suggest that anyone, including the ILCP, invented the idea! What we can do is promote the idea of advocacy. Having said this, it is important to distinguish between CP as a "field" and as a "profession." Very few of us, although we are committed to conservation, can hope to make a living entirely through this specialty. For years I have given away photography to support small NGO's, gifts subsidized by my commercial work. Yet the promotion of the idea of CP can hopefully generate new interest in and new funding sources for photographic projects targeted specifically at promoting conservation goals. 3. I hope the renewed interest in CP will result in more people choosing to use their photographic skills in support of conservation in their local areas and around the world. Christian Ziegler 1. purpose, and a goal of supporting the conservation of that specific part of nature, be it an area or a species 2. surely is 3. I hope that people get more responsible, in that they can't ignore the problems, while photographing nature. 93

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Balan Madhavan To start with; Conservation photography is the highly evolved form of nature photography. As someone has said "All nature photographers will eventually become natura lists and all naturalists would also become nature photographers over a period of time". When you maintain a long term relationship with nature and become a witness to the great show from the front seat, you start to develop an emotional attachment to your subjects and surroundings. It is this attachment or love for his subject that prompts the photographer to become a conservationist. And what separates the conservation photographer from the others is his/her concern on the well being of their subject and the urge to do something to protect them. Its almost like a parents feeli ngs towards their children. More over the conservation photographer is much more deeply involved in his work and quite often would be a specialist in his area and subject. While nature photographers are happy with great shots showing the beauty of their subjects, conservation photographers should cover all aspects of the subjects both beautiful as well as shocking. Anyone who can afford a fortnight in Kenya could come back with great wildlife pictures, but there is no long lasting relationship or concern for the welfare of the subject. Whereas, conservation photographer takes great pains to understand the subject, the issues related to its protection, find explanations and possible solutions all through the medium of photography. And it involves time, money and motivation. To put it simply, its a full-time job. I do not feel that Conservation Photography is a new branch of photography. Though the term was not in usage, many of the serious nature photographers were actively i nvolved in conservation project s and had used their images to create awareness among the masses on environmental issues. In India, there were only a handful of photographers who used to venture into the forests in the 60s and 70s and most of them were conservationists to the core. They lacked the high-tech gear that has beco me a symbol of the modern-day nature photographers, but they compensated it with their in-depth knowledge of the forests and each and every animal they photographed. They were also accepted by the government officials an d tribals alike and their opinion mattered in the conservation circles. The 80s and 90s witnessed a sea-ch ange in technology and nature phot ography became much easier with the arrival of auto-focus SLR cameras and supporting elect ronic gadgets. Nature photography became a fashion statement A large number of youngsters joined the bandwagon. These so-called nature photographers were more interested in winning awards and pri zes in Photo Salons and Contests and when the competition became aggressive, all the values and ethics were dumped. To give an example; in the city of Bangalore in S.India, there were hundreds of nature photographers who would venture into the rural villages on every weekend looking for bird nests that they can shoot and local village boys were paid to locate nest s for these amateur photographers. Some even paid money to destroy nests so that nobody else would bag that frame I was shocked to hear about this and with the support of a few dedicated photographers and naturalists managed to ban nest photographs in photo salons in India. And most of the photographers lost interest in bird nests after the ban came into effect. Conservation photography is of utmost importance and is a very effective tool in preaching the message of conservation. This is the era of the visual media and we should use it to the maximum benefit. The works of conservation photographers should excite the viewer and also hit him under the belt. The viewer should feel his responsibility. However, I feel that more attention should be given to the third-world and developing nations. Similarly, the effort should focus on youngsters and school children as they are the future citizens and it is easy to mould them into nature lovers at a younger age than knocking some sense into the politicians heads. I am greatly inspired by the example shown by Ms. Belinda Wright who shot award winning films like Land of the Tiger. After realizing the fact that tigers would vanish from the fa ce of earth very soon, she left her career as a film maker to start the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). She has dedicated her whole life for tiger conservation and especially anti-poaching work. Her recent images of tiger skin trade in Tibet created worldwide rage and forced the Chinese authorities to take action against the traders. Powerful visuals have always influenced human conscience. Hats off to Cristina for forming this organization that has brought the conservationist in the photographer to the forefront 94

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101 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/w p-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contented =A59270-2001Dec5¬Found=true> (accessed September 2003) Trescott, J. 2003. Smithsonians Arctic Refuge exhibit draws Senate scrutiny. Washington Post, Washington, D.C. (May 21):C01. Trimble, S. 2006. Philip Hyde: inspiring a gene ration of wilderness photographers. New West, Missoula, MT. Available from http ://www.newwest.net/index .php/topic/article /7611/C41/L41/ (accessed August 2007). Tucker, A. W., C. Cass, and S. Daiter. 2001. Th is was the photo league: compassion and the camera from the depression to the cold war. Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago. Ward, C. 2005. Building connections. The Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture, Tampa, Florida. Available from http://www.lin c.us/connections.htm (accessed October 2007). Ward, C. et al. 2003. The edge of Africa. Smith sonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and Hylas Publishing, New York. Wagner, J. 1979. Images of information: sti ll photography in the social sciences. Sage Publications, Beverly Hills. Welna, D. 2003. Smithsonian defends move of ANWR photos: officials say captions advocate protecting controversial ref uge. National Public Radio, Wash ington, D.C. Available from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1269389 (accessed August 2007). Wignall, J. 2005. The last wilderness. Out door Photographer Magazine (January):48-53. Wilson, E. O. 1984. Biophilia. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Wilson, E.O. 1998. Consilience: the unity of knowledge. Alfred A. Knoff, New York. Wollen, P. 2003. Shooting wars. The Nation, New York. Available from http://www.thenation.com/doc/20031006/ wollen/3 (accessed September 2007) Wolfe, A. 2000. The living wild. Wildlands Press, Seattle. Xiao, L. 2006. Monkeying around. China Daily, Xinhau (November 25). Available from http://www.china.org.cn/english/envi ronment/190235.htm (accessed September 2007). Yates, Douglas A. 1996. The rentier Stat e in Africa: oil rent dependency and neocolonialism in the Republic of Ga bon. Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ.

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102 PHOTOGRAPHY AND WRITING BY THE AUTHOR RELATED TO THE STORIES FEATURED IN THE THESIS, PAGES 70-80, AND THE PROFESSIONAL PROJECT Newspaper and Magazine Articles Bancroft, C. and C. Ward. 2005. A home for the range. St. Petersburg, Florida (January 17). Available from http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/17/Floridian/A_home_for_ the_range.shtml (accessed October 2007). Bennett, L and C. Ward. 2004. Eye to eye: standi ng up to wild elephants and oil executives, environmental photographer Carlton Ward Jr. balances shared interests and ends up with art. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida. Available from http://www.sptimes. com/2004/04/11/Floridian/Eye_to_eye.shtml (accessed November 2007). Bourchert, P and C. Ward. 2005. The best of Afri ca Geographic. Africa Geographic, Cape Town, South Africa. 30. Bowermaster, J. and C. Ward. 2005. Gabun: von der wildnis verschluckt. Geo, Germany. (October):14-30. Bowermaster, J. and C. Ward. 2006. Animali: nella foresta tropicale del Gabon, alla scoperta di specie rare. Geo, Italy. (July):152-164. Cade, M. and C. Ward. 2006. Saving Florida. Range Magazine. Carson City, Nevada. 54(3):90-96. Grossman, D and C. Ward. 2007. Before they re gone: three photographers dedicated to preserving a disappearing America. Popular Photogra phy and Imaging Magazine (June):64-70. Grunwald, M. and C. Ward. 2006. Everglades. Sm ithsonian Magazine, Washington, D.C. (March):46-57 Helmuth, L and C. Ward. 2005. Saving Malis mi gratory elephants. Smithsonian Magazine, Washington, D.C. (July):56-62 Klinkenburg, J and C. Ward. 2006. Bagging the big one. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida (November 12). Available from http://www.sptimes.com/2006/11/12/Floridian/ Bagging_the_big_one_.shtml (accessed October 2007). Klinkenburg, J and C. Ward. 2007. A love of th e land. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida (January 21). Available from http://www.sptimes.com/2007/01/21/Floridian/ A_love_of_the_land.shtml (accessed October 2007). Lee, M and C. Ward. 2004. Secrets of the forest Africa Geographic, Cape Town, South Africa. (August):50-56.

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103 Lschke, S and C. Ward. 2005. Giganten auf der spur. Geo Lino Extra, Germany. 56-63. Masanu, B and C. Ward. 2004. Au Coeur du Paradi s de la biodiversit. Lunion, Libreville, Gabon. (February 15):20. Perello, I and C. Ward. 2005. Saving wildlife and land with a digi tal camera. Outdoor Photographer, Los Angeles. (March). Av ailable from http://www.outdoorphotographer. com/content/2005/mar/saving.shtml (accessed November 2007). Ryan, P and C. Ward. 2004. You can do it: stunning fr og portraits can be easier than you think. Popular Photography & Imagi ng, New York. (November):77-79. Tangley, L and C. Ward. 2003. Portraits in the wild: in an unexplored regi on of Africas Atlantic coast, an innovative phot ographer captures Gabons boun tiful wildlife. Smithsonian Magazine, Washington, D.C. (October):60-67. Tangley, L and C. Ward. 2004. Portraits of divers ity: in an unexplored and biologically rich region of Africa, a pioneering U.S. photographe r captures a treasure tr ove of tropical lifeforms on film. National Wildlife Magazine, Reston, Virginia. (December/January):80-85. Ward, C. 2003. The life and times of a Florida co wboy. St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida (June 1). Ward, C. 2006. Listen to the voice of the he artland. FORUM. Florida Humanities Council, St. Petersburg, Florida. (Winter):34-37. Ward, C. 2006. Tracking history. St Petersburg Times, St. Pete rsburg, Florida (March 17). Ward, C. 2007. Africas other elephants. National Wildlife Magazine, Reston, Virginia. (October /November):30F-30K. Ward, C. 2007. Elephants of Timbuktu: restless spirits of the desert. Africa Geographic, Cape Town, South Africa. (July):34-41. Ward, C and I. Gray. 2004. Finding natures frame: the territory of the image in conservation photography. Watershed Journal, Brown University. 1(2):34-44. Television Bowermaster, J. 2007. Lost coast of Gabon: s ea kayaking West Africa. Oceans 8 Films, New York. Hite, B. 2004. Interview with Carlton Ward. News Channel 8, Tampa, Florida. (September). Lee, M. and C. Ward. 2004. Interview: Paradi s de la biodiversit BBC Africa, Libreville (February).

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104 TVE. 2003. Oils well? BBC Earth Report. Television Trust for the Environment, London. Syndicated via BBC (September). Books Alonso, A. et al. 2006. Gamba, Gabon: biodiversit dune fort quatoriale africaine. Biological Society of Washingt on, Washington, D.C. Pauwels, O. et al. 2007. Reptiles and amphibians of Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Ward, C et al. 2003. The edge of Africa. Smiths onian Institution, Washington, D.C. and Hylas Publishing, New York. Travelling Exhibition from The Edge of Africa 2004. Intercontinental Hotel. Libreville, Gabon. (February) 2004. Waldorf Astoria Hotel and United Nations, New York. (September) 2005. Royal Geographic Society, London. (March)

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105 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Carlton Ward Jr. is a conservation photographer from Tampa, Florida. He earned his bachelors degree from Wake Forest Universi ty in 1998 where he majored in biology with minors in anthropology and environmental studi es. After college, Ward interned in the photography department at the Smithsonian Institu tions National Museum of Natural History. In 2000 he began graduate training in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida, studying biology, anthropology and phot ojournalism. He was also a photography intern with the St. Petersburg Times and won the Student Po rtfolio of the Year at the 2001 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. Ward worked for the Gabon biodiversity projec t with the Smithsonian Institution starting in 2001 and published The Edge of Africa in 2003. The Gabon project helped establish Wards vision for combining photography with science as a tool for conservation. In 2004, he returned to Florida where he has eight generations of herita ge and began projects focused on the vanishing heritage of Florida coastal fishing communities and ranchlands. In June 2007, Popular Photography Magazine featured Ward as one of three photographers working to save the American wilderness based on his Florida ranchlands work which will be published in a book titled Last Frontier with the University Press of Florida. Ward has also joined conservationists working to protect the desert elephants of Mali and create a new national park in Andros, Bahamas. His phot ography and writing is regularly published in Smithsonian Africa Geographic, GEO National Wildlife and Outdoor Photographer and can be seen at www.carltonward.com. Ward founded The Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC) in 2004 as a vehicle for conservation communications a nd is a founding member of th e International League of Conservation Photographers.