What is conservation photography?
Conservation photography is the most relevant photography genre of today's world. We see the effects of harmful human activities on the environment everywhere - from poaching to illegal cutting of trees, that lead to extinction of endangered animals, to destroying floods. Conservation photography clubs aesthetics of photography and preservation of environment. It deals with documenting nature, and its relationship with mankind, and advocating for the conservation of nature and nature's creatures. With a storytelling approach, conservation photography informs the viewers about what happens to our earth. The goal of a conservation photographer is fulfilling one mission, i.e. to make a difference, on the earth. They go to exotic places to cover details of wildlife, people inhabiting those places, and how they interact with each other. They raise awareness about conservation issues. Unlike other photography genres, it gives the photographer immense fulfillment of serving nature, and taking part in something noble. Conservation photographers generally hold advanced degrees in the field of biology, along with expertise in photography.
How is it different from wildlife photography?
Conservation photographers capture the change and threat faced by the entire ecology of the planet, including the wildlife. They might show the effect of climate change on arctic wildlife, or that of urbanization on wildlife as well as indigenous people of Amazon rainforest. Moreover, your photos should have a strong message on the importance of conservation, rather than just being attractive. They focus on the impact of illegal wildlife trade, and unethical wildlife photography on the environment too. They understand the wildlife, as well as the effects of manmade hazards on them deeply.
Why should you be a conservation photographer?
You can change the world:- You fulfill a great responsibility of promoting biodiversity through your work, and contribute in saving the earth, as well as the people living on it. You raise your voice against the wrong, and generate mass support for a good cause. For example, Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier is a renowned conservation photographer who documented the effect of the erroneous decision of Brazil government to create the Belo Monte dam that led to flooding, and disrupted 40 thousand lives.
You can create history:- As a conservation photographer, you have chances to create more impact on people across the globe than any other type of photographer. Take the example of Ansel Adams, whose creations are showcased in national parks of the USA, and have moved people to conserve their wildlands.
You get global acknowledgement:- Conservation photographers like Neil Ever Osborne, Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, and Amy Gulick are inspiring people all over the earth to take action, and prevent environmental crises. You can join these eminent personalities in their mission too.
Scope of a conservation photographer
As a conservation photographer, you can get chances in national geographic or Discovery channels, or publish your work in their magazines. You will be made part of large, prestigious projects that will have global reach. You can also expect to be invited by various institutions to give lectures on the conservation of nature.
Written by Sanga Basu, Content writer, WPC.