Uncategorized The path to Ulsan rock, Seoraksan National Park

Published on April 10th, 2009 | by ecolocalizer


What is Conservation Photography?

Cristina MittermeierThe author, Cristina Mittermeier, is the Director of the International League of Conservation Photographers and initiative of The WILD Foundation.

I am often asked to define “conservation photography.” The idea, of course, is nothing new, but the conceptualization behind it is still evolving. Perhaps the best way to define it is through actions, and not just words. Being a conservation photographer is not just about visualizing the issues or following interesting story lines. These are important, of course, but make no mistake, the real work of the conservation photographer begins after the last click of the shutter has been made. It is what happens with the images afterwards that matters most. Making wonderful pictures is important; being accomplished story-tellers is a must; following journalistic guidelines should be an automatic part of of our workflow, but what we do with our images to make sure conservation action takes place, is what defines our unique brand of photography.

Take for example the recent Borderlands RAVE. Of course empowering our conservation partners with well-crafted images is our number one priority, but we cannot stop there. We must make sure that the photographs are seen by the right audiences and leaving this to chance is not an option. Weeks after we put our cameras away we are still hard at work crafting an outreach plan and raising funds to bring our vision to life. Among the highlights is a photographic exhibit that will be shown in an event in the US Capitol Building at the end of April and then in a similar event in Mexico City’s Congressional building. I know that the audience, made up of congressional leaders, legislators and other decision-makers will soon forget the speeches, but I am certain that the images we show them will be etched forever in their minds.

I don’t have a final definition, but I do know that the work of the photographers, writers, editors and all the other professionals we work with every day is making a real difference for conservation. I truly am inspired every day.

* Published on EcoWorldly courtesy of the WILD Foundation.

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

5 Responses to What is Conservation Photography?

  1. The preservation of Earth’s body and environs, and its maintenance as a fit place for human habitation, could be initiated so simply, sensibly and responsibly by following “Ten Commandments” for immediate economic reform.


    Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world
    By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    Published: April 7 2009 20:02 | Last updated: April 7 2009 20:02

    1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become too big to fail. Evolution in economic life helps those with the maximum amount of hidden risks – and hence the most fragile – become the biggest.

    2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains. Whatever may need to be bailed out should be nationalised; whatever does not need a bail-out should be free, small and risk-bearing. We have managed to combine the worst of capitalism and socialism. In France in the 1980s, the socialists took over the banks. In the US in the 2000s, the banks took over the government. This is surreal.

    3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (and crashed it) should never be given a new bus. The economics establishment (universities, regulators, central bankers, government officials, various organisations staffed with economists) lost its legitimacy with the failure of the system. It is irresponsible and foolish to put our trust in the ability of such experts to get us out of this mess. Instead, find the smart people whose hands are clean.

    4. Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks. Odds are he would cut every corner on safety to show “profits” while claiming to be “conservative”. Bonuses do not accommodate the hidden risks of blow-ups. It is the asymmetry of the bonus system that got us here. No incentives without disincentives: capitalism is about rewards and punishments, not just rewards.

    5. Counter-balance complexity with simplicity. Complexity from globalisation and highly networked economic life needs to be countered by simplicity in financial products. The complex economy is already a form of leverage: the leverage of efficiency. Such systems survive thanks to slack and redundancy; adding debt produces wild and dangerous gyrations and leaves no room for error. Capitalism cannot avoid fads and bubbles: equity bubbles (as in 2000) have proved to be mild; debt bubbles are vicious.

    6. Do not give children sticks of dynamite, even if they come with a warning . Complex derivatives need to be banned because nobody understands them and few are rational enough to know it. Citizens must be protected from themselves, from bankers selling them “hedging” products, and from gullible regulators who listen to economic theorists.

    7. Only Ponzi schemes should depend on confidence. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”. Cascading rumours are a product of complex systems. Governments cannot stop the rumours. Simply, we need to be in a position to shrug off rumours, be robust in the face of them.

    8. Do not give an addict more drugs if he has withdrawal pains. Using leverage to cure the problems of too much leverage is not homeopathy, it is denial. The debt crisis is not a temporary problem, it is a structural one. We need rehab.

    9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement. Economic life should be definancialised. We should learn not to use markets as storehouses of value: they do not harbour the certainties that normal citizens require. Citizens should experience anxiety about their own businesses (which they control), not their investments (which they do not control).

    10. Make an omelette with the broken eggs. Finally, this crisis cannot be fixed with makeshift repairs, no more than a boat with a rotten hull can be fixed with ad-hoc patches. We need to rebuild the hull with new (stronger) materials; we will have to remake the system before it does so itself. Let us move voluntarily into Capitalism 2.0 by helping what needs to be broken break on its own, converting debt into equity, marginalising the economics and business school establishments, shutting down the “Nobel” in economics, banning leveraged buyouts, putting bankers where they belong, clawing back the bonuses of those who got us here, and teaching people to navigate a world with fewer certainties.

    Then we will see an economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage. A world in which entrepreneurs, not bankers, take the risks and companies are born and die every day without making the news.

    In other words, a place more resistant to black swans.

    The writer is a veteran trader, a distinguished professor at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute and the author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

  2. Pingback: In Search Of Conservation Photography | Brian H. Powell Photography Blog

  3. saeedeh fallah says:

    hi. I am from Iran. I study conservation in art university of isfahan and my final project was photo conservation. I done that but was very difficult for me because their was no enough experience for my teachers and me.I want continue photo conservation. help me.pleas

  4. PABLO UDDIN says:

    i’m a fan of conservation photography. . . even though i’m not a photographer (not yet) but i want to. conservation photography is not so familiar here in the Philippines. i only saw it in a wild life TV program in GMA7 called “Born to be Wild”. since then i became so interested about it, because of the help that it can do in our society. i believe this will became a power full tool to waken up the people on high walls. i will pray that God will give me a chance to be part of this wonderful move for the world. but first, i need to have my own camera. LOL. May God bless you more in your works. please send me updates about you and your team. Thanks.

  5. Pingback: Telluride Photo Fest Offers Conservation Photography Workshop | The WILD Foundation - The WILD Foundation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑