Joel Sartore, is an award-winning photographer, author, and contributor to National Geographic. His images have a certain charming quality to them that I feel captures the essence of his subjects. This is best represented in his on-going project the Photo Ark.
The Photo Ark project is magical. Here is how Joel describes it on the website:
he Photo Ark started back in 2005, when my wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. My career as a National Geographic photographer came to an abrupt halt as I stayed home to tend to her and our three children.
It’s been more than 10 years, and Kathy is fine now, but that year at home gave me a new perspective on the shortness and fragility of life. I was 42 at the time, and as Kathy recovered, one question continued to haunt me: How can I get people to care that we could lose half of all species by the turn of the next century?
Perhaps a series of portraits, made as simply and cleanly as possible, would give us all a chance to look animals directly in the eye and see that there’s beauty, grace, and intelligence in the other creatures we share the planet with. Black and white backgrounds level the playing field, making a mouse every bit as grand as an elephant. In these portraits, they are equals.
All species are vitally important to our very survival; we need bees and even flies to pollinate the fruits and vegetables we eat. We need intact rain forest to regulate the amount of rainfall we get in areas where we grow crops. But beyond what’s in it for us, I believe that each species has a basic right to exist.
There are about 12,000 animal species in human care around the world. So far, I’ve made portraits of more than 6,500, and we’ll keep going until we get them all. It’ll take another 15 years or so. The goal is to show the world what biodiversity actually looks like and get everyone to care about saving species while there’s still time.
I hope you agree that the future of life on Earth is something that deserves our full attention. If so, please tell your friends that you care about all creatures, great and small. Share the photos. Help us celebrate. Join others devoted to saving species and habitats. We all can make a difference.
Every frame gives us a glimpse into the beauty of the world we live in. The only way to inspire people to care about nature is to show it to them. The world is such a wonderful mess of creatures big and small.
Everyone should check out Joel’s website and support the work he is doing. Work like this does not get enough support or praise.