Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Outdoor Photography Names 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers

Outdoor Photography Magazine has named its 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers and we're honored to have several iLCP photographers included in the mix! Congratulations and thanks! Let's keep up the great work bringing conservation into focus.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fresh Water: The Essence of Life

What would we do without fresh water? Although these ecosystems have proved resilient throughout millennia, within the last few generations humanity has radically destroyed earth’s fresh water ecosystems to the point of alarm. Fresh Water: The Essence of Life, the latest publication from Earth in Focus Editions (EIFE) in conjunction with the iLCP alerts readers to key issues concerning a topic paramount to all of us -- fresh water -- and its resources, its uses (and abuses) and its future.

It is within our grasp to adapt to the conditions we have created and to mitigate our impact on the future, but the window of opportunity is closing. Now is the time to reclaim our humility in relationship to the Earth’s fresh water and to resurrect an understanding of how interdependent we are with these ecosystems.

Click here for more info on the book. You can also check out a preview of it by clicking here.

Freshwater_Final_2010 from iLCP on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Impacting Indigenous Culture - The Tar Sands of Northern Alberta›

Every extractive industry deeply affects the relationship between people on the land and their newly manufactured landscape. The incredibly rapid development of the tar sands in Northern Alberta is having a profound affect on the culture, lifestyle and health of the First Nations. Conversely, communities have gained employment, and access to modern health care and services. Is the stability and preservation of a culture better served through attention to traditional lifestyle or to commerce and industry?

This multimedia piece by iLCP photographer Robert van Waarden explores this story and the consequences of the Tar Sands development on the First Nations of Northern Alberta.

Impacting Indigenous Culture - The Tar Sands of Northern Alberta from Robert van Waarden on Vimeo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Big Picture: Using Images To Defend A World At Risk

The iLCP is a fellowship of the world's top professionals who share an art and a vision. Through their images, they inform, inspire, motivate… They are defenders of a world at risk. The following images are from a feature on iLCP in the Winter 2011 issue of 2board Magazine.


Above, Garth Lenz's images of global environmental issues, threatened wilderness regions, nature’s devastation and its impact on indigenous peoples, have appeared in many of the world’s leading publications. He believes that “presented with images that show the beauty and fragility of nature, contrasted by the scale and impact of our industrialization of the landscape, people will be encouraged to support conservation and a more ecologically sensitive relationship with the earth.
Famous for her underwater photographs of marine life, Michele Westmorland, said it is the goal of iLCP "to tell visual stories that can change minds and protect delicate environments, whether it’s flora, fauna or cultural traditions.”
“Photography and science are a powerful combination.” Armed with a background in science, Cristina Mittermeier founded iLCP in 2005. She has made it her life’s mission to “use photography to protect our planet’s precious resources”, focusing mainly on indigenous communities, and in particular a tribe from the central Amazon, called the Kayapo (pictured above).
Over the course of his long career, Jim Brandenburg has received a multitude of prestigious national and international honors for his work, including the World Achievement Award from the united Nations environmental Programme in Stockholm, Sweden, in recognition of his using nature photography to raise public awareness for the environment. The image above is included in a unique collection that represents iLCP’s 40 most important nature photographs of all time.
Pulitzer prize-winner Jack Dykinga helped to develop the iLCP’s Rapid Action Visual Expedition (RAVE) initiative that features a team of photographers, writers and cameramen working together to provide a comprehensive portrait of a conservation issue or threat in a very short period of time: “Βy assembling RAVES, the iLCP has managed to expose threats to the environment and inform a global audience in an effort to effect change. I’m involved, because it gives me a chance to “pay back” and defend all the wild places I hold so dear."
In Kabul, this 11-year-old girl, Humaria (above), sells eggs to help her family in their struggle to survive a devastating war. When Taliban came to power, education for girls came to an end. Documenting indigenous and tribal cultures around the world for more than 25 years, Phil Borges, seeks to enhance and improve cross-cultural understanding with his images.

Learn more about the iLCP here.

Coverage of climate summit called short on science: Study Says Media 'Under-reported' Issue of Warming

© Paul Nicklen, iLCP

Less than 10 percent of the news articles written about last year's climate summit in Copenhagen dealt with the science of climate change, a study showed on today.

From the Washington Post:
Based on analysis of 400 articles written about the December 2009 summit, the authors of the report for Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism called for a rethinking of reporting on future such conferences.

Author James Painter concluded that "science was under-reported" as the essential backdrop when about 120 world leaders met in Copenhagen but were unable to agree on a binding treaty to slow climate change...

"We need more discussion between scientists, journalists and policymakers on how to keep highly significant, slow-burn issues like climate change interesting and engaging to different audiences around the world," Painter wrote...

Painter said one way to improve the reporting on climate change is to provide a larger media staff members to help scientists. He said the environmental group Greenpeace had 20 media staffers in Copenhagen, compared with 12 media staff from 250 universities. The U.N. panel of climate scientists has one media officer.

Among other suggestions was more frontline reporting about the effects of climate change, along with more imaginative use of new media.

And we couldn't agree more that we need to encourage more communication in the conservation community. At the 9th World Wilderness Congress at the Wild Speak Symposium on conservation communications, a resolution proposed by iLCP, Wildscreen and the National Geographic Society encouraging "the philanthropic community to increase their funding for visual communication for conservation." The resolution was approved and passed.

Because climate change is difficult for many people to grasp, it is critical for science and conservation communities to step in and support media that tells the story of climate change to the global community — in a way that everyone can understand.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tripods in the Mud: Fiji Expedition in Photos

Here at the International League of Conservation Photographers, we know that in order to capture the images that inspire people, sometimes you've got to get your hands dirty. And that's part of the inspiration behind our Tripods in the Mud (TIM) initiative that helps partner professional photographers with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue. iLCP photographer Keith Ellenbogen recently returned from a TIM expedition to Fiji, so this week we've decided to highlight Keith's work and what he discovered while working in Fiji.


On assignment with the joint New England Aquarium / Monterey Bay Aquarium Fiji Expedition — with partners Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation SocietyILCP photographer Keith Ellenbogen joined a team of scientists and citizen scientists to visually communicate biodiversity, scientific work and issues surrounding our marine environment.

For the first part of the expedition we lived on a boat and descended beneath the surface on a daily basis to explore the coral reef habitats and ecosystems within the Bligh Waters of Namena Marine Reserve (Locally Managed Marine Area), Vatu-i-Ra and deepwater seamounts.

On this expedition I worked collaboratively with Dr. Les Kaufman, Senior Scientist at Conservation International to experiment with a technique for capturing images of fluorescence within corals that may be used as a method for understanding coral resilience and the “health” of the coral reef ecosystem.

From a photographic point of view the use of fluorescence photography enabled me to capture a palette of mind-bending retro greens, yellows, oranges and reds within the geometric structure of the corals that are naturally produced but not easily seen without the aid of filters covering camera lens and strobes.

The technique was experimental and required both Dr. Kaufman and myself to work as a team through some of the challenges and issues of capturing images of fluorescence within the corals. One challenge was to capture images of fluorescence during daylight hours so we could more easily target selected areas and species of corals. This was difficult because the ambient daylight dilutes the filtered light emitted by the strobes and received by the camera. Additionally, both Dr. Kaufman and myself worked as a team underwater to find corals that would exhibit areas of scientific importance as well as peak visual interest.

This was a rewarding collaboration that showcases how captivating imagery can bring to life scientific research and conservation efforts.

Read more posts on the expedition...

NEAq Blog: A Glowing World:

NEAq Expedition Blog:

Conservation International Blog:

PHOTOS: © Keith Ellenbogen, iLCP

Editor's Note: Fluorescence photography is a method that was developed by Charlie Mazel. Want to learn more about it? Click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ensuring Conservation Through Education in Fiji

Here at the International League of Conservation Photographers, we know that in order to capture the images that inspire people, sometimes you've got to get your hands dirty. And that's part of the inspiration behind our Tripods in the Mud (TIM) initiative that helps partner professional photographers with conservation organizations for the creation of visual materials on a specific region or issue. iLCP photographer Keith Ellenbogen recently returned from a TIM expedition to Fiji, so this week we've decided to highlight Keith's work and what he discovered while working in Fiji.
Stay tuned for more stories from Fiji throughout the week!

Marine issues are key in Fiji. Take a quick look at Google and you'll soon find that there are plenty of marine conservation related expeditions and volunteer trips. In a pristine region that's up against severe challenges like pollution, over fishing coral reef degradation and erosion, it's no surprise that the global community wants to make sure that the island's unspoiled landscape and waters don't fall victim to these threats. But beyond the global support for these islands, there's a lot of stuff happening on the ground to ensure that the beautiful and diverse marine environment in this area of the world doesn't disappear, and one of those is one of the simplest things that we can support: education.

This summer the International Pacific Marine Educators Network convened in Fiji to discuss sustainable development in the Pacific region. At the conference's end, it was clear that strengthening the role of marine education and traditional knowledge is a crucial component to the future of sustainable development in this region, and both UNESCO and the Fiji government made commitments to making sure that this would happen.

“Pacific Islanders, who are custodians of the rich but threatened marine biodiversity in the region, have for centuries applied customary management practices in the traditional governance of their fishing grounds,” noted associate professor Joeli Veitayaki, coordinator of the Marine Studies Division at the University of the South Pacific (USP).

“While remnants of the system remain today, the people have witnessed increasing threats as they have to share their resources with other people with whom they must now work to ensure its sustainability.”

What exactly does that look like? Making sure that marine education is included in Fiji's school curriculum, setting up a combined youth forum between Fijian school students and Coorparoo Secondary College, Brisbane, Australia. The power of education in aiding some of our bigger, global issues can't be stressed enough. Fiji currently does not include marine education in its primary and secondary curriculum although most of the students come from coastal villages or are connected to them. Think about the potential for change if all of them were well educated about their local environment from a younger age; better local stewardship equals better global citizens when it comes to the environment, and that will be something Fiji can be truly proud of.

Image: Alex Kehr