National Geographic magazine contributing photographer Joel Sartore has been working on a personal initiative, the Biodiversity Project, which has taken him around the world to document a wide range of animals. Over the last six years he has created a collection of striking images of nearly 1,800 species. In January 2012, he will be visiting several AZA-accredited zoos in an attempt to add another 25 species to the collection – and will be journaling his adventures on the National Geographic Society’s Field Test blog.
Joel uses an interesting technique to ensure that all species receive the same engaging treatment in his photos – he shoots the animals using either a black or white background. Using this method, creatures of all sizes are given equal weight – and hopefully equal consideration by viewers. The idea is to show people, through beautiful images, what is at stake in terms of species loss and to inspire people to care.
The Biodiversity Project began while photographing endangered species in the United States, resulting in a 2009 story in the National Geographic magazine and a book in 2010 entitled Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species. Joel shared some of his adventures at AZA’s 2010 Annual Conference in Houston, Texas.
His down to earth writing style and sense of humor make for an informative and amusing read (you have to see the chimpanzee video). Check out his blog every day to see what Joel is up to!
To see more pictures from the Biodiversity Project, visit Joel’s website.