Joel Sartore, in addition to being an award-winning National Geographic photographer, is also a speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, and National Geographic fellow. He specializes in documenting endangered species and habitats alike. He also founded the Photo Ark, an extraordinary 25-year project dedicated to raising awareness about endangered animals by documenting every species currently in captivity and thus the “beauty of biodiversity in all its forms” while we still have the chance.
“It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity,” he says. “When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”
The Photo Ark currently features 7,885 species in its archive and Sartore has published several books drawing from his vast and breathtaking photo collection: Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals, and a children’s book, Animal Ark: Celebrating our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures.
The simple portraits “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.” No matter the size of the animal, all of Sartore’s Photo Ark images are depicted with the same black and white backgrounds, and similar scales, “making a mouse every bit as grand as an elephant. In these portraits, they are equals.”
Now Sartore has released another stunning book, Birds of the Photo Ark, celebrating more that 300 species of endangered birds from around the world. In addition to Sartore’s captivating photos, Birds of the Photo Ark also features writing by bird-obsessed American writer Noah Strycker, who wrote about each species featured in the book and the critical roles they play in our planet’s ecosystems.
Sartore believes that “the future of birds and the future of us are intertwined more than we know.”
In addition to the books (by the way, Sartore also sells signed copies through his own website), Sartore also sells fine art prints of his beautiful photos. All profits go toward funding for the Photo Ark. Sartore estimates that it will take a further 15 years for him to finish documenting all 12,000 animal species on his list.
[via My Modern Met]