Monday, June 2, 2008

The Environmental Wildlife Portrait

Images depicting our wild brothers and sisters in their environment allow us to begin understanding our relationship with them and planet earth, and their relationship to us. We are connected. This is the essence of nature - and the environmental wildlife portrait.

Simply put, an environmental wildlife portrait is an image depicting a subject in the context of its environment.

All the elements that go into making beautiful landscape images are found in the environmental portrait. However, they have an added dimension - they tell a story. A Bald Eagle, for example, perched atop a log in a snow storm provides a glimpse into its struggle for survival during the harshness of winter. An Alaskan brown bear standing before a majestic mountain range provides not only a breathtaking image of their environment, but indicates the bear's dependency on a wild and unspoiled world. A mountain goat standing on a precarious rocky ledge overlooking distant mountain ranges provides insight into its day-to-day life and the ability to excel in an unforgiving alpine habitat.

Our wild brothers and sisters are the product of their environment. As we learn to capture their loveliness in our images, let us also capture their world in that same image.

As we work to preserve the remaining species on planet earth, the preservation of habitat is critical. I am convinced the environmental wildlife portrait will have positive effects to that end. We have, I believe, a responsibility as photographers to portray them in that environment.

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