Preserving Places & Biodiversity: 3 Photo Projects

Book jacket More than Human"

“More than Human” by Tim Flach (Harry N. Abrams)

Three remarkable photographic projects speak to us of the importance of protecting wild places and the incredible biodiversity of our planet. Each is now transformed into a book or exhibition for a wider audience.  Check out these knockout photographic samplers presented online of acclaimed international photographers Sebastiaõ Salgado and Tom Flach, and many dozens of scientists who inhabit the “small world” of photomicrography.

Nomadic Nenet of Siberia: Traveling with the Nenet indigenous people, a herd of 7000 reindeer and their Samoyed sled dogs, Sebastiaõ Salgado spent 40 bone-chilling days in the world of white – making camp, breaking camp, on the move for up to 30 miles a day, to find the grasses to feed the nomads’ animals. Salgado first gained international acclaim for his beautiful-tough images of his native Brazil and then for his notable social documentary photography (he has traveled to more than 100 countries). See the gallery

Sebastiao Salgado

Sebastiao Salgado (left) with Brazil’s former President (Courtesy of Wiki Commons/2006)

In Siberia Salgado completed his eight-year Genesis project, a pictorial display that makes the case for preserving the wild places, the people and animals who inhabit remote and often pristine parts of the world. Even the Nenet, in their forbidding and severe landscape, are under duress from melting Arctic ice and developers who want to drill for oil and gas. Read the article in the Guardian

More on the Genesis Project (soon to be a book) Salgado homepage

More than Human: Whether it is a flying fox, wet tiger, featherless rooster or Bornean orangutans, British photographer Tim Flach has spent years acquiring a way with photographing animals that makes you look – and look again. It’s a style that is has been called “the antithesis of anthropomorphism,” but in fact when you look closely, you may think you are looking into a mirror. Nothing animatronic here –unlike the brilliant digital Richard Parker (the tiger in the film Life of Pi), this tiger shaking off after a swim is defiantly pure, untamed beauty. Many of these species are imperiled by the human world. More than Human is now a book (Harry N. Abrams, 312 pp, $65) with text by Lewis Blackwell. Photo gallery

Read an excerpt

It’s a Small, Small World: The 2012 Small World Photomicrography Competition, sponsored by Nikon, attracts hundreds of scientists worldwide from biology, genetics and medicine, who compete for top honors. In this very small world, captured with photomicrography that requires superior technical competency, it is possible to demonstrate the true power of scientific imaging, as well as artistic skills. For instance, first place winners this year looked at the blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo.

First Prize Small World Competition - Nikon

Blood brain barrier of a zebrafish embryo !

Drs. Jennifer L. Peters and Dr. Michael R. Taylor, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, explain it this way, “We used fluorescent proteins to look at brain endothelial cells and watched the blood-brain barrier develop in real-time. We took a 3-dimensional snapshot under a confocal microscope.  Then, we stacked the images and compressed them into one – pseudo coloring them in rainbow to illustrate depth.” The Top 100 images are now a traveling exhibition with an itinerary of museums and science centers in a dozen states. The beauty at the microscopic level is as grand as Tim Flach’s full-scale portraits! See the slide show.

Check the exhibition tour schedule

View all 100 winners