“Finding good images to illustrate climate change is hard. First up, the topic has so many abstract concepts - computer models, uncertain climate impacts, future scenarios.” (Carbon Brief, 2012)
Is this "my best shoot"? That's hard to say. But I do know that nothing I've ever done has addressed a more desperate matter. (Joel Sternfeld, 2013)
Eye on Sustainability
In June 2011, Vale and National Geographic launched a photography competition about sustainability. The competition had three categories – Wonders, Challenges and Solutions and had to include images to represent sustainability from a social, environmental and economic perspective. They received over 3,000 photographs from all over the world.
In 1969, Mark Edwards became lost on the edge of the Sahara Desert and was rescued by a Tuareg nomad who famously played Bob Dylan’s song ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ on an old cassette player.
The National Geographic assigned James Balog with the mission of capturing the Earth’s changing climate in the Arctic. In 2005, James set off as a sceptic on climate change, but his trip changed this. He witnessed first-hand the changes happening to the climate and his beautiful landscape videography and photos will show how the planet is changing at an alarming rate – one second it’s there and the next it’s gone.
In 2005, Joel Sternford was in Montreal attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The conference is an annual meeting of countries that are party to the Kyoto Protocol, which is aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. He says “I tried to capture the moment these delegates woke up to the full horror of what they were hearing.” So often climate change gauged by looking at the landscape around us, but Joel has captured the emotion in the faces of people who realise climate change to be a significant issue.
Robert van Waarden, a travel photographer, believes that through documentation of the social and natural world we can shift towards a more sustainable future.
Photographer Stuart Franklin documents climate change across Europe. Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux, describes his journey, capturing the impact of the environmental crisis. The 10 images on the Guardian’s website are his favourite from his book.
Kacper Kowalski is an aerial photographer and pilot. His book: Side Effects, shows the effect humans are having on his native Poland. His stunning aerial photography is almost abstract, making you really concentrate and wonder about the photo. His images include frozen rivers, wind turbine blades and woodcutters.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”