Okay so i feel really bad, because it’s been almost a week and a half or something since last I blogged, so over the next few days, in what time I can find, I’m going to make it up to you, the readers, by being extra bloggy, meaning sometimes two or three blogs a day – this also because I just paid my last installment for my trip to Madagascar, and therefore am certain that for a period of some 32 days, I will be unable to blog, rendering this place extremely quiet. But when I get back, I will have photos in their thousands, and stories more to tell, so I hope you are all looking forward to that at least partially as much as I am.
I’ve been asked several times what the prupose of this trip to Madagascar is, and I confess, the answer is not really straightforward – it is, in part, dedicated to gaining me valuable work experience in the field, something that is really quite important for university for me, also becasue I probably won’t have another chance to go in the next few years, and probably the most important thing is that now is the time to make a difference. Chyrtid, a fungus that affects melatonin in frogs, preventing them from being able to convert oxygen whilst being submerged in water leading to thousands of deaths, is spreading rapidly across the globe. It has already reached Basel, having started in Central America. Madagascar, hundreds of miles away from the nearest land, is as yet unaffected. Its high frog biodiversity makes it a key location for conservation, to prevent further loss of the rare species, something which I want to contribute to, in my own way. That way is again split in two ways. Firstly, and perhaps primarily, it is in the recording and documentation of population statuses across remote areas, something which Frontier is determined to achieve, but for me it will also be through photography:
When we pick up a magazine, and peruse its content, we stop at something that grabs the eye because our brains are keyed in to recognise beauty and light and stop for it. A picture, in this case, has already acheived those thousand words, and it is the backup information that allows the content to be clarified. I intend to bring my photography to the table in a way that the ILCP (International League of Conservation Photographers) do, capturing images of the stories, pictures of the people doing the research, pictures of the animals that are so wonderful and so unknown, and presenting the story both here and on my website, when it eventually surfaces.
You see, in this way, my photography is just as much to do with my degree as any research I’m going to be doing. It is key because it is my chosen language for communication, and one that I think a lot of people are subconsciously fine tuned to. Just look at what the gorilla hunting story, published by National Geographic all those years ago managed to achieve. Conservation cannot be all about parks and quotas – it is about awareness and protection, and that is something that is only fascilitated by the telling and retelling of the story, the private lives of the animals, gaining the eyes of the world.
In short, I strive to do whatever I can, whether it is to document the story and the creatures, or simply put my hand to whatever I can to make a difference. Rest assured, there will be photos in their thousands. You can count on that.
Now, I apologise for the rant type thing, but it’s there for a reason. I want to give directionality and reason this blog, because I don’t want it to just be about some lame photographer who happens to point big pieces of glass at small scared animals. I want you to realise that I am trying to make a difference with my photography and my behaviour, because if I don’t, not many will.
That being said, I’m going to continue with the zoo photography, because it shows you how I am practicing my technique, and it seems to be one of the things that draws people here. I would add some of them now, but firefox crashes whenever I try, so I shall leave you in suspense.