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We visited Photo Ark exhibition by Joel Sartore in Annenberg Space for Photography Center in LA.
Perhaps a series of portraits, made as simply and cleanly as possible, would 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. Black and white backgrounds level the playing field, making a mouse every bit as grand as an elephant. In these portraits, they are equals.
All species are vitally important to our very survival; we need bees and even flies to pollinate the fruits and vegetables we eat. We need intact rain forest to regulate the amount of rainfall we get in areas where we grow crops. But beyond what’s in it for us, I believe that each species has a basic right to exist.
There are about 12,000 animal species in human care around the world. So far, I’ve made portraits of more than 8,000, and we’ll keep going until we get them all. It’ll take another 15 years or so. The goal is to show the world what biodiversity actually looks like and get everyone to care about saving species while there’s still time.
Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer.
Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear—and to get people to care while there’s still time