How Photography Can Impact Conservation

Posted on May 6, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

We all know that photography can be powerful, but sometimes we forget the direct impact it can have in changing the world.

Today on Saturdays Around the World, we take you on one of North America’s most epic migrations, a journey that has been going on for thousands of years. But until recently, we knew little about it.

Source: Neal Herbert // Flickr

Yellowstone National Park is one of the United States’s best known national parks, in fact, it was the world’s first national park. Every year, millions of people flock there to experience some of North America’s most magnificent vistas, wildlife, and geological formations. But beyond being the summer vacation spot for human visitors, it is also the location of some of the largest mammalian migrations in the Americas.

We begin today with some beautiful footage from these epic journeys….

Nature really is breathtaking!

As always, I watch something extraordinary like this and think to myself “How did they get those images!” And here, we will get back the important place that photography (and videography) have in conservation.

Let us introduce you to two of the people who made the video you watched possible, photographer Joe Riis and scientist Arthur Middleton. Together, they have researched and captured images of America’s great migrations, giving the world never before seen insights.

Here they are on the National Geographic Live stage talking about their remarkable work.

I am going to be honest, I have lived in the United States my entire life, and I am an enormous nature nerd, growing up almost exclusively watching nature documentaries, and I had no idea about these migrations. In fact, I didn’t even realize pronghorn were a species (particularly a species native to North America)!

When I think of the lives that images like Joe Riis’ have and will touch, I am excited about the future of conservation. Now, more than ever, we have access to the resources we need to educate ourselves about the world around us. We are able to learn more, make better decisions, and work toward a better collective future!

Our amazing world is out there, but it’s up to us to explore it!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

One last thing…

If you have a few extra minutes I strongly suggest you watch the film Joe Riis and Arthur Middleton made together! It is really a marvelous piece to experience!

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