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CNN Call to Earth : Joel Sartore


Declaration of love to Nature: photographer Joel Sartore photographs 20,000 species and fights against mass extinction.

A former photographer for National Geographic magazine, Joel Sartore is the founder of the National Geographic Photo Ark. His personal commitment is clear: to photograph every species in captivity in the world. He was approached by CNN as part of the Call to Earth initiative.

He explains the project: “The Photo Ark is the result of 30 years of effort to document all species in captivity in the world. We try to make portraits of each animal against a black and white background to eliminate distractions and allow you to look them in the eye. It is then possible to admire their great beauty and intelligence and that they deserve to be saved. They have a fundamental right to exist.”

The very essence of Joel Sartore’s work is based on not only focusing on furry animals, generally highly appreciated for their photogenicity, but also highlighting all other species. He then immortalized ants, elephants, mosquitoes and even vultures. Joel Sartore, a real animal lover, hopes to raise public awareness of the decline in wildlife.

Mr Sartore hopes the Photo Ark collection will provide insight into life on Earth before these species disappeared. Ideally, he hopes Photo Ark will succeed in catching the public’s attention.

“If we reduce our presence in certain areas, the animals will come back in force. This window will close on us, we don’t have infinite time. Most of the species I have photographed can be saved, but we really need to act.”

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