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Peter Essick is one of the masters of envionmental photography, having tackled many difficult issues for National Geogaphic stories. He argues that there is a growing awareness that biological systems in our contemporary world are being negatively harmed by rapid human development. This human-altered world is now being called called the Anthropocene, a reference to a geologic age where man has taken control of the Earth’s biosphere.
Many fields of photojournalism have well-worn paths showing you where to go, with signposts that clearly identify stories and valued subjects. Environmental photography does not. Here Dennis lays out a possible course: "As you get your bearings on the landscape of environmental photography, learn to look for signs that guide you towards ideas. Like navigating landscapes, creating a trail that leads to ideas that produce photographs is about finding your bearings, seeking and recognizing signs you come across, and learning to understand meaning in the signs you discover."