We are living in an unprecedented era of environmental change: the Anthropocene epoch.
Eyes on Earth seeks to nurture a new generation of visual storytellers prepared to chronicle this new Age of Man.
Our Planet needs visual storytellers who can effectively witness unfolding environmental change and the resulting social and cultural upheaval in the new Anthropocene era – the "Human Age."
Young Photographers seek inspiration and direction for their photographic talents and purpose for their creative lives. Their generation will create the enduring eyewitness narratives that will inform and engage society.
Inspire emerging photographers to engage with the story of the Anthropocene age.
Challenge them to become the visual storytellers of the great changes that face our planet in their lifetime.
Show them the way forward and how they can make a difference in our world with their skills and talents.
We are profoundly changing the planet. This global drama provides emerging photographers great opportunity to tell powerful stories..
World population has nearly tripled in just 66 years: from 2.5 billion people in 1950 to 7.4 billion in 2016.
We now dominate the continents, having converted more than half of earth’s land surface from forests and grasslands to farms, cities, highways, mines, reservoirs, and wastelands.
We are emptying the seas, more than 90 percent of the biggest fish are gone.
Energy that lights the night and powers our engines of modern prosperity – cheap and plentiful fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas – alters the atmosphere, changes the climate, and threatens our very own future.
Earth runs a fever. Temperatures rise, glaciers and ice sheets melt, and rising seas inundate coasts. Storms, floods, heatwaves and drought become the norm.
Humans now claim for themselves somewhere between 23.8% and 40% of the total net primary biomass production of planet Earth.
In the next 35 years we must double world food production to nourish a rising population; forests are falling at record rates to make way for farms that can meet this growing demand.
what is it?
Environmental photography chronicles the collision of people and nature as mankind transforms the planet, documents the effects of humanity’s growing presence that threaten nature and our future, and seeks to honor stewardship that supports the web of life.
The Anthropocene chronicles
We live in a time called The Great Acceleration, a period when world population has tripled in less than 70 years, and accumulating impacts of our expansion are visible worldwide. Our rapid transformation of earth’s landscapes, ecosystems, waters, and atmosphere has caused scientists to propose a new geologic epoch called The Anthropocene, or Age of Man, where people have become the dominant force on earth. We want to inspire and prepare photographers to tell visual stories of this emerging human age, to create a narrative record revealing the collision of humans and nature – both what is lost and what is gained – in this turbulent time.
Environmental photography shares concerns with other fields of photography, among them conservation and nature photography, and photojournalism. As we see it, conservation photography focuses on preserving natural places and habitats, and nature photography celebrates visions of untrammeled nature. Photojournalism for its part focuses primarily on representing contemporary human events, natural disasters and the calamities that befall us. Inspired by – but differing from – these worthy fields, environmental photography focuses on the profound and long-lasting impacts on nature caused by people and their institutions that affect the planet’s health, and the fate of human civilization, but that may not make immediate news headlines.
What it is –and isn't
Environmental photography documents our planetary perils and highlights salvations. It recognizes that we cannot save or protect what we cannot see, and seeks to reveal what other photography may neglect. With a focus on impacts and effects of humanity’s expanding presence, environmental photography can trace underlying natural, social, economic, and political forces driving global change today. These forces affect the health of the physical and ecological systems – land, ocean, and atmosphere – that make our own life on earth possible. We seek inspiration in scientific understanding of the world and the way it works. We encourage inquiry based on knowledge of major natural cycles – solar, carbon, water, nitrogen – and their interactions, which offer insight into the nature of the human enterprise. We seek to create understanding through an environmental photography that can help inspire a more prosperous and healthy future by revealing what we must change first.
WHAT WE DO
Eyes on Earth offers a program of on campus lectures, seminars, and workshops that illustrate for young photographers the field of environmental photography – and how it might become a rewarding focus for their creative energies and productive careers.
We ignite interest with visually compelling, scientifically-based environmental photography seminars and short-course master classes for university journalism, visual communications, and environmental studies programs.
We share with students lessons learned from our decades of experience creating powerful environmental storytelling.
On your campus
Our lectures on the major issues of environmental concern today are drawn from decades of work with National Geographic covering climate change, feeding the planet, water issues, light pollution, agriculture, endangered species and sustainable energy. We present forceful and entertaining programs to a wide range of audiences around the world, from cultural lecture series, to business meetings, scientific conferences and university campuses.
We offer a program of seminars and master classes that show students the field of environmental photography and how it might become a rewarding focus for their creative energies and productive careers. From our decades of experience we share the tools and skills needed to develop powerful environmental photo stories, from the conception of story ideas, deep research, logistical hurdles and crafting images in the field.
Hands-on experience in real time. We share direction, perspective and hope with our students. We interest them in becoming literate in the requisite visual, technical and scientific skills to establish environmental photography as a focus for their careers. We challenge them to make a difference in our world with their photography. We have successfully guided photographers towards established and recognized positions of accomplishment.