One way I have tried to fuse the marine sciences and environmental sciences into photography is to simply combine both worlds into a visual package with minimal words but allow the viewer or reader to make their conclusions on the overall message.
As such the photographic genre of Environmental photojournalism has helped immensely in this regard. Environmental photojournalism is a distinct phrase, however, it shows the veracity and complexity of the natural world via photos whilst being the easiest way to convey a message.
Drawing upon some fundamental aspects of both reportage and documentary photography techniques when capturing environmental issues on camera, this genre of photography lies between environmental stories, journalism and photography, environmental photojournalism is largely a subset of photojournalism attempting to tell visual stories with a camera succinctly is, of course, art and science like all photography or photographic disciplines.
Putting together your interests in the environment and photography is the main goal here. For years I have photographed the underwater world and read countless books on oceanography, marine ecology, marine biology and on environmental science and I have now drawn an intersection of where the marine sciences and the wider environmental sciences can merge with photography, this is why this genre particularly appeals to me.
Environmental photojournalism is visual storytelling about the environment and explaining some of these stories with the use of fundamental science. Environmental photojournalism is like any other photography genre in that it is built upon the science of photography with the artistic attributes of composition and creativity, while it is not a distinct discipline.
I believe this is where we can visually communicate ideas with the sole purpose of connecting our audience to visual stories to create awareness or further understanding of the subject matter or standalone subject.
Generally visually communicating bout human kinds interactions or impacts on the environment and how I can fundamentally explain what I have learnt from being a self-taught photographer and science reader to better explain our natural world from a camera using science as my tool to explain and camera and lens to convey.
Now, the subject matter is crucial in photography just as much as composition and the technical set-up of your camera gear or camera settings.
But knowing what subject on the environment you want to hone in on or focus upon is important as this lends relevancy and proximity to the subjects that you choose to feature in your images or your stories and your writing.
Photojournalism and modern photojournalism require the continuation of visual stories that are accurate and have ethical considerations portraying the photo or storyline in an accurate and detailed manner, especially in the fast and progressive information age.
Answering the How, What Why When and Who is important, this is why I use fundamental science as my backbone to explain the most ordinary to the most complex, visual stories are the same but on a more simplified level, bringing complexity back to the simple where people will understand.
Just like photojournalism draws from those ethical standards, this is why I try to incorporate scientific explanations in my writing and capture photographs with this in mind it explains and is detailed and to some extent proven to the point, and we can agree upon its credibility. As a photographer, I can only attempt to answer questions, convey context and show expression in subject matter or subject that a positive.
Showing stories that affect the natural world and creating picture stories or photo essays are the goal here. I will go into more about this in my next post, but for now, remember that your subject is your main driver and how we use the camera to tell visual stories about our environment in an expressive, fact-based and contextual way to create a visual story that is relevant and close geographically where you are in this world.
Environmental photojournalism is the merging of visual stories with journalistic integrity that can convey some of the issues humans face in the natural world using photojournalism’s best and proven techniques of reportage and documentary photography.