These 5 incredible photographs highlight the reality of our natural world, with interviews with the photographers.
Caroline Power - Plastic
"Our planet is choking with trash and no number of beach or waterway cleanups can stop it. We are treating the symptoms, not the disease. As a country, as a species, as individuals we need to stop consuming single use plastics." (Caroline Power, Honduras)
Never give up.
"It is so easy to become disheartened by increasingly depressing news reports and grim scientific studies but we cannot stop trying. The advent of social media has given unknown photographers such as myself now have the chance to reach large audiences and have a platform on which to inspire change. The reaction to these photos has given me hope. I have been utterly blown away by the response. In the last two weeks, I have been inundated with emails and calls from publications and organisations all over the world."
People do care. There may still be hope for this planet.
John Novis - Palm Oil
The pristine forest area is under threat from multinational development to degrade and drain the land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations. (John Novis, Greenpeace)
Clearing last remaining intact area of peat swamp forest by fire in Riau, Sumatra. The pristine forest area is under threat from multinational development to degrade and drain the land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations. Peatland forest is critical for maintaining biodiversity and it's degradation releases vast stores of carbon thereby contributing to global climate change.
I am an optimist at heart and I believe photography is playing an important role informing and forcing people and governments to act to halt the progress of climate change and other environmental injustices.
Ben Hicks - Plastic
This image immediately brought upon a lot of emotions. I have photographed sea turtles for 10 years and have never seen that happen. Heartbreaking for sure but also quickly realising the importance of capturing and sharing the experience with the world. (Ben Hicks)
Awareness. I am usually aiming for an indirect message. Showing a harmless tiny baby sea turtle that is vital to our seas ecosystem and giving people the choice of helping protect them and the environment or watching them go away. We can all make a difference by doing something and educating those around us.
The young people of today will help drive our future to hopefully bring down our footprint and reduce our wastes that are so damaging to the environment.
Marcus Westberg - Poaching
A Maasai guide at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy mourns the death of a rhino at the hands of poachers.
I spent a month on the ground in Kenya - conducting interviews, going out on patrols and raids, tracking lions, attending community meetings, and whatever else seemed relevant or interesting. I find the traditional relationship between Maasai and lions just as interesting as the current complex situation, and innovative solutions the most interesting of all.
Sometimes I come back home pretty exhausted, but there’s always something new to document, something which inspires hope, a different story to tell.
Shane Gross - Fishing
A Cuba dogfish, actually a type of shark, is brought in on a long line. (Shane Gross)
There are a lot of things that keep me inspired, but really, it’s being out in nature, especially being underwater. The more I’m out in nature the more I want to shoot and do what I can to protect the animals and habitats I love. I’ve gotten to know individual turtles and sharks that have been killed at the hands of poachers, it really hurts, but I’ve also seen the tide begin to turn in the right direction. If I can’t be in nature then I take inspiration from fellow photographers and nature documentaries.
Whatever your situation is, if you are creative and driven you can make a difference.