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‘Photo Ark’ a quest to document global biodiversity: Q&A with photographer Joel Sartore and director Chun-Wei Yi

21 / 02 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

At turns haunting, humorous or just downright bizarre, the studio portraits of the thousands of animal species that photographer Joel Sartore has collected are more than just a catalog of life on Earth. When someone sees one of his photographs for the National Geographic Photo Ark, Sartore wants the encounter, often with an animal looking directly into the camera’s lens, to be inspiring. A recent three-part film documents the lengths to which he’ll go to take the most compelling images and showcase our planet’s biodiversity. “RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark” follows Sartore through jungle treks and sittings with ornery birds, and the filmmakers will be honored Thursday for Best Conservation Film at the New York WILD Film Festival, held at the Explorers Club in Manhattan. An endangered Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Nebraska, taken for the National Geographic Photo Ark. © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. Sartore isn’t picky about the species he photographs. He’s trained his lens on raccoons and dung beetles as eagerly as he has on critically endangered orangutans and rhinos. But there’s a sense of urgency with the rarer animals. Yes, it’s an image for posterity, a snapshot of life as it exists at this moment in time before some of these animals disappear forever. But Sartore also knows that it might just be the push that someone needs to make a difference. “I want people to care, to fall in love, and to take action,” Sartore…

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