Photography, or rather nature talks, and we better listen. Nature is now speaking through Hollywood: a celebrity-studded campaign called Nature Is Speaking by Conservation International is somewhat stern and belittles us people with our anthropocentrism, us people believing humankind is the most important thing on the planet and immune to ecological truths. Truth is, we need nature, not the other way round. An environmental message that has been beautifully crafted into a series of videos that are absolutely stunning in their beauty, content and simplicity. Now that’s visual storytelling at its best. Visual storytellers, take heed.
Julia Roberts performs as mother nature. Listen in:
It’s a completely different approach from the noisy digital infotainment that promises instant pleasure kicks, and we rush and move on to the next kick, only to forget what we’ve just seen a minute ago.
Nature Is Speaking is different. It’s slow and calm, yet patronizing, dogmatic even. And that sets the right tone for many of us earthlings who couldn’t care less about the planet and lives of our children and children’s children.
Harrison Ford, and he is pissed, personalizes the ocean:
Now… what is Nature Is Speaking‘s message to visual storytellers? Not that we mere mortals would have a budget to hire Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford as mother nature and the ocean.
It sure would help, but we don’t need Ed Norton and Kevin Spacey and Liam Neeson to tell us what unsustainable pricks we are. It’s not their voices that make a difference. It’s the pace and focus of the storytelling; the calm, slow motion footage, supported by strong, clear words that resonate with the audience.
Nature Is Speaking gives the main character a voice: nature. The campaign speaks from the perspective of the portrayed that’s at stake, thereby personalizing nature’s sorrow, anger and fear in a unique way
Giving a voice to the subject / object, isn’t that what good photography is all about. It’s like… a good photograph is like a good joke. If you have to explain it, neither the joke nor the photograph works.
To speak with the remorseless ocean a.k.a. Harrisson Ford:
Humans, they’re not different. I don’t owe them a thing. I give, they take. But I can always take back. Me, I could give a damn with or without humans.
Giving images a strong inherent sovereign voice will sure take one’s photography to the next level.