“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” So sang Joni Mitchell in her song from 1970, Big Yellow Taxi. I was ten at the time
and had just moved with my family to a paved paradise of our own in the outer suburbs of Sydney where a new housing estate was carved into the bush. Ironically, this suburban intrusion introduced me to native wildlife right on my doorstep: kookaburras and cockatoos, possums and echidnas. There were the dreaded funnelweb spiders and red-bellied black snakes too. Deadly or not, the species encountered in that strip of bushland behind our street really felt like a wild planet.
Several decades on, our planet is less wild, but the desire to see more of the world – the animals and their habitats – in a wilder state has never been stronger. As a result, wildlife photographers have become like the explorers of the past, venturing further and deeper into unfamiliar terrain to bring back images that make the rest of us wonder. With the launch of Wild Planet Photo Magazine, wildlife photographers of all ages, skill levels and experience now have a magazine they can call their own. Photo spreads, galleries, interviews, field tests and environmental stories are part of the core content in each issue, and on our website.
Wild Planet also recognizes that wildlife photographers – more than ever – are at the forefront of the global conservation battle. Today, wildlife photography has a purpose that extends beyond capturing the vitality and beauty of nature: we use our cameras to convince others as well as ourselves that a wild planet is worth saving. Otherwise, as Joni Mitchell wrote, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
See you next month.
Keith Wilson, Editor