“It’s using the power of photography to help people see what’s going on in our magnificent planet,” she said. “It’s emotional and tugs at your brain in a way facts don’t.”
Forty-nine winning images are on display in the academy, ranging from the timely, such as a sea lion in Monterey swimming by an N-95 mask or a polar bear in Norway, snuggling down on a small iceberg for the night, to the unexpectedly beautiful, like a hummingbird balancing on another’s beak in Ecuador, and the spores of a mushroom in India.
The grand prize-winning photo, showing a kangaroo with her joey in a burned eucalyptus plantation in Australia, is an example of how photos can move you, Rubinstein says.
“There’s a visceral response when you’re looking at this creature directly in her eyes, and she’s looking directly at you,” she said. “It can inspire us to change.”
The photographer of “Hope in a Burned Plantation,” Jo-Anne McArthur, who specializes in animals, says in nearly every photo she aims to have the subject looking into the eyes of the viewer.
“That is a goal of mine,” she said. “We don’t have a common language, and like eye contact between humans, it creates such a connection.”
McArthur was with a group rescuing koalas after last year’s terrible bushfires when she saw the kangaroo. She knew the shot was special before getting it — and she almost didn’t.
“I had to walk 100 to 200 meters, and it seemed so long,” McArthur said. “I wanted to frame her below her eye level, and I squatted down, and I got that image and then she hopped away.”
Because in past years the Academy had noticed fewer entries from women, Rubinstein says this year they offered a discount for female photographers, which caught McArthur’s attention.
In McArthur’s view, the photo holds out promise for a better future as well as showing devastation.
“It’s bringing a story down to an individual affected by something,” she said. “The plantation is her home, and it’s burned. And she’s not in a natural forest, it’s a man-made plantation, and that’s how dire things are for animals. She’s a survivor, she’s a hero, and the baby shows hope and another generation and life continuing.”
BigPicture: Natural World Photography continues at the California Academy of Sciences (55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco) through April 24, 2022.
As much as I appreciate the collective’s culture jamming initiatives, I don’t know that their putative premise ever bears meaningful fruit.
The banana’s dominance and ubiquity has had serious and far-reaching implications for the region, engendering exploitative labor systems, climate change, and migration.
The first lecture is on the relationship between early portrait photography and diverse notions of US identity during the Gilded Age. Register to attend on January 25.
Charles Dellheim’s study tells the tale of a small group of Jewish art dealers and collectors who played a key role in the changing art world of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The 18-month fellowship aims to provide artists with “as much access as possible” to the club’s facilities and networks “at a time and place convenient to artists.”
Part of the university’s Artists on the Future series pairing renowned artists with cultural thought leaders, this online event is free and open to the public.
A coalition of investors raised funds to purchase the film’s storyboard and announced they would “make the book public.”
A new project, “Emoji to Scale,” orders every mini-object by their real-world dimensions.
Although Khedoori does not depict living beings, their presence is evoked in the traces they leave behind.
The Bronx Museum’s fifth biennial continues to focus its programming on individual identity, eliding the ever-divergent interests of the art market and local communities.
While it may be strange to think of food insecurity as a basis for art, the works in Food Justice reveal barriers and injustices in food access.