Yann Arthus-Bertrand is an artist that has be working in the field of nature and the process of photographing it for years. The one series that I found very beautiful was his “Earth from Above” series. It started from a dream in 1994, on the eve of the 21st century. The worlds population is increasingly becoming aware of its surroundings and the beginnings of the green movement are finding their way into the scene.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, born in 1946, is a French photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist. In his early career he found himself working in the film industry until 1967. Living with the Maasai tribe in Africa for 3 years, he found his passion for nature and landscapes, and began to photograph them. He went on hot air balloon rides and began photographing the land from above, and quickly realized the commercial potential of his work. Returning the France he published books and continued on in him career as an international journalist, reporter and photographer. As far as ecological interest, he created the international organization GoodPlanet and to offset the carbon emissions let out by all the helicopter rides he takes he set up a program called Action Carbone.
This particular project involved a great amount of means and a lot of time, but because of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s passion for nature, he was able to complete this massive project. Regarding this project, Yann Arthus-Bertrand was quoted, “Year 2000 was almost upon us, and I wanted to tackle an ambitious long-term project. Since the lions, nature has been one of my chief concerns, though I was then less committed to sustainable development and more interested in the preservation of exceptional sites. However, working on location soon made me realise that Man cannot be dissociated from the landscape. Gradually, I became convinced that supporting the theories on sustainability was the way towards a reasoned form of development.”
This project took a team along with Yann Arthus-Bertrand to over 150 countries and aims to show people what they have never seen before in the world that they live in. It gives the viewer something to think about, that this is what the world is, and that we are the only ones who are causing it all to change. In a subtle and beautiful way, this project is an eye opener. It doesn’t scream “we need to make a change” but what it does offer is an insight into something that we may never see with our own eyes, and makes us realize that such wonders are actually out there, although we may not see them, they still exist.
A quote from the website, “Though it invites us all to take our own responsibilities, this testimony remains resolutely optimistic. Each portrait, be it of the Earth or its inhabitants, aims at showing the best in order to appeal to what is best in us. For the will to protect is indeed strongest towards that which one has learnt to understand and love.”
He has done a variety of other work, however this one stand out the most to me. It just takes you to a new perspective of the Earth, something that you definitely don’t see everyday. They have amazing symmetry and the colors force you to look at the nearly unbelievable views. Check out his website if you want to see more of the series or what else he may have done http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/