Using Photography to Raise Awareness
Photography is a powerful way to transmit messages and raise awareness. Engaged photographers are opinion leaders who have the opportunity, through their shots, to capture the attention of viewers on a subject and potentially make them react. They have the power to touch us deeply, to reach us so that we can position ourselves in relation to a cause, reflecting intensely on what the picture shows us.
Many committed photographers have chosen to defend environmental causes through their artistic diaries. We have selected the most original, the ones that stand out by the angle chosen and by the strength of their shots.
Mike Mezeul is an American photographer passionate about landscapes and nature. His commitment to an environmental cause is through his work on the storms and tornadoes of Texas, reminding us how insignificant man is to nature. In some shots, the American plains about to be engulfed by a huge body of water, the clouds give the impression that we are just below a wave that has just broken. Others give us the impression of being taken out of the “upside-down” from the series of Strangers Things.
Image Credits: Mike Mezul
Benjamin Von Wong shares a simple observation, every year, an average American uses 167 plastic bottles. Over a lifetime, this represents 10,000 bottles that will be used and thrown away. By recovering huge quantities of plastic bottles, the Chinese-Canadian photographer manages to reach the audience by staging situations of strong symbolism, which make us aware of the excessive importance of plastic in our world and the difficulty one encounters in getting rid of it. He uses the mythological figure of the mermaid showing it full of pain in a deadly plastic environment. He even launched a petition called Mermaids Hate Plastic to engage people to recycle. The details of his approach and his work are described in this very informative video.
Image Credit: Benjamin Von Wong
Plastic is perhaps very inspiring, but it has many enemies who are inspired to illustrate their commitment to its removal. Vilde Rolfsen certainly has the most subtle approach of all those photographers committed to the environment. Indeed, it offers exceptional shots presenting previously unseen landscapes, looking almost galactic when viewed from a distance, while it is simply... plastic bags seen from the inside.
Image Credit: Vilde Rolfsen
This South African photographer exposes the consequences of global warming and seeks to raise awareness of the very frequent floods that cities in the world are experiencing. Through his work, we realize that the floods do not affect only distant or poorly protected countries, all populations of the world can identify at least one of the people photographed, feet in the water.
In the course of his work, Mendel also collected printed photographs that suffered water damage during floods. We are then faced with the past, that we thought was immortalized by these photos of families, almost erased by the power of water and nature. This universal problem that concerns us all, is shown with deep heartache.
Image Credits: Gideon Mendel
These two photographers worked together to raise awareness about the danger of nuclear energy and its dramatic consequences. They decided to photograph the Japanese in their former homes or in places they used to frequent in the past, abandoned in the emergency during the disaster of Fukushima. In these shots, people with sad eyes, nostalgic for their lives before and powerless face the speed with which this past has disappeared. The decorative objects of these places seem stuck forever in the position in which they were left, representing the failure of Man, sentenced to speed after playing clumsily with nature.
Image Credits: Guillaume Bression Carlos Ayesta