ashley

Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

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Global warming is not a threat of distant future anymore. Climate change is real and happening right now. Still don’t believe that? You better believe the astounding pictures captured by the environmental photographer, Ashley Cooper depicting climate change around the globe.

The UK-based photographer, Ashley Cooper runs www.globalwarmingimages.net, the world’s only climate change photo agency and it’s also sponsored by World Wildlife Fund International. His website has more than 40,000 images on climate change. His pictures are widely used in big publications and organisations such as the United Nations.

In 2010, Ashley won the prestigious Environmental Photographer of the Year award in the climate change category. One of the most heartbreaking pictures by Ashley showing a dead polar bear vent viral online and was shared widely on the internet. The 16-year-old polar bear had died from starvation. The global warming is responsible for the loss of prey as well as habitat for the arctic creatures.

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A male Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) that starved to death as a consequence of climate change. This male Polar Bear was last tracked by the Norwegian Polar Institute in April 2013 in southern Svalbard.

Ashley is a self-taught photographer. He has no professional experience of photography and cameras but he truly is a master of capturing the most eye-catching, beautiful yet heart-wrenching pictures. His work will grab your attention. Every picture is a master shot.

Photography is Ashley’s passion. Ashley started as an environmental photographer snapping shots of wildlife and landscapes. The initial recognition gave him a push to grow his work. So, Ashley decided to focus on something specific. After reading ‘High Tide’ a book on climate change by Mark Lynas, Ashley found what he was looking for.

Ashley has been the adventurer for a long time. He is the first person to climb every 3,000-foot peak in Great Britain and Eire in 111 days in a continuous expedition. He endured the rain and snow of the deadly hills. The trip raised £14,000 for LEPRA, the British Leprosy Relief Association to treat 1,000 people.

Images From a Warming Planet

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The bookImages From a Warming Planet

The sense of purpose in your work might be the most important things in life. The drive to give your best when your work is making an impact is immeasurable. Ashley has been traveling the globe in the last 14 years to collect precious photos based on climate change.

He has been to every continent on the planet for photoshoots. In 2004, he made his first trip to Alaska and has never looked back since. In Alaska, he photographed the melting permafrost and glaciers. He encountered Inuit people living in a small piece of land called Shishmaref Island. According to studies, the island would be submerged in a few years.

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King Penguins emerge from a fishing trip out to sea onto the beach in the world’s second largest King Penguin colony on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia, Southern Ocean. King Penguins feed mainly on Krill, numbers of which have crashed in recent years, causing a drop in King Penguin numbers, Krill feed on algae that grows on the underside of sea ice. As the sea ice retreats there is less algae, less krill and fewer King Penguins.

The Inuit people are really connected to nature and their habitat would be completely lost due to climate change. Ashley noticed that people hardest hit by the climate change are the ones who contribute the least to it. Moreover, animals, with no carbon footprints suffer the most by human activities be it habitat loss, unfavourable weather conditions or facing extinction from the face of the earth.

But not everything he has encountered has been depressing. His trip to India has been rewarding. The power supplied in rural areas in many regions in India is produced from renewable sources. After all, the small changes make a big difference.

Apart from the dangers of traveling in the most remote areas of the world and going to lengths for the perfect shots, there are certain pictures that some people do not want you to see. Ashley has gone through severe interrogations and police threats and been tailed for hours for his honest work.

Ashley has chosen 500 best images out of tons of images he has clicked around the globe and beautifully documented them in a book ‘Images from a Warming Planet’. Going through the book is like walking into an image gallery.

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Part of the Tehachapi Pass wind farm, California, the first large-scale wind farm area developed in the USA.

The book is a treat to the eyes. Although a little text is provided for every image, the images are the real head-turners. The images will leave you pondering over it for a long time. And every image tells a story. It’s marvelous how one builds a story just by looking at a picture. That’s the power of photography. No matter how much text and articles you read, a striking visual image will have a far deeper impact than the written text.

The book accurately depicts the brilliant work of Ashley Cooper. Some of the pages will make you aware, some will make you concerned, some will give you a hope but all of them collectively is a call to action. That’s life summed up in a book for you.

 

 

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