Brent Stirton was born in Cape Town in 1969. He grew up in Durban, then Johannesburg, before a ten-year stint in New York. Staff Photographer at Getty Images and Verbatim, he has worked with National Geographic for ten years, producing ten or so reports on conservation and the defence of the animal world.
It would be both easy and a little limiting to present Brent Stirton and his outstanding career with a list of clichéd superlatives. And nothing is more telling of the photojournalist’s talent than the profound respect his name inspires in the field of environmental protection. For Brent, photography is more than a passion, a hobby or a job: it’s a relentless, ongoing, and crucial battle. “An obsession. A race against the clock,” as the regular National Geographic contributor recalls when he has the chance. A battle led far from traditional front lines defined by what we see on TV, but in remote areas where invisible wars put the future of our planet’s natural heritage in peril. Since 2008 and his famous photo of rangers carrying a dead gorilla in Virunga National Park, this photographer has striven to combine the subtle and delicate art of the still with the meticulous precision of investigative journalism. “Three weeks of work may lead up to just ten minutes of opportunity to get the photograph I want,” he says.
The purity of his commitment, determination and drive is such that there was no other choice than photography’s ‘monk–warrior‘, as he is known by colleagues, to kick-start this series on the Yves Rocher Foundation’s reforestation work worldwide. The winner of eight World Press Photo prizes and, more recently, the first prize from London’s Natural History Museum, Brent Stirton has now set about depicting Ethiopia’s key reforestation challenge. This is an essential battle in a period of mass deforestation – a decisive combat to keep our blue planet green.
Crédits : Agence Verbatim