National Geographic The Photo Ark

Photo Ark pop up Vilamoura Portugal

Photo Ark pop up Vilamoura Portugal

I recently had the opportunity to visit National Geographic’s Photo Ark exhibition whilst in Vilamoura Portugal, although the exhibition is touring extensively and showing in many museums and pop ups worldwide.


The Vilamoura exhibition hosts over 50 pieces of works by Joel Sartore and runs until September 30th, entrance fee €10. I may add it’s worth watching the accompanying video which gives a light hearted look behind the screens showing how Joel mostly uses a light box with either white or black background to great success (most of the time) to  ultimately represent the 12,000 species of endangered animals featured, highlighting their plight due to habitat loss.


Below is a statement from Joel Sartore on his ambitious project, I wish him the best of luck.


National Geographic Photographer and Speaker Joel Sartore

About the Photo Ark

The Photo Ark started back in 2005, when my wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. My career as a National Geographic photographer came to an abrupt halt as I stayed home to tend to her and our three children.


It’s been more than 10 years, and Kathy is fine now, but that year at home gave me a new perspective on the shortness and fragility of life. I was 42 at the time, and as Kathy recovered, one question continued to haunt me: How can I get people to care that we could lose half of all species by the turn of the next century?

Perhaps a series of portraits, made as simply and cleanly as possible, would give us all a chance to look animals directly in the eye and see that there’s beauty, grace, and intelligence in the other creatures we share the planet with. Black and white backgrounds level the playing field, making a mouse every bit as grand as an elephant. In these portraits, they are equals.


All species are vitally important to our very survival; we need bees and even flies to pollinate the fruits and vegetables we eat. We need intact rain forest to regulate the amount of rainfall we get in areas where we grow crops. But beyond what’s in it for us, I believe that each species has a basic right to exist.

There are about 12,000 animal species in human care around the world. So far, I’ve made portraits of more than 8,000, and we’ll keep going until we get them all. It’ll take another 15 years or so. The goal is to show the world what biodiversity actually looks like and get everyone to care about saving species while there’s still time.


I hope you agree that the future of life on Earth is something that deserves our full attention. If so, please tell your friends that you care about all creatures, great and small. Share the photos. Help us celebrate. Join others devoted to saving species and habitats. We all can make a difference.

Joel Sartore


Kevin Cummins - So It Goes

I had the pleasure recently of meeting the legendary Kevin Cummins when he exhibited at the Lucy Bell Gallery in St Leanards, East Sussex while promoting his latest book “So It Goes - Punk And The Aftermath “

Punk music played a massive part during my teenage years in the late 70’s.

One of my weekly rituals was to buy the music papers that would hit the news shelves on a Thursday morning, always Sounds & NME, (New Musical Express was for the dinosaurs).This would be our guide to what gigs we would travel to over the next week or so, (this was the pre-internet age).

The music press was my introduction to Kevin’s work. Living in the south, the northern scene was unreachable to me, those superb Manchester bands where rarely within my reach, but the reviews of these gigs where often published along with Kevin’s photographs.

So It Goes encapsulates the the northern punk scene, the author was in a unique position, working so closely with The Buzzcocks and several other pivotal bands, he was totally imsersed within that scene.

As I mentioned the punk movement had a big influence on me as it did many others of mt era, talking to Kevin and reminiscing about this time was great.

Congratulations Kevin on the publication of your latest book, in my opinion a great piece of work well worth a few quid!


As for my copy and the B’dum B’dum annotation, if you weren’t there you won’t get it!