Given Anderson’s lofty goals, it goes without saying that his entire schedule of excursions—from the forays to the elephant grounds of Zambia to the pilgrimages to mountain gorilla haunts in Rwanda—are conducted under the most responsible, eco-friendly conditions. His wilderness camps are all solar-powered and completely removable, and his clients are encouraged to purchase carbon offsets to compensate for their air travel to and from the continent.
But Anderson, like all reasonable advocates for sustainable conservation in the remote reaches of our complicated planet, knows that all behaviors have their inevitable impacts. The point, he says, is not to completely eliminate those impacts but to achieve “a world that works for everyone.”
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris
A couple of years ago fine-art photographer Bobbie Goodrich, armed with a Nikon pro digital SLR, waited at dawn, knee-deep in the mud of the Rhône River delta in the south of France. This region, known as the Camargue, is famed for its rare, indigenous breed of sinewy wild horses. As the herd pounded into sight over the marsh grass that morning, Goodrich captured images that would soon be winning awards and hanging in galleries around the country.
Goodrich is not the first professional to use Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris to get her to the right animals in the right season and in the right lighting conditions for great photographs. “The expertise to accomplish this, unerringly, year after year,” says retired neurosurgeon Vance Macdonald, a veteran client, “is one of the defining features of Joe Van Os’s safaris.”
After 30 years in business, Van Os is the ultimate in photo tourism, each year placing around 1,000 clients and 20 veteran photographer-guides in wilderness destinations worldwide: South Africa, Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Galápagos Islands, Patagonia, the Arctic, the Grand Canyon, Brazil, Finland, India and others. Van Os, a widely published wildlife photographer who annually leads eight or nine of his firm’s expeditions himself, sees the safaris as a means to forge what he calls “connections with the earth and its ecosystems.” Spending hours training your lens on the snow monkeys of Japan or waiting out waved albatrosses in the Galápagos “slows down your tempo,” he says. “It forces you to scrutinize wildlife in ways you wouldn’t without the goal of getting a picture.”
Van Os likes to remind us that the world’s rare, resilient and unfettered creatures and their remote primeval habitats carry an important message to humankind: “You’re not necessarily the big dog on the planet.”
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Gone Hunting (with a Camera)".