Amateur Photographer

Out of time?

In 2017, a study was published in the scientific journal PNAS that stated the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history had not only begun, but was also more severe than had been anticipated. It was found that even ‘species of low concern’ were reducing dramatically, both in number and in range, and a number of mammals that were considered to be relatively safe only 20 years ago are now on the endangered list. The language used in the study was robust, to say the least, talking of a ‘biological annihilation’ that needs to be addressed immediately. And its cause? It comes as no surprise to learn that it’s us. You and me.

It’s a lot to take in, and many of us choose, however apparently insignificant, that we can contribute towards reversing what appears to be an inevitability? Photographer Tim Flach believes so – and it’s why he spent two years traversing the planet to capture its rarest creatures for a book that is titled, simply, . I’m speaking to him in an environment that’s a world away from the places he travelled to. In fact, we’re in the staff room of camera dealer Wex Photo Video, in east London, and around us are the sounds of banging and vacuuming as staff put the finishing touches to the opening of an exhibition of his work in the showroom’s gallery, which was on display last year.

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