iLCP Featured Fellow – Laurent Geslin
Laurent Geslin is a professional photographer working mainly on environmental issues.While studying history of art, he discovered classic photographers such as Cartier Bresson, Raymond Depardon and Martin Parr. His passion for wildlife soon led him to the work of Stephen Dalton and Michael Nick Nichols.
After being a naturalist guide in France, South Africa and Namibia, Laurent moved to London where he becomes a professional photographer himself. There he began his project to photograph wildlife in cities.Between two assignments in distant countries, he takes advantage of his stops in the English capital to expand his subject on the urban biodiversity. His Urban Safari was conducted in major European cities in order to shoot foxes, beech marten, badgers, wild boars and even bears! His original work has been published in numerous books and foreign magazines. His work is regularly exhibited in galleries and museums and has also shown his work at the United Nations in Geneva.
Now, Laurent lives in the Jura mountains of Switzerland and has been working extensively with European lynx for the last years. His new book LYNX, regards croiss is the result of fours years chasing the elusive cat.
- iLCP: What conservation issue are you most concerned with right now and why?
I have been working extensively with European lynx for the past six years. We have a serious concern about predators in Western Europe. If wolves and lynx are coming back, the local population is still very “anti” predators. Showing pictures for the first time of wild European lynx in the near by landscape can change the mentality and I hope we will have less poaching.
- What do you like best about being in the field?
Being on my own and re-discover the real rhythm of nature. We are running like crazy now, always connected. In the field, I don’t bring any phone or whatever; I just want to be out of reach.
- What is your best scary/funny/inspiring story from the field?
Quite few, but probably photographing by foot a big male elephant in Namibia and realizing that another one is just few meters away in my back…
- What value do you see in an organization like iLCP?
Esthetic pictures of wildlife are everywhere now. But ILCP will encourage photographers to not only take beautiful pictures but also being involve in conservation project. If a wildlife photographer wants to be in ILCP, he will not only need to be a good photographer, but show that his work in engaged for protecting wildlife.
- What makes a great conservation photographer?
He conservation photographer needs to have a good background regarding the natural world, not only having a great eye for the beauty, he needs to know what he is talking about and take pictures that will explain in one shot a situation or a problem that could only be translated in hundreds of words.
- Where in the world would you wish to photograph next, and why?
I have decided to avoid traveling too much now. If we are talking about carbon footprint to a wide audience, but we are traveling the world, living in between airplanes, that does not make sense to me. There are very good photographers in every countries now. We need to work local, like we need to consume local.