Bringing the Role of Conservation Photographers into Focus

Anna Morgan

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

Abstract / Description of output

Visual imagery is used extensively to communicate conservation issues, garner public support and engage policymakers. This thesis explores how photographers understand their purpose and role within the fields of conservation and ecosystem health focussing on their reasons for
developing their photography practices. In-depth interviewing offers a well-established qualitative approach for participants to describe and explain the complexities of their lived experiences. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with three well-respected professional photographers and the transcribed data thematically analysed. Beauty, Truth and Experience were the three key themes that emerged directly from the empirical data revealing, at their intersection, the conceptual theme of Situated Knowledge. Situated Knowledge is linked via photographic practices to a second conceptual theme; Representation and the wider need for photographers, and the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) in particular, to pay attention to the politics of conservation photography in their roles as knowledge creators. The study concludes that practising situated knowledges in conservation photography requires seeing ecologically, both literally and metaphorically, where the collective consciousness of conservation photographers shifts towards inclusivity, equity and the co-creation of a functional knowledge democracy to promote ecological health in its widest definition.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Cousquer, Glen, Supervisor
  • Staddon, Sam, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Conservation Photography
  • Conservation Medicine
  • Situated Knowledge
  • Knowledge Practices


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