Conservation Photography

New for 2013, the Visual and Communication Arts Department at Eastern Mennonite University now offers a course in Conservation Photography.

EMU students photograph an Eastern Box Turtle using Meet Your Neighbours whitebox techniques
EMU students photograph an Eastern Box Turtle using Meet Your Neighbours whitebox techniques

Conservation Photography explores the intersection of photography and environmental preservation. Topics include aesthetic responses to the natural world, visual documentation of ecosystems, conservation advocacy and the relationship between human communities and the natural world. Partnering with local environmental organizations and EMU environmental science classes, students explore regional environmental issues through photography.

Eastern Mennonite University is located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains, this region hosts a wealth of flora and fauna. The amphibian population is particularly diverse with several salamander species (such as the Cow Knob Salamander and the Shenandoah Salamander) found only in this area.

Learn more: The Meet Your Neighbors project recently highlighted the work of senior Han Park.

Techniques

Underwater Photography: Using a Digital SLR in an underwater housing, students will have the opportunity to explore the aquatic life of the Shenandoah River watershed.

Common Shiner, Shenandoah River, North Fork
Common Shiner, Shenandoah River, North Fork

Macro Photography: Using 1:1 macro lenses and flashes, students will explore the richly textured world of insects and amphibians.

Cow Knob Salamander, Reddish Knob on Shenandoah Mountain
Cow Knob Salamander, Reddish Knob on Shenandoah Mountain

Telephoto Photography: Using a 100-400mm lens (640mm on cropped frame camera) lens, students will have the opportunity to document birds and mammals that are difficult to approach.

Cooper's Hawk, Shenandoah River, North Fork
Cooper’s Hawk, Shenandoah River, North Fork
(stevendavidjohnson.com)

Other Topics of discussion:

Camera Traps: An automated camera trap allows for extended field research using HD video or still images. A special infrared night mode creates opportunities to observe nocturnal species.