Get motivated for the new year with these TED talks on photography


posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 4:39 PM EST


PetaPixel has compiled a list of 11 Ted Talks on Photography Worth Watching to help start your new year off with a creative bang.

They're all fascinating talks worth the view that cover a wide variety of subjects from around the world. I am sure that everyone will have different reactions to the varying subjects, but there are a few that I especially enjoyed.

Photographer Frans Lanting’s talks about animals and giving them a voice. Having heard a story from a tribal elder of the Kwikwasut’inuxw people in British Columbia, Lanting used his wildlife photography to illustrate the story. He was told of how once upon a time, all animals in the world were one. Although animals look different on the outside, they were all the same inside. Meeting every so often in a sacred cave, all of the animals of the world would gather and shed their skin. But one day, a human entered the cave and laughed at the animals as they danced together, celebrating their unity. Feeling embarrassed, the animals never met again.

This idea from the story that all animals are unified has proven to be a powerful inspiration to Lanting, as can be evidenced by the phenomenal wildlife images that you can see as Lanting tells the story. He likes to “get past the fur, the feathers, and the scales, I want to get under the skin.” No matter which animal he’s photographing, his goal is to connect us with them and show what we have in common with all living things. You will be able to see people in his wildlife photos, even if they aren’t obviously apparent, you just have to look at the wildlife in the right way. “When I use my camera, I drop my skin like the animals in that cave, so I can show who they really are.”

Not unlike Lanting’s desire to show how humans are connected with wildlife, artist Camille Seaman uses her photographs of Antarctica to illustrate how we are connected to nature as a whole. As she says, “Through my work, I’m trying to articulate that humans are not separate from nature and that everything is interconnected.” One of Seaman’s signature works are her iceberg photographs. Encountering her first iceberg over a decade ago, she recalls how it made her feel. The distinctness of each iceberg speaks to her in a special way, they each look different and interact differently with their environment. Icebergs form over long periods of time and contain within them extensive history, so Seaman approaches photographing icebergs “as if [she] is making portraits of her ancestors, knowing that in these individual moments they exist in that way and never exist that way again.” Later in the video, you can even see footage of an iceberg that projects 120 feet above the water quickly roll over, presenting a new shape and perspective to the viewer.

What all of these TED talks compiled by PhotoShelter’s Allen Murabayashi and republished by PetaPixel show are photographers who are passionate about a particular subject and use photography as a means to tell a story to the viewer. They’re all visually interesting and serve as excellent motivation to get out there and capture powerful images, so be sure to check them out!

(Seen via PetaPixel