Earth in Your Palm

14 September 2007 text Nikola Shahpazov
How long does it take before you complete a photo session?
All the photo session are different. In any case the possibility to fly with an helicopter is maximum two hours.

How do you choose the places for a photo?
Before flying, my assistant gets informed on the country. I ask also the pilot to give me some information. And during the flight, there are always a lot of surprises. 80% of my shootings are just luck.

Do you often have to work in dangerous conditions?
No, I pay attention to the pilot with whom I fly. There are many helicopter accidents. The last dangerous shooting I made was during the cyclone Catarina in Florida.

Do you have pupils that follow your unique way of aerial photography?
No, I don’t.

In The Earth from Above already includes photos taken in Turkey, Greece and Croatia. How about capturing the beauty of Bulgarian nature?
For the moment, I never had neither opportunity, nor time to do it.

You have pretty much covered the world while doing photographs. How have the landscapes changed over the years?
I am coming back from Borneo were people cut trees in order to plant palm trees. With that trees, they produce oil, for the international market. It is a desaster for the forest biodiversity.

Is your eco-message more efficiently transmitted through a photo portraying nature’s beauty or a photo depicting man’s destructive influence?
Both. My message is transmitted by the association of many texts and many photographic prints selected carefully for each exhibition.

Is it hard being a photographer with a mission?
I don’t consider mysef like a photographer who has a mission… I am just a photographer and a man who tries to do his best to change things.

What is a more efficient way of getting Your environmental message through to the people – by means of the Earth from Above exhibition or by other related activities (sites, documentaries, etc.)?
I think that there is not one way of getting an message. The way I chose to present the exhibition - outdoor and free - is for me the best way to give information to the greatest possible number of citizens.

Please, tell us a bit about Your other projects/exhibitions – Chevaux, Bestiaux and Francais, to name a few…
I have spent a lot of time in an helicopter very far away from the people. With, Bestiaux, Horses and Français I wanted to get very closed to the people. Horses : The horse’s beauty is about movement and action. How can a frozen image capture this? And how can a simple photograph do justice to the bonds linking the horse with its environment, culture and civilization? Bestiaux : With this exhibition, I want to show the extraordinary relationship between stockbreeders and their animals. Alive: because you forgot this project. It is an exhibition presented by my association I’m not the only photographer in this exhibition because there are prints of 39 animals photographer. The question that I wanted to answer is : What is the role of biodiversity in this world dominated by Human? How to make each one of us aware that we can that, we have to change our behaviour urgently? The concept of this spectacular exhibition is to provoke awareness, showing: Beauty and abundance of the animal world, Impact of humans’ actions on the planet.


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