In most areas of photography, the biggest challenge is in getting the perfect image. However, in conservation photography the challenge is not just in getting the of animals or ecosystems, but also in making sure you're telling the story that needs to be told. After all, with conservation photography the most important work comes when the photo is shown to audiences. Thankfully, as the genre of conservation photography grows, there is a new educational program that will teach budding photographers, videographers and designers how to blend science and art to tell important environmental stories through images.
Fleming College and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have partnered to launch the Environmental Visual Communication (EVC) graduate
certificate program. Taught at the ROM, the program teaches photography students how to use photography, videography and design to communicate strategic messages that inform and educate audiences about environmental issues. The six-month program is headed up by Neil Ever Osborne, a conservation photographer and the EVC Program Developer. The program states:
Program Learning Outcomes
As a graduate of this program, you will be able to:
Evaluate global environmental issues, and articulate the relevance of such issues to various stakeholder groups and the general public.
Interpret information and underlying meaning presented in the form and content of a visual image using knowledge of symbols and semantics of visual literacy.
Create innovative photographs, videos, and multimedia pieces that convey a compelling conservation message across a variety of platforms.
Distill and translate essential messages from scientific and legal documents to public audiences.
Direct and influence marketing and branding strategy in conservation campaigns through alliances and collaboration with scientists, NGOs, government agencies, and educational institutions.
Implement integrated social media management plans by appraising social media platforms and selecting optimal channels.
“Environmental sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do,” said Linda Skilton, Dean of the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fleming College. “We developed this opportunity to train students who are passionate about environmental preservation and who want to effectively engage people to foster change in the environmental and sustainability fields.”
The course is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in using images to show conservation messages, especially photographers. Images have always been important in moving environmental issues forward, but this is true today more than ever with the many tools we have for sharing images to broad audiences. A course like EVC is a wonderful chance for photographers to hone their skills. If you're interested, check out the website and enroll!