OP Home > Locations > International > The Last Paradise


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Last Paradise

Using photography as a conservation tool, Ralph Lee Hopkins tells the story of the Galápagos Islands

Labels: Locations
Charles Darwin Research Station (Charles Darwin Foundation)
Galápagos: Islands at Risk
The Quarantine Chain (WildAid)

Voices of the Galápagos (iLCP)
Conservation photography is about finding ways to put images to work, helping communicate the stories that need to be told. Images from the project now exist in a digital archive maintained by iLCP, making them available to the project's conservation partners. The iLCP also co-produced a video "Voices of the Galápagos," featuring the people who live on the islands and their hopes, dreams and ideas about the ongoing efforts to preserve their home. Conservation partners use the video for education and outreach.

My hope is that nature photographers will look for ways to put their images to work, whether in their own backyard or some far-off corner of the world. The ultimate challenge is being in the moment and capturing images that tell a story. Pictures that tell stories make an emotional connection, so have no doubt that your images will help make a difference. The world is watching.

Ralph Lee Hopkins is the Director of Expedition Photography for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (expeditions.com) and a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ilcp.com). He's a lecturer on tour with National Geographic Traveler's digital seminar series teaming with OP columnist Bob Krist. His latest book is Nature Photography: Documenting the Wild World (Sterling Publishers, 2010). Visit his website at RalphLeeHopkins.com.

Essential Gear For Galápagos Photography

Traveling to the Galápagos requires some extra planning. In order to be versatile and ready for any situation, I typically leave my long fixed telephoto lenses home, preferring the versatility of a 70-300mm telephoto zoom. You may laugh, but wearing knee pads will encourage you to work the angles, getting low when necessary.

 Two camera bodies, with extra batteries and memory cards
 Wide-angle zooms (16-35mm ƒ/2.8, 24-105mm ƒ/4)
 Long telephoto zoom (70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6)
 Macro (100mm ƒ/2.8)
 Lightweight tripod and monopod
 Knee pads for getting low
 Rain hood for cameras and lenses
 Camera backpack with raincover
 Compact digital body with underwater housing
 Laptop computer with card reader and cables
 Two 1 TB external hard drives


Add Comment


Popular OP Articles