The exercise of selecting the Top Forty Nature Photographs of all time in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is both an honor and a tremendous challenge. It may not be possible to for anyone to create a definitive selection of the forty “best” or “most important” nature photographs, if only due to the vast variety of criteria that must be considered. We decided to try anyway.
The International League of Conservation Photographers, a fellowship of the top professional conservation photographers working today, was recruited to nominate nature photographs that the member photographers considered to be “the best,” in whatever way they chose to define it. They were encouraged, however, to consider factors such as aesthetics, uniqueness, historical and scientific significance, or contribution to conservation efforts. The photographers were not permitted to self-nominate.
The Top Forty nominations, which represent a diverse spectrum of styles and genres and span over 100 years of the history of photography, are presented here. We hope you enjoy them, and that you will express your thoughts about the images that have meaning for you in each image’s “comments” section.
Some of these photographs have been generously donated by the photographers or their representatives for the inaugural Christie’s Green Auction in support of Conservation International, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Central Park Conservancy.
Please visit www.christies.com/features/auctions/0410 /greenauction/?CI… for more information on the Inaugural Green Auction.
Visit www.abidtosavetheearth.org/ to bid on items in the silent auction, including signed prints of some of the Top 40 images.