Conservation is at the heart of this Life on Earth photo series
Lorenzo Poli, winner of the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards in the Landscape category, explains the motivation behind his environmentally inspired ‘Life on Earth’ series.
Photographer passionate about the preservation of the environment
Poli is an Italian photographer and architect whose career has been strongly inspired by his love for nature. As a result, he visited many wild environments around the world. Her photography series “Life on Earth” earned her top honors in the Professional Landscape category of the recently concluded 2022 Sony World Photography Awards.
During the pandemic, Poli has had the opportunity to live remotely in the Scottish Highlands wilderness where he has worked to implement sustainability strategies for clients like Apple. During this time he found himself in awe of the British wilderness – so much so that he quit his job as an architect to devote himself to photography.
His background in environmental sustainability continued in his photography, most notably in his “Life on Earth” series. Poli tells PetaPixel that this work is about “life’s immense precious value, awareness and visual gratitude” to the Earth.
“That’s what I’m trying to photograph. Photography is a sort of transcendental meditative experience for me and I hope that can be perceived through my images.
Looking at influential photographers like Edward Burtynsky, who described the act of taking a photograph in terms of the “envisioned moment”, and Henri-Cartier Bresson, known for his idea of the “decisive moment”, Poli connects his work to this what he would do. describe it as a “moment of revelation”.
Every photo tells a story
Each photograph in the collection has a story behind it. For example, while kayaking around the Isle of Rona in Scotland’s Inner Sound, Poli camped overnight on top of Mullach an Rathain, a mountain in the Torridon Hills.
“The sound of the approaching sunrise woke me up,” he recalls. “The low clouds hid the position of the Sun and while chasing the rising Sun through its rays over the valley, suddenly and for a split second the Sun appeared between the peaks. I felt the power of the Sun embrace every life on Earth.
The picturesque moment gave rise to a photo titled “Karma Sun.”
The “Bare Earth” photo, on the other hand, was taken in the Icelandic highlands. Imagining life on Earth before humans, Poli transported himself billions of years ago to where two major tectonic plates meet.
“I have a deep admiration for the result of multimillennial processes,” he says. “If we compare our individual lives to these millennial processes, we understand how unimportant our individual existences are.”
“At the same time, I wanted to find out what a lifeless planet might look like,” adds Poli. “From such a height – filmed with a drone at 165 meters above sea level – you can see no water, no vegetation, no living creatures, only a human path through the craters.”
Likewise, each photo in the series is born out of Poli’s love for the natural world and her inherent passion to highlight the importance of preserving the environment for generations to come, restoring forests, leaving behind the age of fossil fuels and “extending this natural silence, which once reigned supreme over the world.
More of Poli’s work can be found on her website and Instagram.
Picture credits: Photos by Lorenzo Poli.