There is something very utopian about what I do. But utopia is nothing more than a truth that the world is not yet ready to hear.
After Hurricane Katrina, over New Orleans, my helicopter crashed and the pilot and I were only saved because we fell on the roof of a flooded house that absorbed the shock. When the helicopter was spiraling downward out of control, I didn't expect to survive at all.
I learned to be a hot-air balloon pilot to take tourists over the Masai Mara Reserve in order to earn some money and finance the work I was doing with my wife, Anne. We were studying the life of a family of lions for more than two years. Taking pictures was a way to capture information we could not put in words.
To have success in your professional life is not so hard. To succeed as a man is more difficult.
No one is an environmentalist by birth. It is only your path, your life, your travels that awaken you.
For me, an aerial picture is no different than a close-up portrait. It's a question of framing and angle. Helicopters are great for that. But I've also used planes. Of course, I always have a harness.
I'm not an expert when it comes to technology, but what changed things for me was autofocus. I used to have to throw away half my pictures because it was so difficult to get the focus right.
The lions taught me photography. They taught me patience and the sense of beauty, a beauty that penetrates you.
Our children think our world will end. It's a tragic thing. Adults don't think that. They don't see that we are eating the planet. But we are. If you take all the biomass of vertebrates on the planet, 98% are men and their domestic animals. All the wild animals in the world make up only 2%.
The fact is that seven per cent of the global population emits 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, and the proportions are the same for the use of energy and raw materials, meat, wood, etc. Simply put, an infinitesimal minority consumes the most and imposes damage on the overwhelming majority, while asking it to change.