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Why you need to have a happy workforce

1st July 2024

Photo essay: Career Thoughts on the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards

Christopher Jackson

 

At Finito, it is one of the most regular things we hear on the wish list from our young candidates: I want to do something to help the planet. This is always wonderful. Very often, when the wish is first formulated, it amounts to the shape of an intention, and the candidate’s journey is to find out more about what career possibilities really lie ahead.

These can be both exciting, and perhaps a little bewildering, in their abundance. There are people out there who work in nature documentaries, who earn their living studying lion population numbers, who work for the Natural History Museum as curators, marketers, or social media experts. There are lawyers who specialise in environmental issues, and entrepreneurs who are exploring every kind of business to tackle climate change. Our concern for the planet rightly proliferates across the whole of society.

In a sense, this is the economy now – it might even be that there will be very few jobs soon which don’t help the planet. And yet, though it’s often important to delve deeper into the sort of thing we’d actually like to do, at Finito we have tended to find that the intention is so strong that a candidate who wants to work in this area will always find a way to succeed.

The reason for this is because the motivation is there. And the motivation is there because the natural world is always reminding us of its beauty and its fragility.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the world-famous exhibition from the Natural History Museum, has been going since 1965, and this year is returning to the Dorset Museum & Art Gallery. It consists of over 100 photographs which together form an impressive catalogue of the natural world. This is our planet, our only home. Quite frankly, it’s a knockout on every conceivable level.

Sometimes we see nature as vaguely comical as in Zeyu Zhai’s lovely image of a sea bird scarpering across shallows with prey dangling from its beak.

At other times, it is full of a kind of critical dynamism: we see Max Waugh’s water buffalo, with one alert eye, splashing through water: we don’t know if it is fleeing a predator, or seeking food – but we know that his life is a struggle and that it will need that alertness every second of its life. Meanwhile Amit Ashel’s pair of fighting mountain ibexes show that a sort of balletic grace – and an astounding fearlessness regarding heights – can show itself in the fight for a mate.

What it is doing all this for is, of course, the mystery. How do caribou know when to begin their great migration across Canada and Alaska and how do hungry wolves know they are about to embark on it? How do bears know that after hibernation there will be grass in the uplands but critical body mass to be earned from the salmon in the streams who are coming there in droves to mate? They are not told it – but they know it. Everything is in exquisite balance; it couldn’t be better.

The glory of nature is a universal experience. Today the competition receives entries from over 90 countries. It is remarkable to consider that every second we are alive this kind of beauty is happening in every hidden square inch of the world: mountain, or ocean depth, or cave recess. If this heartening knowledge isn’t a sound basis on which to build a career, I don’t know what is. And you can also be a wildlife photographer too.

Zeyu Zhai

Amit Eshel

Max Waugh

 

Mike Korostelev

Isaac Szabo

Solvin Zanki. Two-coloured mason-bee (Osmia bicolor), the bee is building its nests in a empty snail shell. The bee provisions the snail shell with chewed balls of pollen and nectar and seals it with a layer of debris.

 

Olivier Gonnet

Alex Mustard

 

 

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