Peter Bennett is the owner of Ambient Images, a stock agency specializing in New York, California and Environmental images, and has been shooting stock photography for over twenty-five years. He has survived by adapting to changing markets and constantly seeking out new and timely subjects to shoot. Peter’s love of photography goes back to his Grandfather, a studio photographer on the Coney Island Boardwalk and his father who traveled the country with a medium format camera in the 1940′s. Peter has been working digitally since 1992, setting up his first stock photo website shortly after, and has spent many years consulting individuals and agencies in digital imaging and workflow. His books include: New York City: A Photographic Portrait, Our San Diego and Only in Los Angeles.
I started my blog Citizen of the Planet to showcase the environmental photography projects and stories that I have been working on these last few years, as well as the work of others who are doing the same thing in their parts of the world. The idea is that many times the stories that take place in our own backyards are in fact simply microcosms of what is occurring elsewhere. The hard work and spirit that happens in one neighborhood is often repeated hundreds and thousands of times over in communities in this country and around the planet. Our lives are changing and will continue to change as we attempt to bring our world and planet back in balance. These changes are occurring fast, both as the environment around us continues to alter, and as our efforts to combat it and our lifestyles adapt to these changes.
The environmental story of our planet is more than just Global Warming, there are many things going on, much of it negative, but also much of it positive. Many of these stories are about the things we tend not to think about or just take for granted, like our water and oceans, our air, our food, where stuff goes when we get rid of it, and other things we deal with on a daily basis. Rather than to continue with blinders on, I decided to let my camera help me see what I did not care to look at before. Clarity can be beautiful, it can be terribly ugly, but ultimately it is freeing.
As a photographer, one of the great things about blogs, Facebook and other social media is the complete freedom I have to publish what I want. For years, it was the editors at the magazines and publishers who made these decisions, but now self publishing is something we can all do to one extent or another. I see it as the oldest and most basic form of communication there is: word of mouth, it’s just been taken to a completely new level.