In my early days as a photographer, I would spend hour after hour drooling over images in lavishly-produced coffee table books. I would be transported to the forests of Scandinavia or the wide-open plains of Africa. I could imagine myself in front of a herd of wildebeest a million strong or a thundering waterfall complete with its own rainbow. It was all heady stuff and I clearly recall how the expertly crafted images brought a lump to my throat, reigniting my boyhood passion for the natural world and paving the way for what has now become my life.
Those books touched me on an emotional level and helped shape my photographic values but, as my career has progressed, I have learned that the emotional power of great photography can reach far beyond aesthetics.
The visual image has long since played a central role in how we perceive the world and ultimately, perhaps, how we behave as consumers, as citizens and as human beings. Visual media shapes...