Interview with Justin Black

Jack and John welcome Justin Black to the program.  Listen in as they discuss photography, conservation and a few funny stories along the way.

Justin Black is a photographer, writer, and explorer from Washington, DC. A leader in his field, his photographs of the world’s high and wild places have been published widely and featured in numerous exhibitions around the U.S. and abroad, from the UK and Germany to Los Angeles and the United States Capitol. Several exhibitions of his work have been hosted at Mountain Light Gallery in California, founded by world-renowned adventure photographer Galen Rowell. A Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), and formerly executive director of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), Black has contributed photography and writing in support of conservation campaigns to protect threatened landscapes and ecosystems from British Columbia to Brazil, and from California’s Sierra Nevada to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, in collaboration with leading conservation organizations.

Artist Statement

My photography is all about looking into the world, honoring, and sharing; recognizing the importance of or assigning importance to the content that I choose to place within the frame, and sharing my personal experience, vision, and perspective with other humans. I am interested in the interconnectedness, and ultimately the inseparability, of wild nature and that minuscule, almost insignificant portion of the universe that has experienced the presence of humanity, and is therefore variously considered altered, civilized, degraded, developed, exploited, monetized, and transformed. Its profound importance stems from the fact that it is likely to be the only home that we as a species, and all the rest of life on Earth, will ever have.

The human factor is critically important to me. In this age of drones, camera traps, and other remote imaging devices, my job as a photographer behind the camera is, in part, to give a picture soul. That is to say, “I’m like you, I was there, and this is my personal experience.” As today’s ubiquitous digital media feeds us images at a breakneck pace, with the expectation that we will ingest innumerable small, low-quality images and quickly move on, I have intentionally made pictures that invite the viewer to slow down and spend time with them, discovering unexpected elements that reveal themselves only in due course. As such, I have used large format film and high resolution digital cameras to produce finely detailed photographs, printed at a large scale using museum-grade techniques and materials. This approach leverages photography’s greatest strengths: to permit over time the inspection and interrogation of frozen fleeting moments in our world, and to enable us to explore the passage of time within a static image.

I invite the viewer to join me on a journey of exploration at scales large and small, in an effort to share unique ways of looking at landscapes, ecosystems, animals, natural phenomena, human activity, and aesthetic relationships in the world, whether or not the viewer has the opportunity, or indeed the inclination, to experience them on their own. If my work opens anyone’s eyes, then I consider it to have succeeded.

Justins Website

Visionary Wild Website



The We Talk Photo podcast is dedicated to being an entertaining, informative and lighthearted discussion about a wide range of photographic topics centered around landscape and nature photography.  Hosted by Jack Graham and John Pedersen, long time industry professionals, they will bring you in to their conversations about gear, recent trends, insightful interviews with industry leaders as well as entertaining stories from their collective experience in the photography business.