It's not the first time Tim Flach, the renowned wildlife photographer and winner of numerous international awards, visited Russia. "My father organized some trip around Russia and it would have been 1974. So I've been really fortunate to come here before. And now, it is a different feel, different vibe," he told Sputnik.
"You get the sense of modern technologies, particularly in your ecology that you have here. You see new battery systems, cutting-edge robotics, electric vehicles…. The future's really here to be seen," the photographer shared his impressions from SPIEF 2017.
Flach's newest book, "Endangered," which comes October 24, 2017, is the result of his extraordinary multiyear project to document the lives of threatened animal species. Traveling around the world, the acclaimed photographer constructed a powerful visual record of remarkable animals and ecosystems facing harsh challenges.
"I've actually just emerged from many weeks of intensive work on a two-year project which is looking at endangered animals. The main question is how we best connect to a natural world. And I think we all realize that it's never been more important to connect to the natural world and that our future depends on it," he noted.
While working on his projects in Russia, Tim explored Russian nature that can boast its incredible diversity and picked two subjects, which he thought could be interesting to see.
"I spent time near the Caspian sea pursuing photographs of the saiga, an extraordinary antelope with a proboscis nose. In the other project, I did photographs of a beluga sturgeon at the Moscow aquarium making it look like it was in the wild," he said.
Flach's projects span the world, from forests and savannahs to the polar seas and the great coral reefs. He manages to capture animals in action and portray them in a way never seen before, reflect their true spirit.
"I wanted this project to be something that would tell stories and make us think about the personality of the animals and importance of the environment," the photographer explained.
"For years, I've worked on many aspects of using animals to connect us. In traditional photography, you think of an animal within a broader habitat. What I'm trying to do is at one level connect us to the personality. The challenge is always how to tell a story, how to retouch by the personality of this animal. So I'm exploring the very nature of how they look in the natural world and make it something that engages people," he added.
He is bringing up the issue of animal protection, the necessity to think about wildlife. The real key lies in the right stories that not only illuminate science but also have an emotional dimension. "This is where the arts and the science work together," Tim Flach believes.
"Children are being taught about the environment because it's recognized that they are the ones who will have to meet these challenges face on. And I'm hoping that my project is going to create some tools and elements that would support that," the photographer concluded.