Pristine nature versus ‘real’ nature

Wildlife photographer Tim Plowden argues that we are part of rather than separate from nature and captures the fine line between humans and the hornbills near his home in Singapore.

“Some argue that showing nature as pristine denies the reality of human influence on our planet. This is the reality that we all see on a daily basis – something, which in many cases, is devoid of any connection to nature. So it could be said that these images are selling a false image of nature.” says Tim Plowden.

Between commercial nature imagery and photojournalistic realism there’s a space for something else. We can show that we are part of nature and that our culture is intertwined with it.

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By Diana Jarvis

Diana is a writer and editor at Eye for the Light. She has a BA in History of Art and an MSc in Environment and Sustainability and has worked in travel publishing for 18 years as a photographer, book designer and writer for a wide range of publications. She’s also the Publishing and Photography Director at the British Guild of Travel Writers and undertakes travel and tourism photography commissions. You can see her work at