Thomas P. Peschak – Bio – www.thomaspeschak.com
Thomas P. Peschak is a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). He is based in South Africa but leads a near continuous nomadic existence and spends 300 days per year on assignments around the world. He was recently named by Outdoor Photography magazine as one of the 40 most influential nature/environmental photographers in the world.
He trained as a marine biologist and specialized in kelp forest ecology and the impacts of illegal fishing. He retired from active science in 2004 to pursue a life dedicated to environmental photojournalism after he realized that he could have a greater conservation impact with photographs than statistics.
Thomas began his career photographing Africa’s marine biodiversity and associated conservation issues and produced four books on these subject: Currents of Contrast, Great White Shark, Wild Seas Secret Shores and Lost World. He has since broadened his geographic scope and also works extensively in the Middle East, the wider Indian Ocean region and the Pacific coast of North America. His latest book Sharks and People is currently set for release in 2012 and chronicles the relationship between people and sharks at more than two dozens locations around the world.
A dedicated conservation photographer Thomas believes strongly that photographs are one of the most effective weapons in conservation today. His feature story on manta rays of the Maldives appeared in National Geographic Magazine in 2009 and helped to proclaim a marine reserve and protection for these rays. In 2010 he was part of a small team of photojournalists that traveled to Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest to create a photographic legacy to prevent the construction of an oil pipeline from destroying this unique coastal wilderness forever. He returned in 2011 to continue this project.
Thomas believes that the combined force of photojournalists and conservation NGOs is very powerful. In the past he has worked as the official photographer of WWF-SA and the Chief Photographer for the Save our Seas Foundation. He continues working with NGOs on a regular basis, collaborating often with Pacific Wild, the Manta Trust and WWF.
Thomas is a multi-award winning photographer, receiving awards from the BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Fujifilm Photographic and Environmental Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2011 he won the nature/environment category of the World Press Photo Awards.