I know from experience it's very hard to get access to a prison to take pictures.

I would often see windows that looked to me like they weren't real - almost like a painting on a wall instead of a window. I thought it was kind of a cool idea.

As a photographer, I'm interested in how dramatically photography has changed. Most images are not real or are composites, and most of us don't even know it anymore.

I usually have one project I'm focusing on but often have many other projects in the back of my mind for several years.

My work reflects a relationship to the built world that shifts between control and randomness, strangeness and beauty, comfort and fear.

The West has become the world model; developing countries are dreaming of living like us, which is impossible. They should reject our model, because it is not sustainable. Developing countries should even give us the example, but unfortunately that's not what happens.

For nearly two years, I was flying above the planet with my camera. I knew straight away that this was something important to do, just at this moment, a portrait of the planet for the millennium year. I worked in 80 countries, fighting for money all the time.

The Rio Earth Summit in 1992 changed my life completely, turning me into an activist. From the air, you see things you can't see from the ground - you really understand the impact of man, even in a place you know well. My work is meant to convince people we can no longer live like this.

I wanted to be a scientist. I did a thesis on lions. But I realised photography can show things writing can't. Lions were my professor of photography.

The fact is that seven per cent of the global population emits 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, and the proportions are the same for the use of energy and raw materials, meat, wood, etc. Simply put, an infinitesimal minority consumes the most and imposes damage on the overwhelming majority, while asking it to change.


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