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What is "the biosphere"?

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"The biosphere is the living environment, the thin layer around the world of living organisms. We're part of that. Our existence is dependent on it in ways that people haven't even begun to appreciate. Our existence depends not just on its existence, but its stability and its richness."

~ Edward O. Wilson ~
("Darwin of the 21st century" & "father of sociobiology and biodiversity")

How we use the term "biosphere"


The definition cited above aims at grasping the web of all “natural things” enveloping the globe. It also hints at the interrelation of all habitats, its geological, botanical and faunal components. Most importantly, it acknowledges us humans as integral part of this complex and intertwined system. Homo sapiens has, like no species before, shaped and fragmented its environment. Deduced from the notion of a "sphere" as being something that is finite in terms of space, we continuously and loosely define individual ecological spaces with a certain set of characteristics. These lower level "spheres of life" - which we would like to grasp with our style of photography - we define anew from project to project. We encounter the numerous habitats of our world – be it the swampy shore of a lake, a steep mountain valley or a flowering city garden – as a number of smaller and (of course) interrelated biospheres, finally constituting the bigger global biosphere, which E. O. Wilson is addressing in his definition. All of them - in one way or another - bear traces of human activities. The concept of UNESCO biosphere reserves can also be used as an illustration here. This designation of "sub-biospheres" attempts to combine the promotion of biodiversity with sustainable local (human) economies. We do not specifically focus on either animals, landscapes or human activity, but welcome them altogether as individual puzzle pieces into our work.

All of these puzzle pieces add up to collages (see "Projects") of the loosely defined ecological spaces we set out to portrait. The borders are thereby fluent, of course. In addition, our studies have strengthened our awareness of the concept of a "holistic" world-view: An idea which signifies that a bigger picture only truly comes to life, if looked at in relation to its various bits and pieces. This is what we try to express through our photography. Our ambition is to better understand and grasp the biospheres we explore through their different components - unafraid of including humans, their traces and activities, which have conspicuously co-shaped the surfaces of the Earth. It is this manner of telling bigger stories by depicting the little ones, which is most intriguing to us. In the course of our blog we will try to shed some more light onto how we exactly define our approach to "biosphere photography".

We are looking forward to hear from you!

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