Photographes animaliers


Yva Momatiuk and John Eastcott, a wife and husband team, are internationally published photographers of nature. Nomadic for years before the birth of their daughter Tara, whose arrival induced them to hang their hats in the Catskills with a sweeping view of old river valleys, they spend most of the year following animals, ever-changing landscapes, and moving with the light and the seasons while exploring the color, rhythm and wild essence of remote places.

A New Zealander, Eastcott published his first book of photographs at 17, earned a degree in photography in London, and met Yva in Wyoming near the Grand Tetons while touring the American West. They soon decided to share their photographic credits, proposed their first story idea to National Geographic and embarked on their Canadian Arctic assignment for the Still Inuit, Still Free article in 1976. More articles for the Society followed, documenting the lives of Maori of New Zealand's East Cape, high country sheep farmers of New Zealand, mountain people of Poland and Slovakia, and the inhabitants of the marine and sub-Arctic realm of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Momatiuk and Eastcott have followed the mustangs of the American West protected under the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act, and had their body of work appear in a book of images and a Smithsonian cover story. They spent many seasons in Alaska, explored the American Southwest, the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and the river swamps of the South. They also returned to the polar regions of the Canadian Arctic, photographed in New Zealand, Afghanistan and Kashmir, explored arid pampas of Patagonia and the outback of Australia and Africa.

They practice long commitments to places they love, and spent three summers exploring the Pribilof Archipelago and other islands of the Bering Sea in Alaska, documenting the rich marine wildlife and a stewardship program designed to strengthen the young Aleuts' link with the natural world and rekindle traditional values and land ethics of their people. The coverage resulted in a National Wildlife article, a Ranger Rick story for which the couple received RR's annual Magazine Writing Award, and an annual award of the Alaska Conservation Foundation for excellence in still photography dedicated to environmental issues. Their image of Mt.McKinley in Alaska became the 80-cent U.S. international airmail postal stamp.

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