12.1.14: National Geographic's Iconic Covers, Ethics Of Wildlife Photography, & Birds That Stray

Dec 1, 2014

A bookshelf full of National Geographic Magazines
Credit heipei via flickr Creative Commons

From the Afghan girl with startling green eyes to the ghostly wreckage of the Titanic, there’s just something about the iconic covers of National Geographic that burns into our collective memory. On today’s show: we get an insider’s view of the cover selection process.

Then, from microscopic lenses to compact cameras, the digital age has upped the ante for nature photographers and opened the door for whole new levels of disruption and manipulation. We’ll ponder the ethics of wildlife photography.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

National Geographic Covers

  • As National Geographic’s chief content officer, Chris Johns plays a key role in selecting the images that make the cover, but he started at Nat Geo, behind the lens as a photographer. He spoke with Taylor about a new book from National Geographic, The Covers: Iconic Photographs, Unforgettable Stories.
  • We've got a slideshow of cover imagery at this link.

Ethics of Wildlife Photography

In Defense of the City Pigeon

  • Pigeons are among nature’s most reviled creatures, but there’s a lot to appreciate about the city pigeon. Martina Castro of KALW in San Francisco makes the case.

  • You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

Birds That Stray

A Messy Question About Birds

  • Birds brighten our lives. They connect us with nature. But sometimes they connect us a bit too directly with nature. Park under the wrong tree - where a flock of starlings or grackles comes to roost - and nature may cover your car so thickly that it takes a trip or two through the car wash just to see through the windshield again. Michael Stein from Bird Note poses a particularly messy question.
  • You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.