Photographer Nathan Siegel is exploring social and environmental issues in East-Africa. Nathan started with photography after working as a writer for a few years because he wanted a change in how he told his stories. For him a picture can really be worth more than a thousand words. Through his photography he tries to create more awareness about little known places that are affected by environmental issues. I asked him some questions regarding his motivation and vision:
“My main motivation is that I believe the changing environment is one of the most crucial stories of our generation, and more so for the following ones. I think good photography makes viewers feel closer to what’s in the image, and since a changing climate affects us all, it helps facilitate that connection.”
His series on Migingo Island, a tiny island about half the size of a football pitch in the middle of Lake Victoria, reveals remarkable images of over-fishing, pollution and climate change. Overfishing and pollution have led to dwindling stocks in the rest of the lake, endangering the livelihoods of some 30 million people who depend on the lake for their survival. Photographing these issues is quite a challenge. According to Nathan “environmental issues aren’t often ‘bang bang’ in the way other stories are, so it’s sometimes a challenge to make compelling images about climate change that aren’t floods or a polar bear on an iceberg.”
24-year old Nathan Siegel made the switch to full time photography only one year ago. He started learning photography with the help of youtube and just learning by doing. Eventually he applied for a mentorship with National Geographic Creative photographer and film maker Sean Gallagher which helped him a lot.
Nathan’s editorial work has appeared in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, IBTimes, OZY, NPR, CNN, National Geographic News, USAToday and others.