The iconic images of National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak are part of a photographic exhibition adorning the sea wall that showcases the beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans.
The initiative by the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF), in partnership with Wavescape Surf and Ocean Festival, aims to underline their strong focus on media advocacy and awareness.
The photographs exhibited in Wild Seas are from two decades of Mr Peschak’s work. He is a director at the SOSF and an assignment photographer for National Geographic.
Originally trained as a marine biologist specialising in human–wildlife conflict, Mr Peschak retired from science fieldwork in 2004.
He became a wildlife photojournalist after realising he could have a greater conservation impact through photographs than statistics. He is currently abroad but calls Cape Town home.
SOSF volunteer, Jade Schultz, said these images are to raise awareness on sharks, climate change and various issues that affect the ocean life. She said they didn’t only want to show people how majestic these creatures are, but to also highlight that they are also threatened by people.
“Thomas is a marine biologist and we realise that through these images, he can do more for conservation, like telling stories through images as he does as a marine biologist writing on paper and doing research. Even with this project, he works with researchers to make sure the dates in pictures and everything is correct,” she said.
She said when putting the project together they had to decide on the theme. “Initially, we weren’t certain whether we going to focus on just sharks or environment, but we decided to keep it very general to appeal to as many people as possible. We decided to go for ocean images,” she said.
She said what’s special about the exhibit is that they have done a call to action underneath each image. “A reader will read this and if they’re quite moved, we’ve provided what one can do to lend a helping hand or support a cause,” she said. She said people will learn about the impact we have on the ocean life and perhaps do something.
There are 31 images and the exhibition will run for the next six months. “We’re trying to give people the power to make changes and make a difference,” she said.
Save Our Seas Foundation CEO Dr James Lea said they work to connect people with the ocean, understand its fragility and how they can help. “Cape Town is the perfect location to celebrate the co-existence of people and marine life, and Wavescape the perfect conduit to channel this passion. Wild Seas by Thomas Peschak presents a stunning range of iconic imagery that encapsulates the ephemeral beauty of our natural world, and highlights some of the stark realities our oceans face,” he said.