Vamp interviewed one of our environmental influencers @pxlexplorer to hear her take on the power of Instagram to inspire people to #Connect2Earth.
Tell us about @pxlexplorer.
Initially I started my @pxlexplorer Instagram account as I wanted to connect with people who loved the ocean and its amazing marine life. I also wanted to showcase my experiences scuba diving and swimming with humpback whales. When people asked me what it was like or why I did it, I felt I could never have the right words to best describe the enormity of how wondrous the ocean, its life and the structures you find are. So I wanted to try an capture that and connect with people through my photos. I hope that people would feel submerged and in that moment with me. A picture is a thousand words, right. It wasn’t long before I realised how powerful this platform can be in building deeper connections. It opens up opportunities in raising awareness of the underwater world and its many personalities.
What do you love best about the ocean?
What I best love about the ocean and marine life is that for me, the underwater world is so surreal. It submerges me into a whole new world, full of wonder, joy and serenity. Cutting out the noise and static of the world above.
Top tips for the perfect underwater shot?
The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to get better pictures under water is to get to know your subject, its habits and personality. Observe and allow them their space. Take in the surroundings and light. You shouldn’t shoot blindly, you don’t have to start chase and take a picture straight away. You don’t even have to take a picture the first time you meet. It’s great to be absorbed in the moment with a wild animal. Try and take an image that reflects your subject candidly, showing its activity, setting and environment or personality.
EarthHour THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY. The Earth is for of ALL of us. This WWF’s #EarthHour on March 24th at 8:30pm, show that you want to protect the planet by simply switching off and #Connect2Earth . Your participation will amplify conversations locally and globally on #climatechange and protection of the planet. This is a great reminder that you are not alone with your personal contributions in being more aware and proactive with these issues. Many a times the journey to save the planet by slowing down and even reversing the effects of climate change can be arduous and overwhelming. BUT don’t loose sight. Your personal contribution is helping and together we will unite as we turn off for an hour and witness the global support and appreciation of your fellow Earth Citizens worldwide. WWF’s Earth Hour will reconfirm to you that you are not alone and we are all grateful for your efforts towards taking action on climate change and protecting the planet. 🤗 Did you Know? 💡 WWF’s Earth Hour is the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, uniting people to take action on climate change and protect the planet. Earth Hour was started by WWF-Australia in 2007 and since then has grown to include millions of supporters in 187 countries. Supporters, landmarks, and businesses all over the world switch o their lights for one hour as a symbolic event to support climate taking action. earthhour.org @WWF_Australia @EarthHour @vampbrands #Connect2Earth
What about the WWF + Earth Hour campaign resonated with you?
WWF is a fantastic organisation that supports positive change from grassroots campaigns right through to policy work on the global stage. Their work targets all threats to the Earth and provides a voice not only for charismatic species and landscapes under threat but also for complex issues such as climate change that need a voice and action on a massive scale.
They acknowledge and support the bigger picture of Thinking Globally and Acting Locally. This in itself I believe gives confidence that an individual’s seemingly solitary and meagre efforts at times is of significant value and does contribute to the bigger picture.
Do you feel there is a new movement emerging on Instagram of environmental influencers?
There are great and brilliant conservationists, environmentalists and advocates for a better planet out there. The challenge is to ensure the work those advocates are doing to create awareness generates real support for organisations with real programs that are working on real solutions. From my perception just to name a few examples, Organisations such as WWF, Sea Shepherd, Sea Legacy, Great Barrier Reef Foundation are the big guns and are on the Global scale. But then there’s myself, Darren Jew @darrenjew, Philip Thurston @ocean who promotes others with a collaborative account style. We all try to impact and act locally as well as to create awareness, in the hope that it spreads beyond. We try to show people that it’s us, just everyday people, that we can be active and proactive in doing what we can, trying to showcase planet, it’s people and wildlife. There are various roles that everyone in the community can take on to help mine just happens to have evolved into photography and I hope my photography boosts the urge and advocates for the community to support Organisations like WWF, Sea Shepherd and Sea Legacy, Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Which is your favourite photo on your feed and why?
Orcas – Mother and Calf. The experience I had with these two and their pod was remarkable. We had seen them on different days but on this day after literally being in the herring ball and watching them feed right next to me. I was able to follow quietly this Mum and calf off to the side and she (the Mother) allowed me to approach her to about 5-6m away. Here she and the calf spy hopped for me, the calf played and twisted and slapped it’s tail, all while the Mother was hovering 3-4m below the surface. I could see her watchful eyes and sense her calmness as the calf played and in front of me getting more and more confident with each spy hop. Time stood still for me, until they both swam past me and went back to the herring ball to eat. It was magic.
What and/or who inspires you?
People with passion and an eagerness to see with open mind. Instagram and Facebook have allowed the community to reach out to me with personal messages of kindness, support and to thank me for posting my pictures. This is so powerful to me when the community reaches out with such positivity and interest and hungry to know more, learn more, see more and to see things differently, in a different light. It is sooooooo inspiring and encouraging when I can show the community something they have never seen or seen in that way before. I’d like to be able to show the underwater world to everyone, especially those who are wanting to stay dry but to venture beneath the surface. To showcase the animals and the environment in which they live, to show them a moment in that animal’s life.
If someone was to make one small change in their day to day life to help save the planet, what would you recommend that should be?
Reduce your energy consumption. When you consume less power, you reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserve the earth’s natural resources and protect ecosystems from destruction. By reducing your energy intake, you’ll contribute to protecting the air and preventing/ reducing climate change leading to a healthier and happier world.