Explorer and photographer lands in Hawaiʻi to talk conservation and climate change

Explorer and photographer lands in Hawaiʻi to talk conservation and climate change

It’s safe to say that Enzo Barracco has found a muse in Mother Nature.

His career as a fashion photographer was turned on its head when he heard the survival story of Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton — a tale so incredible that it inspired Barracco to become an explorer himself.

Now Barracco brings awareness to conservation and sustainability as a nature photographer. He organized an expedition to Antarctica, a journey he documented in his book, “The Noise of Ice: Antarctica.”

Mark Blackburn, middle, and Enzo Barracco, right, in-studio with The Conversation’s Catherine Cruz.

His most recent project, “The Skin of Rock Galapagos,” showcases the equilibrium of the oceanic system.

He spent the weekend as a guest speaker for The Explorers Club Hawaiʻi Chapter.

“The Noise of Ice: Antarctica” highlights the effect of a warming climate on icebergs and glaciers. The image on the book cover shows an iceberg turning upside down, revealing a fringe of icicles.

“The photos are very beautiful,” he said, “but actually are evidence of climate change. … When the iceberg melts, it loses the point of balance.”

Barracco knew he was one of the lucky few in the world who would ever see parts of Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands up close. His projects aim to “raise awareness, through my work, through photography, about our natural world.”

“We take so much for granted,” he said.

After growing up in the Mediterranean, Barracco told The Conversation that being in Hawaiʻi is like being back in his element.

Mark Blackburn, chairman of the Explorers Club Hawaiʻi Chapter, took Barracco on a tour around the state during his visit.

A photo from Barracco’s time on the Galapagos Islands.

Blackburn wants to remind people to appreciate the beauty of the islands.

“Everybody’s crazy busy,” he said. “But if everybody would just take 10 seconds and look around at the atmosphere. Look at the light. Look at the clouds. Look at the horizon lines. … You’re never disappointed.”

Barracco agreed. “This is why my work tries, on a very small scale, to raise awareness about the beauty of our natural world,” he added.

This interview aired on The Conversation on July 24, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1. This interview was adapted for the web by Emily Tom.

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