I was born in Natal, State of Rio Grande do Norte, located in Northeastern Brazil. Natal is a city with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, bathed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the sea has always been part of my life: I surf, dive and sail and my connection with water is absolute. Heading west, however, nature turns out to be increasingly hostile. Departing from the Atlantic Forest, close to the seashore, we pass through the Agreste Region of the State, which is mildly dry, and from there to the Seridó Region, where the Caatinga Biome predominates, with its characteristic aridity. The huge differences between all those environments definitely shaped my all-rounded  approach to biology.

 

Since my childhood, my connection with nature is total. I lived in a small farm, close to the limits of the city, and as a child I used to set up an improvised tent to camp at the edge of the site. My father, a civil engineer and amateur botanist, always took me for long hikes into the Dunas State Park, an area that was then untouched and unexplored, where we played a game trying to locate and identify as many as possible native orchids we could.

 

Looking back, it’s easy to know that my natural tendency was Biology. Somehow, however, I decided for Architecture and Urbanism, which was definitely important to sharpen my aesthetic approach, the way of observing shadows and light, my sense of composition. But I did not find myself in Architecture: when I finished college, I became a certified amateur scuba diver and entered the Aquaculture course, the closest course to Oceanography I could attend in my home town. That course, unfortunately, was extinguished, and I did not finished it.

 

I still work as an Architect for the Federal Government, but studying biology provided me the abilities able to integrate my knowledge of urbanism and nature, and study how urbanised and wild areas interact. In Biology I finishing as a laureate student and, since then, my eagerness for the study of life remains alight. At the Master’s Degree program I began to study insects and, at the same time, on field trips, I felt the need to register everything I found. And then I discovered what now I call my life's mission: wildlife photography aiming to promote conservation.

 

Yeah, not a long time ago, while I was hiking through my home state as a biologist, I really felt an urge to connect people to what I was watching. Every time I was in the woods, I could see something different: either an unusual species or, unfortunately,  a disturbing aggression to the environment.

 

Find spots into a wild place with lots of trash or signs of arson, here, isn't an uncommon event. Rather than simply registering those shocking situations, I chose to capture the beauty of wildlife, as a way to touch people how things are going, and why we need to change our approach to nature's conservation.

 

The fact is: we are more likely to protect when we know what we want to preserve. That makes conservation efforts far more effective.

 

And the way I found to do that was to embrace wildlife photography. That certainly wasn't an easy task: besides having to learn photography, wildlife in Northeastern Brazil, although incredibly biodiverse, is not particularly abundant. And when things happen, our usually tiny models, being very vulnerable, always tend to get away. That means lots of patience and long waits : hours, sometimes days, weeks, months, even years, to get the right shot. But I am sure my efforts are worth it. They show what we have, and what we are about to lose.

 

All these pictures were taken into the wild. All animals are free, and no traps nor baits were ever used.

 

Please think about preserving our environment. Get involved.

 

"Look deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything better. "

 

A. Einstein

© 2018 Paul Ojuara - All Rights Reserved