A Photographer's Challenge: Oil Spill Animals : The Picture Show Joel Sartore was used to photographing animals — but he wasn't used to seeing them covered in oil. His work at the scene produced some of the most mobilizing imagery to come out of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
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A Photographer's Challenge: Oil Spill Animals

Joel Sartore is used to photographing animals. It's kind of his thing. His recently published book, Rare, is a portrait catalog of America's endangered species. And his dedication to conservation was recently recognized by the Defenders of Wildlife with a Spirit of Defenders Award for Citizen Advocacy.

So he's used to photographing animals — but he's not used to seeing them drenched in oil. Sartore's photos in the October National Geographic magazine were taken on the Gulf in the days after the oil spill. It was undoubtedly a difficult job, but on the flip side, it produced some of the most mobilizing imagery to come out of the Gulf.