A Missing Piece

Carlton Ward is a conservation photographer who got his start working in Africa between 2001 and 2004. "I was, for lack of a better description, like an embedded journalist on the front line of science and conservation," Ward says. "You had...all this science and cutting edge discovery taking place, and I had the fortune of having a camera there to record it all." 

  Anna Hamilton interviews Carlton Ward at The Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Jane Photography.

Anna Hamilton interviews Carlton Ward at The Gallery in St. Petersburg, FL. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Jane Photography.

But something was happening to Florida during Ward's time abroad. "I later learned Florida was losing 200,000 acres of agricultural and natural land to development every single year," Ward says. "I [didn't] feel that the heritage and wild places that were being lost were being adequately celebrated...It was an introspective moment where, here I am, a young privileged man from Florida running off to try and promote conservation in central and west Africa, whereas every time I get on a plane and go away a piece of Florida goes missing. So that was kind of the draw home."

If you’re a Floridian, you may be familiar with Ward's work. His name has become synonymous with images of wild Florida and Florida cowboys, which he has called an emblem of our state. Follow Ward's journey with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition team as they begin their second trek (#GladestoGulf) on January 10, 2015.

I think it I weren’t inherently an optimist I couldn’t be doing this. I’m not someone who dwells on the negative in an opportunity. I’m always looking for that sliver of hope or the common ground.
— Carlton Ward

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