Nature Photographs for Auction in a Bid to Save the Earth

Arlington, Virginia – A polar bear dance, a doomed thresher shark, and a crowd of giant tortoises gathered at dawn in the Galapagos are just a few of the stunning images that have been selected as the Top 40 Nature Photographs of all time to celebrate the inaugural Green Auction on the 40th annual Earth Day this April 22nd.

The collection, which represents a wide range of styles and genres and span over 100 years of the history of photography, were nominated and chosen by members of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a fellowship of the world’s top professional conservation photographers.

Many of the images, generously donated by the artists or their representatives, will be up for auction at the inaugural Christie’s International “Green Auction: A Bid to Save the Earth” on April 22nd, with proceeds to be divided between four environmental organizations, which include: Conservation International (CI), Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Central Park Conservancy.

Assembled in an online gallery, the photographs include iconic images of nature in the 20th and 21st centuries, made by such photographic luminaries as famed black and white landscape artist Ansel Adams, National Geographic Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chris Johns, Pulitzer Prize-winning landscape photographer Jack Dykinga, and underwater documentarian Brian Skerry.

More than one-hundred photographers and editors associated with the iLCP were asked to submit nominations for images they considered to be “the best,” in whatever way they chose to define it. The only restriction was an inability to self-nominate. They were encouraged, however, to consider factors such as aesthetics, uniqueness, historical and scientific significance, or contribution to conservation efforts.

“It was no easy task, selecting just forty images from the incredible nominations submitted to us by some of the world’s greatest nature photographers, but it was a tremendous honor for the ILCP to be asked to take the lead on this challenging project.” said iLCP Executive Director Justin Black.

“No doubt, there are other notable and worthy photographs that could have secured a spot in the Top 40 gallery,” Black added, “but this diverse cross section clearly demonstrates the power of photographs to educate, enlighten, inspire, and stir us into action to protect our limited natural resources.”

The stories and challenges in photographing such wild scenes on film are revisited in the gallery. One image was captured by photographer Frans Lanting who braved crocodile-filled waters in Botswana to shoot the undersides of water lilies. Another, taken in Tasmania by Peter Dombrovskis, became a pivot point in the debate about river dams after public reaction to its publication convinced Australian leadership to let a wild river run free.

iLCP President and photographer Cristina Mittermeier said, “One of the brightest contributions of photography to the preservation of special landscapes and creatures around the world is that images are able to shed light on some of the darkest, most remote corners of our planet. I’ve seen first-hand how photographs like these arrest the eye, invite reflection, provoke emotion, and become a shared experience that gifts us with a larger vision of the world.”

This first-of-its-kind charity auction will take place on April 22, 2010 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and will be held at Christie’s, Rockefeller Center, New York and carried live globally via Christie’s LIVE™ on . The Evening Sale is slated to be a star-studded event with top celebrities serving on the Green Auction Host Committee that includes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Tobey Maguire, François-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek, Bob Fisher, Candice Bergen, Ed Norton, Evelyn Lauder, Alec Baldwin, Zaha Hadid, Brooke Shields, and Matt Lauer.

Supporters will also be able to bid on select items after the evening event through Christie’s partner, Charitybuzz, the leading destination for online charity benefit auctions. The companion silent auction which will be hosted at and run through May 6th. Christie’s will waive all fees and commissions for the auction.

Visit to bid on items in the silent auction, including signed prints of some of the Top 40 images.