A Select Class

©Dhritiman Mukherjee

Graeme Green selected images from 146 wildlife photographers for his new book, "The New Big 5" (Earth Aware Editions). The title comes from an alternate take on the concept of the big five, which for many years has referred to the world’s most difficult big-game animals to hunt or to see on safari.

©Majed Alzaabi

Green’s book instead highlights the top five animals people like to photograph or see photos of: elephants, polar bears, lions, gorillas, and tigers. To select the most popular subjects, Green gathered intel from a survey of over 50,000 people through The New Big 5 Project, his initiative to raise awareness for endangered species. His book includes a section featuring additional endangered species around the world as well as essays from leading conservationists, including Jane Goodall.

“One of the greatest challenges with wildlife photography—and any photography—is standing out in a world that is saturated with images. We see and scroll past hundreds of great images each day. With the photos in the book, I really wanted every single image to be one that justified its place—it had to be a remarkable image.”

Graeme Green
©Graeme Green

As a longtime wildlife photographer himself, Green hopes the book will encourage wildlife photographers to “think about how they can use their photography as a positive force, including using photography with clear messages on the threats many of the species they’re photographing now face. Otherwise, people viewing the photos might think animals such as lions and elephants are doing fine without knowing the urgent crisis many species face from habitat loss, poaching, pollution, and climate change.”  

Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.