Photographing endangered species

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Welcome to our free resource to practise for the IGCSE ESL listening test about photographing endangered species. This is just one of many exercises to reinforce your learning so you feel confident when the IGCSE ESL exam day arrives.

animals, endangered species

Photographing endangered species

You will hear a photography lecturer giving a talk about the work of a photographer called Joel Sartore. Listen to the talk and complete the notes in Part A.

Listening TestAudio Script

Good morning. Today, we’re going to look at the work of a photographer who’s been involved in a lengthy and awe-inspiring project, photographing endangered species. His name, which many of you will no doubt have heard, is Joel Sartore. We’re all accustomed to seeing wildlife programmes on TV which focus on threatened species. It’s nothing new to us. But working for a major publisher, Sartore had come to the realisation that while there were plenty of magazine reports trying to get interested parties involved in protecting
endangered animals, they were having little effect. Sartore’s project began with him taking a shot of a mole-rat at a children’s zoo near his home. Being away from his studio, he took the photo not against a cloth in the background like he usually would, but a board. He acquired this from the zoo’s kitchen, where it was usually used to cut up food for the animals. The result was a professional-looking portrait of the creature, and an idea was born. Sartore thought that if he could take photos of animals making eye contact with the camera – and so anyone looking at the picture – it might get the public hooked into the unfortunate situation in which many of these species find themselves. He wanted them all to be of equal size, too, to create more of an impact – so an elephant would appear no bigger than, say, a mouse. Sartore was subsequently commissioned to travel the world to photograph other species, some of which were threatened with extinction. His photography quickly became popular, as did his passion for his work. Not long after the project started, an image of one of the species – a tree frog which is now extinct – was projected onto a building in Rome. Sartore fell in love with the creatures he was photographing and wanted audiences to as well. His work became important for those who care about the future of the planet. The hope behind Sartore’s project is that it could serve as a resource for generations to come, who’ll have access to images of creatures they’ll never see alive. It’s a celebration of the diversity of life, and the intention is not to depress those who see the pictures but help them understand how to prevent other species from meeting the same fate as the tree frog and many other creatures like it.

Here you will find exercise to practice for the reading and writing section of IGCSE ESL examination for either the core or extended papers.

Exercise 1 (Questions 1 -4) - Short answer exercises

Exercise 2 - (Question 5) Gap-filled exercises

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