We are photographers, writers and guides and we love to delve deep in our explorations of the wild places of Africa on the ground and from above.
Through our images, books, articles, safaris and workshops we hope to inspire others to fall in love with the African wilderness and become not only advocates for this continents wild places but also advocates.
DEFENDERS OF THE WILDERNESS
“The idea of wilderness needs no defence; it only needs defenders. Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity for the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization that destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principles of civilization itself.” Edward Abbey
In the beginning we wanted our photographs to speak universally and to conjure up feelings of spaciousness, sacredness and freedom, but most of all to inspire people to love and conserve the magnificent wilderness spaces of Africa. By sharing our images, we hoped to transform people’s hearts and impart a reverence that would help in the conservation of these places.
Very soon, however we realised that all we were doing with our image-sharing was gathering around us, a community of like-minded people from across the world that already had that philosophy. Together we are the defenders of wilderness; an extended family of ardent hippies, tree huggers, scientists, recluses, artists, rebels, gardeners, photographers, film makers, adventurers, activists and conservationists who revel in seeing and experiencing the natural world through their own – and each other’s eyes – and believe that sharing makes us all the richer.
While the beauty of landscapes is revealed from the air, so is the immense damage being done at a furious rate – especially in remote, unmonitored regions of southern Africa. But we are tired of the doom and gloom; the helpless desperation we all feel at the onslaught of bad news we are faced with every day. Instead we want talk about a mindset change, and a future filled with beauty.
We have to cast pessimism aside and imagine a better future for ourselves; only through imagining will this ever be achieved.
It’s up to us – defenders of the wilderness – to change the mindset, to be mentors and advocates in helping to envision a better future for ourselves and all living things.
Our photography, writing and workshops must always contribute in some small way to the conservation of the African wilderness, otherwise our work has little meaning or value to us, and so we have provided content to various conservation organizations to support their efforts to conserve both habitat and species:
The David Sheldrick Foundation
The Endangered Wildlife Trust
United Nations Environmental Program
NamibRand Nature Reserve
ABOUT JAN & JAY
Having flown thousands of hours in their specially modified aircraft, Jan and Jay Roode are perhaps better known for their aerial forays photographing Africa from above.
With Jan in the pilots seat and Jay behind the camera; they have spent over a decade photographing some of the most remote and spectacular wilderness areas from above.
Having flown for years over some of the most remote wildernesses on earth, Jan is a highly experienced bush pilot, photographic & film pilot and photographer. As a wildlife and wilderness photographer himself his photographic guiding is second to none. He has been published in prominent international and local magazines and has received commendations in many photographic competitions.
Jay, a qualified conservationist and guide, is widely recognized as one of the most influential female aerial photographers working today. Her critically acclaimed photographs of Africa’s grand wilderness spaces have been featured in press all over the world including GEO, National Geographic Travel, BBC Wildlife, CNN and Wild Travel to name a few. Jay is represented in galleries locally and abroad, and her fine art prints feature in private collections internationally.
She and Jan recently published Aerial Art, a large format coffee table book featuring images from the southern African region and writes consistently for a variety of photographic and wildlife magazines.
Both Jan and Jay were born in South Africa, and were raised exploring and camping in the wilderness. Through these experiences they developed a deep love and enduring passion for African wildlife and its grand open spaces.
Their acclaimed book, Aerial Art, is the culmination of a remarkable journey through Southern Africa photographing the regions most remote places from above. Aerial Art showcases a vibrant collection of wild and enchanting images that convey an intimacy with, and reverence for, the African wilderness and is a reflection of their passion for the conservation and preservation of the enthralling landscapes they have flown over.
Their photography has been widely published in a multitude of magazines including Africa Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, GEO, BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian Nature’s Best Photography, CNN, Wild Travel and the United Nations Environmental Programme.
Their images have received awards in both local and international photographic competitions.