Volume 3 Issue 6 of People and Nature is now out and is a Special Issue that focuses on novel research and perspectives addressing the implications of visual media for human–nature relationships.

What’s on the cover?

Booby on a camera, taken on the French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii, USA. Human influence on the natural world extends even to the most remote places, such as French Frigate Shoals in the Pacific Ocean. Seabirds here are unafraid of people but they are exposed to discarded plastic waste and to the effects of climate change. The low-lying coral sand island where many of these birds were filmed nesting has since been erased by a severe storm. Including the environmental context in pure wildlife films has never been more important. Photo credit: John Aitchison.

Wildlife films and filmmaking

The cover image is part of the Wildlife films and filmmaking section and is taken from the Research Article by John Aitchison and colleagues Assessing the environmental impacts of wildlife television programmes. You can learn more about this research in the authors’ plain language summary Should we judge the success of wildlife films by the numbers of viewers, or by the number of animals in the wild?

Within this section Eleanor Louson asks ‘How wildlife films use making-of documentaries to showcase their skilled filmmakers at work’.

Filming behind-the-scenes footage for a wildlife film’s making-of documentary. Illustration by Maki Naro. Infographic from the paper by Eleanor Louson

Nature films: analysis and impact

Within the Nature films: analysis and impact section Laure Boissat and colleagues looked at how documentary Blackfish achieved what researchers have so far only speculated about when it comes to the potential of documentaries – sparking widespread activism and, ultimately, change, find out more on The Conversation.

SeaWorld San Diego, photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Digital games

In the digital games section Sarah Crowley and colleagues found that players of Red Redemption 2 had an increased understanding of ecology and animal behavior and players were able to identify three more animals on average than other games with the work even featured in Wikipedia.

As part of the Digital games Jessica Fisher and colleague ask if “Nintendo’s Animal Crossing be a tool for conservation messaging?” find out more in the video below.

Visual social media

As part of the Visual social media section Irma Arts uses Instagram to investigate the sharing of nature experiences through visual social media. Check out the infographic bvelow to find out more.

Infographic: The Instagrammable outdoors – investigating the sharing of nature experiences through visual social media

Visual media for education and communication

Within the visual media for education and communication Merryn Thomas presents The Shout Trout Workout comic (available at here) in the paper Reflections from the team: co-creating visual media about ecological processes for young people. Check out the Shout Trout video below.

Jessica Blythe explores how virtual reality may help us develop empathy for oceans and marine life find out more on The Conversation.

All articles published in People and Nature are Open Access and have a plain language summary written by the authors!