Paul Goldstein is provocative in everything he does, whether photographing, guiding, presenting or fund-raising. His jobs consist of cramming in a full-time career with a tour operator, owning four safari camps in Kenya, guiding all over the world, fund-raising for tigers and other persecuted species and writing.
Through it all the ethical side of wildlife, be it just viewing it or photographing it is desperately important. ‘When I see photos of snarling animals I shudder, the ‘photo at any cost’ concept is disgracefully still-borne . Just as morally derelict are those wildlife photographers who think just by taking some images they will help the species. This is bollocks, I have spent much of the past fifteen years raising money for schools, boreholes, teachers, FGM programmes and natal clinics by photographing endangered animals and those images have big ancillary benefits – over £100,000 worth. This will continue. Unless local people feel a ‘warmth’ from their striped or spotted neighbour why should they protect them?
Ethics are a big deal in all facets of photography, I like to see what someone has taken not what they have manufactured, show me a bold flawed photograph than a safe record shot any day.’
Amongst his many pet hates are Chinese traditional medicine, management consultants, politicians, Powerpoint (almost all of them), childish wildlife presenters, meetings over six minutes long and Nikon users (that last one is a joke).
He is happiest on in the Conservancies of the Masai Mara or the decks of the Sergey Vavilov. Among his closest friends are Chris Packham and Mark Carwardine, once or twice they have even agreed with him. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.