When I was a little boy growing up in Czechoslovakia, one of the highlights of the week was a natural history series, running every Friday afternoon on one of the two available TV channels. I dreamt of becoming an adventurer shooting movies in the wilderness of Africa and the depth of the ocean.
Pleased with my enchantment, my parents bought me a small film camera of eastern provenance. There was a darkroom in our school, and I started spending long hours taking and developing pictures. This early romance with photography was interrupted by my ever-increasing fascination with the electronics – transistors, integrated circuits and consequently computers. Only much later, when married, a long way into my career in the management of information technology and when the children grew into pre-school age, my love for nature and photographs reignited. I tried underwater photography in 2007 and, in a few years' time, the childhood dream became a reality.
As much as I enjoy taking images, I am keen to understand the subjects – all the peculiarities of the terrestrial and underwater creatures, the history of a place or the geology of a spectacular landscape. Above all, I enjoy bringing the captivating stories and the breath-taking images into a single package – the best travel guidebooks showing the big picture and explaining the detail clearly and truthfully.
I consider myself lucky that I had the time and means to write GALÁPAGOS, a book about the Galapagos islands. I would be delighted if the book was used as a Galapagos islands map, a companion on Galapagos tours and cruises, or as an entertaining source of information at home.
Human presence and actions more often than not put nature and its creatures in danger of obliteration. If there is a bigger purpose behind the photographs and the stories, it should be to demonstrate how precious nature is and how important it is to keep it preserved.
Josef Litt, October 2017.