Marc: Have you captured pictures of animals you didn't expect in camera traps?
Christian: Yes. A pheasant that appeared and danced in a trap for a red panda. And then, really deep in the forest, a common dog appeared! It was a full day from the nearest village, so I don't know how. Basically, there are a lot of false alarms – leaves falling, maybe a blade of grass. The most common thing is nothing. A moth often triggers it, or a bat.
Marc: I have those too. When you achieve the photo, I think it feels even better after the challenge. Okay, so I was hoping to talk about conservation.
Christian: It's really important to talk about it. What I do is all for conservation.
Marc: Has that always been the most important thing for you?
Christian: In the beginning, it was not. But then I travelled to Borneo, Thailand and Africa, areas where the forest is really threatened. In Madagascar, only 7% of the forest still exists. I now choose projects that highlight conservation issues – I did a lot about cassowaries, bonobos and chameleons, because they are all threatened. I highlight these creatures in their natural habitat, because it is shrinking massively and we need more coverage of this. Borneo right now is 27% forested, but in 20 years it will be less than 10%. Africa is worse – in Madagascar, it's worse still. This is why I'm travelling to Congo – because it's the last area that is un-hunted, maybe for the next 10 years.
Marc: How do you think photography can help conservation?
Christian: When I publish in GEO or National Geographic, people learn about this amazing area. I talk with the writer to explain how amazing it is, and how it's threatened. When I look at a project, I ask whether it is helping to conserve nature. If not, I don't go.