On one of my many Pinterest afternoons I came across an absolutely stunning sepia photograph of elephants. Usually I would pin the shot to my photography board and continue on, but the image was so arresting that stopped and did some research on the photographer. That is when I learned about Nick Brandt. The British photographer has been capturing the, “disappearing natural world of Africa” since 2000 and I am in awe.
In the digital age I think it is refreshing that he takes all of his photos on medium format film, not digital “captures. Having taken formal “old school” photography courses with a wind up camera and 35mm film and having gone through the painstaking process of developing my own shots in a dark room, which used to take days with acid baths and red light exposure, it makes me appreciate this method even more. In Nick’s own words, ” The photos are my elegy to these beautiful creatures, to this wrenchingly beautiful world that is steadily, tragically vanishing before our eyes.”
Looking through the hundreds of photos he has taken over the past 14 years I was reminded of my trip to Africa (here) and the photos I took, but they are no where near as breathtaking! I tried to pick only ten but could not eliminate one from my eleven favorites so these are my top picks from his website, all images copyright of Nick Brandt:
“To me, every creature, human or nonhuman, has an equal right to live, and this feeling,
this belief that every animal and I are equal, affects me every time I frame an animal in my camera.” – NB
“I want to get a real sense of intimate connection with each of the animals – with that particular lion or elephant in front of me. I believe that being that close to the animal makes a huge difference in the photographers ability to reveal its personality. You wouldn’t take a portrait of a human being from a hundred feet away and expect to capture their spirit; you’d move in close.” – NB
He had an exhibit of his work in New York City in September 2013, seen here, and I am so sad I did not know of Nick sooner or I would have absolutely gone. I really hope he and his beautiful photographs come back again soon as I would love to see them in person!
Now my big decision, which of his four books should be
the latest acquisition for my coffee table?