With its epic black-and-white photos of the noble animals of East Africa, ON THIS EARTH, the first book of wildlife photos by Nick Brandt, became one of the most popular photography books of the decade. His latest, A SHADOW FALLS, picks up where the first left off, lifting the largely documentative genre of wildlife photography into the realm of fine art.
The intimacy of Nick Brandt's photos can be traced to one thing: getting close to his subject. He doesn't use telephoto lenses, choosing instead to get as close to possible to these very wild animals and capture them in the context of their natural environment. The results are haunting.
Brandt came upon his obsession by chance. Prior to becoming a photographer, he was a film director. In Africa shooting a video for Michael Jackson, he fell in love with the landscape and its inhabitants.
"There is perhaps something more profoundly iconic, mythical, mythological even, about the animals of East Africa... There is also something deeply, emotionally stirring and affecting about the plains of Africa â€“ the vast green rolling plains punctuated by the graphically perfect acacia trees.
My images are unashamedly idyllic and romantic, a kind of enchanted Africa.
Theyâ€™re my elegy to a world that is steadily, tragically vanishing."
And a beautiful one, at that.
(Via Escape Into Life)