Shooting for Life
Today, at WOWcollector, we’ve been moved on many levels. The philosophy, approach and the end product of Mr. Nick Brandt‘s photography left us speechless, while we made efforts to understand this new bond he’s given us, to lands we rarely think about and creatures we seem to have seen for the first time now.
Mr. Brandt (born 1966) is an Englishman who’s moved to the States and made his way to the top directing award-winning music videos for the likes of Michael Jackson, Moby and Jewel. While working with M. Jackson on “Earth song” in Tanzania, 1995, he let him self get “distracted”, off-hours, by the beauties of the land and its creatures. The impressions taken in there, deep and strong, made him change the director’s chair for a photo-camera and East Africa for the world. Since the year 2000, he is working on a single project – a trilogy of photography books to immortalize the vanishing world of East Africa’s wilds. First two books have already been published; On This Earth, and A Shadow Falls. Third book of the project will be published in 2013 – its title, continued on the previous two, will complete a sentence to finalize the trilogy.
What is unique to Mr. Brandt is, well, everything. He rejects the documentary-styled, color-photography of wildlife, and takes us up close and personal to individual animals. In these portraits that are made, we can experience an unmatched closeness to his subjects. They feel incredibly human-like, in the ideal meaning of the word. So much so, we’d calmly invite one of his (undoubtedly wild) lions over for lunch, and expect it to have manners. Nick Brandt captures animals on black&white film, without telefoto or zoom lenses, in the simplest state of “being”. The result is, we do not see a “wild” animal, but a majestic entity of this world, with which we only share its spaces. It makes us very sad and angry to know their numbers are diminishing together with their habitat. Mr Brandt has started a foundation to help preserve Africa’s ecosystems – endangered to say the least. Through his photography, we are reminded of the terrible loss we’d suffer, if we let this beauty of our world be stripped from it.