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Evelyne Politanoff

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Art Meets Conservation: "On This Earth, A Shadow Falls" by Nick Brandt

Posted: 10/18/11 03:05 PM ET

For Nick Brandt, the animals are far more than subjects of his camera. The UK photographer has dedicated his life to depicting Africa's animals and nature. Through his craft he grants us an intimate glance into the private world of these gentle beasts. It began in 1995 when Brandt was directing a music video for Michael Jackson in Tanzania, that he fell in love with the country's flora and fauna.

Nick Brandt began photographing in 2001 and, in 2003 he decided to abandon his successful directing career in order to dedicate himself full-time to photographing African animals. Brandt's work is unique in its expression. His aesthetically sublime images tell an important story. Poaching, increased human encroachment, deforestation and global warming threaten the future of the natural habitat of Africa's animal population.

In September 2010, Brandt established the Big Life Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems. The rangers holding the tusks of killed elephants in the photos below are 22 of the now 100+ of Big Life Foundation's rangers. All the tusks belong to elephants killed at the hands of man in the six years prior to the formation of Big Life. Since then, their presence in the areas they cover within the Amboseli ecosystem has already resulted in less than a year in a dramatic reduction in poaching within the region.

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Elephant Drinking, Amboseli 2007. Killed By Poachers, 2009
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 "On this Earth, A Shadow Falls" is currently on view at Fotografiska in Stockholm. The 65 photographs in the exhibition represent Nick Brandt's ongoing photographic project, which is presented in a trilogy of books that memorializes the vanishing grandeur of the natural world of East Africa. Currently work in progress, the images from the final part of the trilogy will reveal a darker vision of this diminishing world.

"To me, every creature, human or non human, 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."
~~ Nick Brandt

 

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