Very few photographers have ever really considered the photography of wildlife, as distinctly opposed to the genre of Wildlife Photography, as an art form. The emphasis has generally been on capturing the drama of wild animals IN ACTION, or capturing that dramatic single MOMENT, as opposed to simply animals in the state of BEING. I’ve always thought this something of a wasted opportunity. The wild animals of Africa lend themselves to potentially extraordinary photographs, that extend aesthetically beyond the norm of 35mm-color telephoto wildlife photography. And so it is, that in my own way, I would like to go towards correcting that. My aim is that my photographs transcend what prior to this, was a purely documentative genre.
Aside from using certain absurdly impractical techniques, I do one thing that I believe makes a big difference : I get very, very close to the animals. I don't use telephoto lenses, as I want to see as much of the sky and landscape as possible - to see the animals within the context of their environment. That way, the photos become about the atmosphere of the place as well as the animals. And being that close to the animals, I get a real sense of intimate connection to them, to that specific animal in front of me. I love the feeling, want the feeling, that they’re almost presenting themselves for a studio portrait. My images are my elegy to a world that is steadily, tragically vanishing.
All photos shot on Pentax 67 medium format on Kodak T-Max 100, T-Max 400, Ilford Delta 3200 and Macophot Infra Red film.
(Artist statement, from www.nickbrandt.com)
Buffalo with lowered head, amboseli 2007
Archival pigment print
21 x 26 inches, signed edition of 25
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