June 15, 2010

Out of Africa: Stunning wildlife photography

StumbleUpon really does do what it says it’ll do — find stories, pictures, videos and more selected just for you! It just brought me to Young Gallery and a collection of stunning wildlife photographs by Nick Brandt. The images that Nick captures are jaw-dropping gorgeous...

1 Elephant DrinkingElephant Drinking

3/26/03 SEPIA12Giraffe Fan

2-40087_fr9.tif Hippos on Mara River

In Nick’s words… Few photographers have ever considered the photography of wild animals, 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, on capturing that dramatic single moment, as opposed to simply animals in the state of being.

3 Zebras Turning Heads Zebras Turning Heads

I’ve always thought this something of a wasted opportunity. The wild animals of Africa lend themselves to 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 yank the subject matter of wildlife into the arena of fine art photography. To take photographs that transcend what has been a largely documentative genre.

19 Buffalo Group Portrait  Buffalo Group Portrait

Aside from using certain impractical photographic techniques, there’s one thing I do whilst shooting that I believe makes a big difference: I get extremely close to these very wild animals, often within a few feet of them. I don’t use telephoto lenses. This is because I want to see as much of the sky and landscape as possible — to see the animals within the context of their environment.


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hue : 12   sat : 16 Giraffe Looking Over Plains

12 Cheetah & Cubs Lying on Rock Cheetah & Cubs Lying on Rock

That way, the photos become as much about the atmosphere of the place as the animals. And being that close to the animals, I get a real sense of intimate connection to them, to the specific animal in front of me.

7 Baboons in Profile Baboons in Profile

Sometimes a deliberate feeling that they’re almost presenting themselves for a studio portrait.

33 Chimpanzee PosingChimpanzee Posing 

GorillaOnRock Gorilla on Rock

2-Brandt_003.tif  Sitting Lionesses

Why the animals of Africa in particular? And more particularly still, East Africa? There is perhaps something more profoundly iconic, mythical, mythological even, about the animals of East Africa, as opposed to say, the Arctic or South America.

GiraffesInEveningLight Giraffes in Evening Light

There is also something deeply, emotionally stirring and affecting about the plains of Africa — the vast green rolling plains punctuated by the graphically perfect acacia trees.

Brandt_002.tifCheetah in Tree

My images are unashamedly idyllic and romantic, a kind of enchanted Africa. They’re my elegy to a world that is steadily, tragically vanishing.

RhinoonLake Rhino on Lake

26 Lioness Looking Out Over Plains  Lioness Looking Out Over Plains

This is just a small sampling of Nick’s jaw-dropping photos. You can see more on Nick’s web site and on the Young Gallery web site, as well as in Nick’s two books, On This Earth: Photos From East Africa and A Shadow Falls (click the pics to go to

on this earth a shadow falls

Which photo is your favourite??

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All images and information from Young Gallery


C.J. said...

I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful pictures! I love elephants, why I am not sure other than I believe that they are much like us in the way they take care of their young. One of my dreams is to one day go to Africa. Thanks again!

qerat said...

these are just amazing photos.
The Zebras are particularly beautiful.
Thank you for posting them.

Unknown said...

Kelly, these photos are pure visual art and pure sinfonies in one. Especially the b+w mode make them so very much mystical. Thanks for posting these.
I was sure I have seen a couple of them but could not remember the photographer's name. Thanks for reminding me!

Razmataz said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for bringing those to attention. Having been born in Nairobi, I have seen soem of these firsthand, but I love all African photography, especially East African.

Lisa said...

OMG These photos are absolutely gorgeous! I can't pick a favourite- it's between Giraffe Fan and Cheetah in Tree. I have to get back to sourcing now - spending too much time reading posts -but you guys are so's hard.

Kim said...

Well I don't know what else I can add to the already great comments. I have to agree with every one of them - those pictures are simply stunning!

theLENNOXX said...

I have no words for the beauty of these photos. I'm going over to Nick's website right away, I want to order prints to frame and hang on my wall. I hope he sells prints, this is exactly what I've been looking for. Thank you!!!

Deepali Kalia Interior Design Blog Filling Spaces said...


Marcus Design said...

Nick's photography is amazing! I am sure that I have seen a few of these photos before as well, but didn't remember the photographer. I really like his concept of taking photos of animals in there natural state. The pics are so crisp and clear, they just look incredible. I think I am partial to the zebras, STUNNING!

Staci Edwards said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing them!

Susan said...

Jaw dropping for sure. This mans photography is truly inspiring.

A Room For Everyone said...

They take my breath away, truly! Hard to pick a favourite, I love the giraffes in evening light, the cheetah and her cubs, the lionesses..and of course, the elephant drinking. Stunning..Rachaelxx

Pam Kersting said...

OMG! Stunning! Absolutely stunning. Love them all! Thanks so much for sharing.

traci zeller designs said...

Those photos are incredible!! I can't wait to tell my in-laws. They've traveled extensively in Africa, and I think they'll love these!

Steph@TheGraniteGurus said...

Wowzers! These photos are amaaaazing!
Thanks for the introduction to this wonderful photographer.

Sharon said...

Amazing shots! Can you imagine, any of these photos printed in a giant size and placed as art in say, a loft? They would be conversation starters for sure.

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

I can't stop looking at these photos! What art! His composition and his ability to capture a moment is really genius. Thanks so much for introducing him through your blog. I'm an instant fan!

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

These photos are absolutely stunning!! Wildlife portraiture really.

Unknown said...

Oh wow! These are some of the most beautiful photos I've EVER seen. Thank you so much for sharing. Funny that a client just sent me photos he took on a recent trip to Africa. I will have to share this link with him!
It's hare to choose favorites, but I LOVE the first shot of the elephant and the Chimp portrait.

Christy said...

WOW! What gorgeous photos. I think my favorites are the cheetah in the tree and the elephant drinking!

micah said...

wow... just beautiful... i think the elephant is my favorite.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

wow, those really are stunning! Black and white photos are so powerful. I love the giraffe over water. Thanks for the info!

unique unique design said...

I know it's been said before, but WOW!! What a photographer! I'm not sure I could pick my favorite. They are all just too good. So glad you passed this info on.

Diane Schuller said...

I too have seen and appreciated his photography. How fortunate to be paid so well to do this kind of photography. He is a true talent.

Francine Gardner said...

Just came upon this post on Nick Brandt. How incredibly beautiful these photographs are.... i am getting the book. Thanks for introducing this amazing photographer

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