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Where the Wild Things Are

Culture Watch
“On This Earth, A Shadow Falls,” by Nick Brandt.

There is nothing more humbling than being in the presence of animals in their natural state—particularly when those animals are some of the largest in the world, and when that natural state is the vast African landscape. 

lion before storm masai mara 2006

In 2001, Nick Brandt embarked on an ambitious photographic project, a trilogy of books memorializing the fast-disappearing natural grandeur of East Africa. Focusing on some of the world's last great populations of large mammals—elephants, giraffes, lions, gorillas and their kin—he created two of the twenty-first century's most popular photographic books: the instant bestsellers “On This Earth” (2005) and “A Shadow Falls” (2009). 

elephant image nick brandt book

“On This Earth, A Shadow Falls” collects the most memorable images from Brandt's first two books in a handsome linen-bound edition, available at Books & Books. The incredible print quality—under Brandt’s own supervision—results in an edition that’s as close to the photographer’s original work as possible.

cheetah image nick brandt book

“Brandt's photographs tell us, in a way that is beyond words, that we do not own this planet,” explains philosopher Peter Singer, who penned the essay in this latest work. “and we are not the only beings living on it who matter." Those who explore Brandt’s images will take not that his portrayal of East Africa's animals have a solemnity and empathy usually reserved for human subjects.

gorilla on rock parc des volcanos 2008

“On This Earth, A Shadow Falls” includes essays by Peter Singer, renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, author Alice Sebold and photography critic Vicki Goldberg. Brandt, who photographs exclusively in Africa, uses medium-format black-and-white film without telephoto or zoom lenses. His commitment to East Africa goes beyond the impressions captured in his photographs. He also cofounded Big Life Foundation four years ago, which helps protect the endangered wildlife inhabiting a large area of East Africa.


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