One of the more recent black and white photographers of nature, Nick Brandt fell deeply in love with the wild animals of East Africa on one of his journeys to Tanzania. Being a film director, he felt that he could not fully portray the animal characters on film, which motivated him to take on photography as a medium to illustrate something that no one else had done before him.
Nick Brandt's pictures are an astonishing depiction of animals, which include cheetahs, lions, monkeys and hippos. His pictures were unique in that he never used any zoom or telephoto lenses, but rather he focused on the characters of the animals as if they were portraits taken in a studio. He states, "You wouldn't take a portrait of a human being from a hundred feet away and expect to capture their spirit; you'd move in close." Most of his photography displays fascinating landscapes of East Africa as a backdrop to his animal subjects, making his pictures exceptionally striking and almost surreal in nature.
Nick Brandt chose black and white over color for the ancient and aged look it gave to his images. When asked if he would ever work with color, he stated, "No to color. I like the way black and white makes you focus on the shapes, the graphic nature of one's subject. Also, black and white has a more appropriate aesthetic sensibility for what I'm shooting."
Brandt preferred the elephant over all other animals for its photogenic nature, personality and intelligence. Sometimes he would wait for hours or even days to get the perfect shot. His main goal behind his amazing animal photography was to show the rest of the world glimpses of the wild before it vanishes. In pursuit of his conviction to preserve Africa's wildlife, Nick Brandt established the Big Life Foundation. Another one of his projects is a trilogy of books commemorating the nature and wildlife of East Africa namely, "On This Earth," "A Shadow Falls," and the third one which is due to be released in 2013.