A Portrait of an Elephant
|© Nick Brandt. Courtesy Hasted Kraeutler.|
“What I am interested in is showing the animals simply in the state of being. In the state of being before they are ‘no longer are.’ Before, in the wild at least, they cease to exist. This world is under terrible threat, all of it caused by us. To me, every creature, human or nonhuman, 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. The photos are my elegy to these beautiful creatures, to this wrenchingly beautiful world that is steadily, tragically, vanishing before our eyes.” – Nick Brandt
Brandt does not use telephoto lenses because he believes that being close to the animals makes a huge difference in his ability to reveal their personality. He writes: “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.” After this photograph was taken in 2007, this elephant was murdered by poachers. Nick Brandt began the Big Life Foundation in 2010 to better equip rangers who enforce anti-poaching laws in Amboseli National Park. Nick Brandt is represented by Hasted Kraeutler gallery in New York City.