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Nick Brandt was born and raised in London, where he studied film and painting in the famous art school of St Martins . He currently lives in Malibu, California .
In 1992 he moved to America to direct many award-winning music videos for artists like Michael Jackson (Earth Song, Stranger in Moscow, Cry), Moby and Jewel. While directing Jackson’s music video Earth Song in Tanzania in 1995, Nick Brandt fell in love with the animals and the landscape of East Africa. Frustrated that he could not capture the emotions evoked by the animals on film, he began to realize over the following years that there was a way to achieve this through photography.
In 2000, Brandt embarked upon his ambitious photographic project : a trilogy of books (On This Earth, A Shadow Falls & Across The Ravaged Land ) to memorialize the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa. What makes his work unique and distinguishes him from other wildlife photographers is the fact that his work is a combination of epic panoramas of animals within dramatic landscapes. His graphic portraits of these splendid animals are filled with an empathy usually reserved for human subjects.
Nick Brandt skillfully uses his love of photography as a medium to express the truth. "Beyond the use of specific technical processes, there is one thing I try to do while I shoot which makes the difference : I am very close to these very wild animals , a few meters sometimes. I never use big telephoto. It is because I want to see on my photos most sky and possible landscape that I get closer, to have the animal in its real environment”.
Why does he choose the animals of Africa and particularly those in East Africa ? " Because there is something profoundly iconic, mythical, mythological even with animals of East Africa , unlike Arctic animals or South America. There is also a very great emotion that emerges from the African plains , these large green spaces that stretch under your eyes, punctuated by graphic perfection acacias. I think without shame that my images are idyllic and romantic and represent a vision of an enchanted Africa. They are my elegy to a world tragically disappearing . "
Since 2004, Brandt went on to have multiple solo exhibitions worldwide, including in New York, Los Angeles, London, Sydney, Munich, Brussels, and Paris.
In September 2010, in urgent response to the escalation of poaching in Africa due to increased demand from the Far East, Nick Brandt founded the non-profit organization Big Life Foundation, dedicated to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems.