Photographer places life size animal prints in what used to be their natural habitats
Growing up in England, home to brown bears, wolves, wolverines and woolly mammoths, photographer Nick Brandt noticed something. Like most of us, he spotted that they weren’t around any more. Mankind had encroached upon their territory and essentially wiped them out. Or at least, led to the cause of their demise long before any of us were ever born.
Nick also realised that this was still going on, today at an ever increasing rate. This is what sparked the idea for his Inherit the Dust series of photographs. For the project, he placed life size prints of animals into what used to be their natural habitats in order to photograph them. To show the new context of their environments, to make people realise what we risk losing.
In this first video, Nick tells us the story behind the concept of the project. It’s a thought provoking idea and a compelling series of photographs.
During the project, which took three months to complete, Nick placed a strict three month photography ban on the crew. Nick doesn’t like behind the scenes or “making of” projects.
But, after the images became public, he was naturally asked if it was created in Photoshop. This video is to quell those ideas. Fortunately for Nick, one of his crew didn’t quite follow the rules, nor did Nick himself. So, thankfully, he’s able to show the setting up of these enormous prints. He also goes into why he chose to do this for real and not rely on Photoshop composites.
What’s particularly fascinating is how he found some of the locations in which to shoot the images. The built up city areas are fairly straightforward. There’s a juxtaposition there between the photograph and the environment. But, those in more open areas needed a landscape that matched that of the print.
Let us know what you think of the work and the idea behind the project in the comments.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.