Photographer places life size animal prints in what used to be their natural habitats

Sep 9, 2016

John Aldred

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.

Photographer places life size animal prints in what used to be their natural habitats

Sep 9, 2016

John Aldred

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.

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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.

https://twitter.com/NickBrandtPhoto/status/705803814985576448

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.

https://twitter.com/NickBrandtPhoto/status/705134132041375746

You can see more of Nick’s work on his website, and see more from this project the dedicated section for Inherit The Dust.

Let us know what you think of the work and the idea behind the project in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

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.

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12 responses to “Photographer places life size animal prints in what used to be their natural habitats”

  1. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    That’s pretty powerful. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Greg Silver Avatar
    Greg Silver

    This is an amazing video. That being said, I know for a fact this could indeed all be done in Photoshop (even with objects or other people walking in front of the canvas) with much, much lower costs and resources involved to get the job done with the same quality and far less risk to the prints.

    Regardless, still an impressive piece of work.

    1. Doug Gross Avatar
      Doug Gross

      You actually couldn’t do this in Photoshop. The impact would not be the same. You want the obviousness of it being a print.

      1. Greg Silver Avatar
        Greg Silver

        You totally can. You would be amazed at what can be done in PS. The concept is somewhat original but to actually make it and make it look authentic is very easy in Photoshop.

        1. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
          Kay O. Sweaver

          Sure, and nobody would care. It would just be another shot on 500px that’s popular for a day and then vanishes. The process is part of what makes it so powerful.

        2. Nick Brandt Avatar
          Nick Brandt

          As the actual photographer, thanks for the compliments, but I can tell you that no, the results would not have been the same at all in photoshop. Technically, it might have been similar, but not aesthetically. The photos would not have been as nearly as good. You should watch the Behind the Scenes video (not working above – at https://vimeo.com/181966905

        3. Doug Gross Avatar
          Doug Gross

          If you think that you don’t understand.

  3. Nick Brandt Avatar
    Nick Brandt

    John, thanks for the post – much appreciated, but I had to take down and replace the Behind the Scenes video due to audio sync issues (now fixed.) If you want, you can swap it out with https://vimeo.com/181966905

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Hey Nick, thank you so much. Will get that switched out now. :)

  4. Lee Ballard Avatar
    Lee Ballard

    I saw this exhibition in Stockholm in June. Fantastic work.

  5. Sharon Oakey Avatar
    Sharon Oakey

    Absolutely beautiful work. The poignancy it provokes in the heart and mind. It is what real photography is about. The additional video gives us a fabulous view into the working of the images, and, for me as a photoshop junkie, is refreshingly real and thought provoking. Well done.

  6. Mark Avatar
    Mark

    What a strong statement!