Nick Brandt's Best Photograph: Elephants and Building Workers Share a Crowded Africa


Poaching in southern Kenya is largely under control now, thanks to the numbers of rangers in place, but there is a bigger issue these days: the invasion of humankind into the wildlife habitat and the conflict that ensues. There is only so much space for people and animals to coexist. That is what I wanted to depict in This Empty World, my series of shots taken in southern Kenya in 2017.


Each work is a composite of two images: the animals photographed first and the humans second, shot weeks apart. We worked on Maasai community ranchland, near Amboseli National Park. I needed a location that had both wildlife habitat and unprotected land inhabited by people. I also wanted it to be extremely denuded, due to overgrazing: the dust was important from an aesthetic point of view.

19 March 2019