Amazing Photos of Endangered African Animals

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Nick Brandt used to live life in the fast lane. As a music video director, Brandt worked with such talents as Jewel, Moby, and — most famously — Michael Jackson, but nowadays he spends much of his time just waiting, which means waiting for the right moment to snap a picture. While directing the video for Jackson’s “Earth Song” in Tanzania in 1995, the British-born director discovered a new passion: the stunning, wild beasts of Africa. Switching from moving imagery to black-and-white photography, Brandt began a new career as a wildlife photographer in 2000 and by the end of the decade he had published several books and exhibited his amazing photos around the world.

So what makes his pictures different from the work of other photographers deep in the bush? Brandt never uses telephoto lenses. He wants to be as intimate with nature as he was with the stars he once brought to life on MTV. And to keep the focus on the wild creatures he now adores and has on view in a solo show at New York’s Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, the photographer founded the Big Life Foundation in 2010 to protect endangered animals in East Africa, with the sale of his prints helping the cause. Click through to view a few of our favorites.

Nick Brandt, Lion Before Storm II – Sitting Profile, Maasai Mara, 2006. Archival pigment print, 42 x 54 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Elephant Drinking, Amboseli, 2007. Archival pigment print, 73 x 56 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Giraffes in Evening Light, Maasai Mara, 2006. Archival pigment print, 39 x 80 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Cheetah & Cubs, Maasai Mara, 2003. Archival pigment print, 42 x 55 inches. Edition of 5. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Buffalo with Lowered Head, Amboseli, 2007. Archival pigment print, 42 x 52.5 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Wildebeest Arc, Maasai Mara, 2006. Archival pigment print, 35 x 54 inches. Edition of 15. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Elephant with Exploding Dust, Amboseli, 2004. Archival pigment print, 56 x 56 inches. Edition of 5. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Lion with Monolith, Serengeti, 2008. Archival pigment print, 35 x 86.6 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Gorilla on Rock, Parc des Volcans, 2008. Archival pigment print, 41.6 x 56 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Elephants Walking Through Grass, Amboseli, 2008. Archival pigment print, 40 x 73 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Portrait of Lioness Against Rock, Serengeti, 2007. Archival pigment print, 40 x 40 inches. Edition of 15. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Hippos on the Mara River, Maasai Mara, 2002. Archival pigment print, 41 x 57 inches. Edition of 5. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Elephant with Tattered Ears, Amboseli, 2008. Archival pigment print, 56 x 67 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Cheetah & Cubs Lying on Rock, Serengeti, 2007. Archival pigment print, 51.5 x 42 inches. Edition of 8. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC

Nick Brandt, Abandoned Ostrich Egg, Amboseli, 2007. Archival pigment print, 43.2 x 38 inches. Edition of 15. Courtesy the artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC