Aperture is pleased to release these stunning limited-edition prints by Michael “Nick” Nichols, the acclaimed National Geographic photographer. These prints coincide with the upcoming Aperture publication A Wild Life: A Visual Biography of Photographer Michael Nichols, which is available for pre-order NOW! In every one of his images, Nichols touches the very spirit of wildness.
This image was made at the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. Until this point Nichols had not encountered elephants who were not fearful of man. Melissa Harris, author of A Wild Life, notes, “Photographing individual elephants and their families in conducive circumstances allowed for an intensity of observation over long periods each day, for many days in a row. This pacing took Nick’s understanding, and thus his reportage, to new levels of intimacy and intricacy. Still, the conditions had to be right. Until this point, Nick says, ‘I had never photographed elephants who were not afraid. . . . The forest elephants in Congo, and then the elephants in Chad . . . knew man as hunter. I’d get downwind of them, so I could sneak up on them for a photograph, but there was never the chance to peacefully and openly observe behavior.’” With the Samburu elephants, Nichols was able to take a “concentric-circles approach” to examining individual animals, family structures, and larger clans—all within a specific environment.
Harris states, “Nick is a photojournalist working in a time of crisis. Habitat and species are continually threatened by humans. For nearly thirty years, Nichols has conspired with scientists, naturalists, journalists, and activists to take on these issues. ‘Wildlife photography’ is not the right term to describe what Nick does. Nick approaches his work in this reportorial tradition: he is a photojournalist working in the wild."
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will open an exhibition, Wild: Michael Nichols, on June 27, 2017. The show explores Nichols as artist, technical innovator, and ardent advocate for preserving natural habitats.
Michael “Nick” Nichols is an award-winning photographer whose work has taken him to the most remote corners of the world. He became a staff photographer for National Geographic magazine in 1996 and was named editor-at-large for photography in January 2008. From 1982 to 1995 he was a member of Magnum Photos. His previous books with Aperture are Gorilla (1989), with an essay by George Schaller; Brutal Kinship (2005), with an essay by Jane Goodall; and Earth to Sky: Among Africa’s Elephants, A Species in Crisis (2013). He is represented by Steven Kasher Gallery.