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Nick Brandt’s Calcified Birds

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Nick Brandt – Calcified Flamingo, Lake Natron, 2012

Art in some cases takes help from science. The famous photographer Nick Brandt, well familiar with the situation in Africa, discovered during one of his projects dead birds in large quantities at the shore of Lake Natron in Tanzania. The lake represents some of the harshest natural conditions on Earth with temperatures of up to 60 °C and it’s almost as caustic as ammonia. Only one kind of fish adapted to these harsh conditions, all other creatures are doomed to die by getting in contact with the water.

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Nick Brandt - Calcified Dove, Lake Natron, 2012

Nick Brandt – Calcified Dove, Lake Natron, 2012

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Nick Brandt - Calcified Bat II, Lake Natron, 2012

Nick Brandt – Calcified Bat II, Lake Natron, 2012

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Nick Brandt tells the New Scientist: “I could not help but photograph them,” he says. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.”

Nick Brandt - Calcified Swallow, Lake Natron, 2012

Nick Brandt – Calcified Swallow, Lake Natron, 2012

 

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Nick Brandt - Calcified Swongbird, Lake Natron, 2012

Nick Brandt – Calcified Swongbird, Lake Natron, 2012

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Nick Brandt - Calcified Eagle, Lake Natron, 2012

Nick Brandt – Calcified Eagle, Lake Natron, 2012

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All photos copyright Nick Brandt. These photos and many more are from Nick Brandt’s recently released book “Across the Ravaged Land”, a third and final volume of photography documenting the disappearance of animals in Eastern Africa.

About The Author: Pal Ujvarosi


One half of the team behind Art Weekenders, where we travel, produce and keep developing our concept. For a living I work with management accounting, for dreaming I delve into many other areas of travel, writing and entrepreneurship, which more often than not don't result in money. Yet... I gained life experiences from living in eight different countries. Combined with extensive travelling in some fifty more, it's fair to say that I'm a global citizen with an international perspective - with the corresponding curse of becoming fairly rootless. My happy base now is Amsterdam - a faith I'm totally comfortable with.