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An Evening With Nick Brandt (joint event with The Royal Photographic Society)

But first returning to last Friday September 09 the club welcomed Ross McKelvey from Catchlight Camera Club, who gave members insightful instructive hints and tips on the use of the latest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. The clubs thanks Ross a much rewarded photographer for giving the benefit of this considerable knowledge.

This week our guest speaker was Nick Brandt, an English professional photographer, now living in Southern California, who has spent many years on location in East Africa documenting the effects of climate change on the peoples and wildlife of this region.

©Nick Brandt
Harriet & people in fog, Zimbabwe 2020 - ©Nick Brandt

His approach however transcends normal reportage, providing a beautiful poetic but horrifying account of the tragic destructive events due to climate change, which threatens the people and animals of East Africa, a threat to all of humanity.

©Nick Brandt
Mak, Matthew and lightbulb - ©Nick Brandt

Nick is at pains to point out that his images are all captured on location and taken at the same time in the landscape alongside those who inhabit this part of the world. In other words, no digital Photoshop additions are made later.

Nick, who trained in filmmaking, says he had found that medium restrictive, so turned to photography to find a freedom to explore his vision. For the most part Nick works in black and white film media, although his “This Empty World” book suited being captured in colour and with digital capture.

This photographer has published many other books which highlight his image making expeditions in Africa. In addition to his photographic work, Nick has established a charitable endeavour called “The Big Life Foundation” which seeks to help those whose lives and environment are mercilessly condemned to squalor and abject destitution, resulting from climate change, but which also has been instrumental in sending wildlife rangers to the region to reduce the extent of poaching which also is an existential threat to the animals of the region.

In this endeavour funding is necessary to continue THIS IMPORTANT WORK and if anyone wishes to donate please do so at


2005 On This Earth

2009 A Shadow Falls

2013 Across this Ravaged Land

2015 Inherit The dust

2019 This Empty Land

2021 The Day May Break

(Books can be purchased from Nick's web site at )

It is often said that a photograph is worth a thousand words, and this is most aptly shown by viewing Nick Brandt's images which speak of the impending danger to humanity.

©Nick Brandt
Wasteland with Elephant - ©Nick Brandt

Consider the image entitled ‘Wasteland with Elephant’ which was photographed on location with a full size photograph of the animal placed in the desolate landscape along with local people who scrounge a living in the desolate landscape of the dump, in hope of finding something to sell or something to eat.

Also, it is Elephant’s like that pictured that are slaughtered by poachers using poison tip spears and then, while still living, have their tusks cut out using chain saws.

©Nick Brandt
Fatuma, Ali & Bupa, Kenya 2020 - ©Nick Brandt

Also consider the image ‘Fatuma Ali Bupa Kenya 2020’. Nick confirms that it is often the women who are the strongest, who make so much effort to support their families while enduring their existence in a ravaged land.

Nick is supportive of youthful campaigners like Greta Thunberg and their concerns for the future existence of this planet we all inhabit.

©Nick Brandt
Alice, Stanley & Najin, Kenya 2020 - ©Nick Brandt

It is apparent that climate change denial does exists and, using a word in a form of semantic drift, used in hostile manner to cast a slur on those such as Nick Brandt and Greta Thunberg who speak to truth.

That Word is Woke

Nick Brandt is critical of politicians in The United States of America and in The UK along with mendacious media moguls and corporations who are aware of what is occurring but who choose to ignore the evidence.

The evening ended when a club member engaged Nick in conversation, after which the room fell silent as ashen faced members contemplated what they had just witnessed.

To see more of Nick's work visit his web site at, or to find out more about the work of the Big Life Foundation visit

Edward McCavana BNDCC Information Officer

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