While most photos you view during the course of the day are beautiful, they are not interesting enough to attract curiosity and be memorized in the long term. A few photos are so curious and so beautiful, on the other hand, that you have to look twice to make sure they are not CGI-renderings. They literally prey on your mind. I can hardly remember the last time I saw photos that answer this description better than Nick Brandt’s photos of petrified animals in Lake Natron, Tanzania. Peculiar, expressive, timelessly beautiful…Nick Brandt, precisely.
Why is it that these birds and bats turn into odd stone statues, instead of rotting? According to Brandt, the intensive surface reflection of the water confuses the birds, whereupon they lose control and fall into the strongly alkaline lake. The water, with a pH-value between 9.5 and 10, saves them from decay and thus enables this incredible metamorphosis.
For those who are not familiar with the name Nick Brandt, this photo-series is not the only one of his that is well worth seeing. Together with Ansel Adams and Alexey Titarenko, he is in my top 3 in the black-and-white realm of photography. His artistic black-and-white shots of wildlife are a must-see. It is no accident that Brandt is ranked among the best wildlife photographers of all times.