Prodigy

Nick Brandt's Portraits of Calcified Animals Look Like Charred Remains

By: Akihiko Tse - Published: Oct 7, 2013 • References: nickbrandt and designtaxi
Photographer Nick Brandt's images of mummified and almost charred corpses on a lake in Tanzania, East Africa, are horrifying as they are eerily beautiful.

Due to a deadly combination of temperatures that can rise to as high as 60 degrees celsius and the high alkalinity levels in Lake Natron -- a result of the dense accumulation of volcanic ash from the Great Rift Valley -- the carcasses of these birds and bats are calcified and almost frozen in time. When the birds submerge beneath the water into the pH 9 to pH 10.6 level water -- composed of high soda and salt content -- the animals die and are arranged in such a way that all that persists is the blackened, singed remains.

Nick Brandt's shots, documented in his new book 'Across The Ravaged Land' use a monochromatic shots to highlight the ghostly animals that will remain perched, lifelessly, along the lake.