This Empty World addresses the escalating destruction of the African natural world at the hands of humans, showing a world where, overwhelmed by runaway development, there is no longer space for the animals to survive. The people in the photos are also often helplessly swept along by the relentless tide of 'progress'.
Each image is a combination of two moments in time, captured weeks apart, almost all from the exact same locked-off camera position.
Initially, a partial set is built and lit. Weeks, even months, follow, while the animals that inhabit the region become comfortable enough to enter the frame.
Once the animals are captured on camera, the full sets - bridge and highway construction sites, a petrol station, a bus station and more - are built by the art department team. In all but a few of the photos, the camera remains fixed in place throughout.
A second sequence is then photographed with full set, and a large cast of people drawn from the local communities and beyond. The final large scale prints are a composite of the two elements.
The book reproduces the panoramic tableaux at maximum size (30"/ 70cm) on the double page spreads.
Brandt contributes two essays: The first deals with the concept of the series, the second a behind-the-scenes description of the elaborate production, with multiple accompanying making-of photos.
(Note: the images were all photographed on local Maasai community land in Kenya. After the sets were removed and all their elements recycled with almost zero waste, no evidence of the shoot now remains in the landscape).
For $150 (plus shipping), you'll receive a signed copy of the book, including the option of a personalized dedication/inscription, handwritten by Brandt. Up to 77% per book sold benefits Big Life Foundation USA directly.