The Family Album of West Africa
Many have tried to convey the true spirit of Africa's animals in words, photography, or in music. There may be no challenge greater; Africa's fauna are vast in number and rich in diversity. In this finely crafted collection, French photographer Laurent Baheux uses the medium of black-and-white photography to capture the intricate details of both the wondrous beasts and the magnificent settings in which they dwell. This wide-ranging volume lays particular emphasis on his subjects' individual spirits-revealing all of their vulnerability while losing nothing of their raw vitality. Every photograph is so carefully composed and well lit that the details equal the evocative precision of an Old Masters portrait. Through Baheux's eyes we get close to creatures that will both inspire and humble us all.
Laurent Baheux, an award-winning, French, self-taught photographer born in Poitiers in 1970, was at first attracted to journalism and editing. He covered the main international sport competitions for the top press photography agencies and channeled his energy towards conditions of speed and extreme demand.Always fascinated by nature and wildlife, Laurent Baheux embarked ona trip to Tanzania in 2002, a journey that launched a lifetime love affair with Africa's wildlife. He immediately chose black-and-white, with its play on shadow, light, and contrast, to immortalize rare and ephemeral scenes of nature and to sublimate the animal personality. His artistic interpretation is characterized by deep blacks, forming a random and subtle alchemy that combines beauty and emotion, always striving to detach his subjects from the representation of reality in order to present a personal, poetic, and sensitive vision. With his work, Baheux wishes to pay homage to the wildlife, all the while questioning viewers about the relationship between animals and humans, and about the role the latter play in the delicate equilibrium of species on earth.In the continuity of his photographic commitment, Baheux accompanies and supports the deeds of organizations, which work for the protection of nature and the preservation of biodiversity including World Wildlife Fund and GoodPlanet Foundation. Since 2013, he supports actions of The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) as Goodwill Ambassador for the Wild & Precious awareness campaign.