Tim Flach is not a conventional wildlife photographer. He’s known for his immaculately-lit studio portraits of animals, from dogs and horses to monkeys and lions, which emphasise their expressive, human-like qualities. But while Endangered, Tim’s fifth book, applies a similar approach, it’s driven by an underlying message – our relationship with nature is on the precipice.
“We’re at a unique time in our history. We need to culturally change – I sense that urgency,” Tim says. “For the first time, it’s not natural forces that are endangering species and marking the planet, it’s us. In the past, nature was seen as robust and we were vulnerable. Now nature is vulnerable.”
Another difference with Endangered is that instead of bringing animals to his studio to photograph them, he shot them in a range of different environments. Over two-and-a-half years, Tim travelled the world taking pictures, photographing white rhinos in Kenya, monarch butterflies in Mexico and Philippine eagles. He was keen to show not just the obviously charismatic species such as elephants, pandas or tigers but other, sometimes less glamorous, life forms – stick insects, or lichen, for example.