Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jim Brandenburg has 4 images included in Top Forty Nature Photographs in the History of Photography!

Brother Wolf, Oryx, Blue Mounds Winter, White Wolf

The exercise of selecting the Top Forty Nature Photographs of all time is both an honor and a tremendous challenge.  It may not be possible for anyone to create a definitive selection of the forty “best” or “most important” nature photographs, if only due to the vast variety of criteria that must be considered.   But the international League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) decided to try anyway and made their announcement this week to help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. 

The international League of Conservation Photographers is a fellowship of the top professional photographers from around the world working today.  More than 100 photographers and editors associated with the iLCP nominated images that they considered to be “the best” in what they felt represented aesthetics, uniqueness, historical and scientific significance, and conservation efforts.  The photographers were not permitted to self-nominate.

The prestigious Top Forty nominations represent the work of 25 photographers including the legendary Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Eliot Porter.  Four of Brandenburg’s images were included in the final selection, more than any other photographer.  “To have 4 of my photographs chosen by my peers as part of the top 40 nature photographs of all time is indeed the highlight of my career.  I am honored beyond words,” said Brandenburg.  

The four Brandenburg images selected were:  Oryx on Namib Desert, Namibia, southwest Africa; Gray Wolf near BWCAW, Ely, Minnesota; Leaping Arctic wolf, Ellesmere Island, Canada; and Bison on Frozen Landscape, Blue Mounds State Park, Luverne, Minnesota.  Within this past year, the Arctic wolf image was named one of 100 most important photos in Canadian history in the book “100 Photos that Changed Canada.”

The oldest nature photograph included in the Top 40 is of three frightened deer in the north woods of Michigan near Lake Superior by George Shiras, published in 1921 in National Geographic Magazine. 

Jim Brandenburg’s long career of conservation efforts was honored in 1991 by the United Nations. He received the World Achievement Global 500 Forum award in recognition of his using nature photography to raise public awareness for the environment.   Jim and his wife Judy are the founders of the Brandenburg Prairie Foundation (BPF), whose mission is to preserve native prairies in southwest Minnesota.  The BPF has helped to preserve approximately 1000 acres to date with Touch the Sky Prairie, a division of USFWS Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuges.  Touch the Sky Prairie is near Brandenburg’s hometown of Luverne, MN.

These Top Forty iconic nature photographs are a part of Christie's Green Auction in support of Conservation International, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Central Park Conservancy.

Christie’s Green Auction: A Bid to Save the Earth will be held on April 22nd at Christie’s in New York and will be carried live beginning at 7:30 pm EST on  A companion silent auction is being hosted at  April 8th through May 6th.  Jim has generously donated a signed print of each image.

The complete collection of the Top Forty Nature Photographs may be viewed here.


  1. I am very happy for you Jim! You have always inspired me and blew me away with your raw talent. I am very proud of you!

  2. These are exquisite. Congratulations. A wonderful and well-deserved honor.

  3. And it is 4 familiar pictures who is just amazing :D Each telling their own history!

    Congratulation and well done!

  4. This is a wonderful blog! Very special. Thanks for the eye candy!
    Love, Mrs. Slug

    PS - Do you have any nice pics of slugs?

  5. Congrats Jim, we love your work and it inspires me to seek out the beauty in Nature. We love the Ely Studio and one of these days we need to head to Luverne and see the other one.

    Congrats and keep capturing magic

  6. Congratulations from a longtime admirer of your work. All honors well deserved!

  7. Even more awesome that 2 of your 4 in the top 40 are from Minnesota! Your work -especially Chased By The Light is very inspiring and makes me want to attempt a similar venture.

  8. While, I'm surprised any photographer had more images than Ansel Adams, I think you are most worthy of such an honor. In particular, the "Leaping Arctic wolf, Ellesmere Island" should be including in any list of great nature photographs. This photo is both symbolic of our time and is of the highest caliber amongst the naturalistic style of photography that National Geographic represents (and your commitment to insist they cover the story illustrates what truly made the magazine great -- an assembledge of people with amazing conviction).

  9. Congratulations!!! Superb shots!!!
    I love your work!!

    Salut from Barcelona


  10. I'm appreciate your writing style.Please keep on working hard.^^

  11. I'm so grateful you shared this post. It's very informative. I like looking at online photos since here in Ohio, website design is my hobby. I used to collect photos for websites and blog designs.

  12. You made me fall in love with the White Wolves. I love your photos!

  13. I remember watching the judges at the Picture of the Year contest at the University of Missouri when they judged the white wolf photo essay. And I remember someone from National Geographic saying that it was probably the best example of natural history documentary photography to date done by anyone.

  14. Congratulations! I bought your book White Wolf when I was a student (20+years ago) and it is still my favourite of all my nature books. I was a wolf fan, but seeing the arctic wolves through your photos/experiences made me appreciate them even more. Scruffy will always have a little piece of my heart!
    Best wishes for continued success and adventures,


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