While traveling northern tanzania for a pictorial journey of east africa, british photographer Nick Brandt unexpectedly came upon a number dead birds and bats that appeared to be made out of stone. the animals had washed up along the shoreline of the lethal lake natron, a salt lake located near the kenyan border. the waterway contains a deadly chemical composition — a very high soda and salt content — which causes any creature who dares to dip in to die, calcify, and remain perfectly preserved as they dry. brandt notes that the chemical level was so extreme, that while he was capturing the images, the ink stripped off his kodak film boxes within just a few seconds.
The mummified species are the eerie aftermath of nature’s nightmarish unpredictability. for his monochrome portraits, brandt carefully removes the found birds from the water and places them in living positions, perching them on branches, and arranging them as floating figures on the stagnant shore.