Earth to Sky.
Among Africa's Elephants, a Species in Crisis.
Photographs and text by Michael Nichols.
Aperture, New York, 2013. 188 pp., illustrated throughout, 11¾x8½".
Michael 'Nick' Nichols, longtime photographer for National Geographic as well as the magazine's editor-at-large for photography, has been working with African elephants for more than twenty years. In Earth to Sky he tells their story through poignant images that bring us directly into their habitats-lush forests and open savannas, or stark landscapes ravaged by human intervention-to observe the animals' daily engagements and activities. Nichols's photographs are accompanied here by the words of such celebrated figures in the field of conservation as Iain Douglas-Hamilton, J. Michael Fay, Peter Matthiessen, Cynthia Moss, and David Quammen. In addition, Nichols engages us in his photographic journey with personal and informative introductions to each of the book's four chapters-exploring life in the wild, the ivory trade, family interactions, and programs for orphaned elephants. In Earth to Sky Nichols demonstrates that the world needs elephants, and insists that we do all we can to protect their spaces and their lives. Sadly, most signs point to a tragic conclusion for these wise and emotionally complex creatures. This book is an urgent call for us to bring that process to a halt, while we still can.