Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols has for decades created powerful and eloquent images of iconic wildlife species. His vision is to stir the emotions of viewers leading to empathy and conservation. Melissa Harris has provided a sparkling text not just of Nick and his colleagues at work in the field, but one which provides many fascinating insights into the conservation issues related to his photographic quests. Among these are the survival of mountain gorillas during nearly six decades of civil war in their realm, the horrendous elephant slaughter for ivory, and the ethics of trophy hunting, of killing lions for pleasure.
A Wild Life is Nichols’s story, told with passion and insight by author and photo-editor Melissa Harris. Nichols’ story combines a life of adventure, with a conviction about how we can redeem the human race by protecting our wildlife. The book’s two central characters are the photographer―who journeys from the American South, via the photographers’ co-operative Magnum, to becoming lead wildlife photographer of National Geographic magazine―and the author, who travels with the photographer on assignment in Africa, to gain intimate and deep insight into her subject. Harris’s story also draws on meetings with some of the world’s leading eco-scientists―including legendary primatologist, Jane Goodall.