Wildlife photography – Intimate animal portraits show fragile beauty

Sometimes there are books that, even though they have been out a bit longer, continue to intrigue and deserve more attention. This certainly applies to the artistic images of nature photographer Pedro Jarque Krebs. In his book Fragile (teNeues) he portrays the diversity and beauty of the animal kingdom in an intimate, direct way.

Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Pedro Jarque Krebs


In the book Fragile, nature photographer Pedro Jarque Krebs portrays the diversity of the animal kingdom in all its shapes, sizes, colours and, of course, species with over a hundred photographs. From an orangutan male, threatened with extinction, staring piercingly at you, and an almost meditating lemur, to a young lamb resting his head on his mother’s head. Krebs photographs are intended to break down psychological and emotional barriers that separate us from our fellow creatures and capture every animal – be it a bird, a reptile or a big cat – in an atmosphere of breathtaking intimacy. His images are beautiful and humble. The photographer elaborates on this, but in his work also pays attention to non-endangered animals. And that is not only because they are captured up close, the strength of the portraits also lies in the use of the dark background. In this way Krebs isolates the animals from any context and from any form of distraction. “This form increases the intimacy between viewer and animal. I try to show the essence of the animal. I would almost say, the soul,” explains the photographer in an interview with CNN.

Photo: Pedro Jarque Krebs

In his introduction to the coffee table book, Krebs tells us that only a fraction of all species have actually been discovered. For example, more than 91 percent of marine life is still unknown. However, due to the expansion (and selfishness) of humans, many undiscovered species will disappear before we can get to know them. According to the creator, we don’t realize enough that if the animals and their ecosystems disappear, this will have an inimitable impact on humans. In a recent report WWF reports that in the past forty years alone sixty percent of vertebrate species have become extinct. The photographer elaborates on this, but in his work also pays attention to non-endangered animals. He also emphasizes that every year 56 trillion (!) animals are slaughtered for consumption, which does not even include fishing. It is not news that the situation is urgent and that if we continue like this, it could have catastrophic consequences. Nevertheless, it remains important that we are always confronted with the same message: be careful with what we have and do something about it before it is too late. Krebs: “My goal with these images is to make us aware of the beauty and diversity of the natural world, but – more importantly – its terrible vulnerability and threat. They remind us that we are not the centre of the universe and that our main goal must be to protect the complex ecosystem of which we are only a small part. What really distinguishes us from animals is our moral conscience, which makes us responsible for the fate of all life on this planet that is in our hands. We must act accordingly and hold out hope.” We must act accordingly and hold out hope.”

The Book Fragile (teNeues) is for sale in our webshop. Price: 50,- Price: 50,-


Pedro Jarque Krebs was born in 1963 in Lima, Peru. Pedro Jarque Krebs was born in 1963 in Lima, Peru. He studied philosophy of science at Sorbonne University in Paris. Since 2014 he has received more than 100 awards, including the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awardand Sony World Photography Awards (2018 and 2019).

photo: Pedro Jarque Krebs


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