Through the photographic images that comprise the books and documentary film, To the Ends of the Earth, we not only hope to educate society about the amazing wildlife in the world around us but bring an awareness of the delicate balance of nature and how it is threatened every day, all over the world. Todd Gustafson’ photographs reveal breathtaking images of the creatures of the world as they eat, sleep, play, mate, give birth, raise their young and live their lives, all co-existing in a battle of survival on this wondrous planet we call Earth.
The documentary puts viewers at an eye level with dramatic natural history moments that reflect the storyline of how and why the Limited Edition books were made.
Todd presents Jane with her “To The Ends of the Earth” edition. Many thanks to Jane Goodall for her heartfelt forward.
Todd Gustafson’s images in To the Ends of the Earth reflect and celebrate the living world. But they imply a kind of heartbreak for a living world so vitally unaware of how imperiled it is. Much of our celebration of beauty and our joy in the living world is, these days, shadowed by worry. We often focus on what’s worrying us, and focus is what the photographer must do. While aware of what’s breaking, the camera can illuminate what’s working. But the “natural” world is now a category, a slice of the world pie. And so our attention to the beauty reflects the tension in our realization that the beauty is the beauty that remains, is only what is left. I get a little hit of that in the beauty of these images—the toucans and jaguars, the elephants and chameleons. They are the living links in the incomprehensibly great chain of being. They represent the deep sweep of time. They represent where life has brought us. They are who is with us still, now.
Todd’s images in To the Ends of the Earth are more than a magnificent collection of wildlife photos. They take us on a visual journey during which we meet many of the wondrous animals who live in the last wild places on earth; East Africa. Not everyone can go on a safari over the African plains, but this documentary allows us to experience, vicariously, the very behaviors people most want to see – mothers and their young, hunting and killing, fighting and sex; and all against the backdrop of the wide, wild African scenery.
In the To the Ends of the Earth series, Todd Gustafson’s exquisite photography brings the reality of the circle of life and the struggle for survival to the forefront. Look closely, for example, at the image of a black-headed heron opening his beak to a leaping frog. Gustafson, with his uncanny ability to often predict the behavior of his subjects—saw the heron approach a puddle and wondered what would happen if it suddenly caught a frog—and in an instant, it happened. Todd captured the moment, just one of hundreds of moments frozen in time and displayed in To the Ends of the Earth. The brilliant colors, the massive variety and the incredible action shots are all elegantly presented in this documentary as Todd shares these wonderful images that many of us may never see in person.
“We are now in a better position to understand just how much effort is required to organize such a trip and have it go so flawlessly. You really did an outstanding job and I am so glad we decided to go with you. Your African background and experience was clearly evident in all aspects of the trip. As I mentioned on the phone, one of my lesser flamingo images from Nakuru was selected as a judge’s choice award for the upcoming NANPA Showcase. I also had an insect image that made the Showcase. I wanted to thank you! You got us there at the right time and place. Moreover, you made numerous suggestions on shooting strategies for the flamingos and are deserving of some of the credit! I think this is a great example of the quality of photographic opportunities and helpful tips that you provide for your clients. Many thanks!”
“I decided to join Todd on a photo safari to Tanzania in Jan/Feb. Being from South Africa, and having spent countless days on safari in most of the game reserves of Southern Africa, I was looking to a different experience in East Africa. This turned out to be a mind-blowing experience and also a great opportunity to hone my photographic skills with the “master”. Todd Gustafson, with his impressive CV, was organizing the trip. Todd had lived in Tanzania as a young boy and therefore understood the cultural and ethnic peculiarities of Africa, not to say anything about his knowledge of the behavioral characteristics of East African wildlife.”
“Just an email to inform you the Todd Gustafson book has arrived safely 25th Feb. I am very pleased with it. The book is a true Bible for anyone going on safari for the first time or a reminder for a returning safari person. The picture images certainly bring back many memories of the whole safari experience. Many thanks for your time and patience in getting the book to me again.”
“Hello Todd, after seeing your images you posted of the zebras, giraffes, and elephant at the watering hole, I just had to write you and tell you that these are three of the most spectacular images I have seen from Africa. They are art in the most true form. You are, in my humble opinion, achieving your goal to show people things they didn’t know existed with a new photographic vision.”
“I do wish you the best on this trip and all the others that you lead. I am impressed with your photos on these programs. I know with your knowledge of the places a lot is possible. Your work is proof of that. Your images are exceptional and the video is a very good marketing tool.”
“As many of you know, Todd Gustafson is an extremely talented photographer and a dear friend. As I looked back at Todd’s images I said to myself, ‘Was I on that trip? How can one person be so talented? Is Todd not the best safari photographer alive today?’ “
“Todd, I’m not kidding you when I say that you are the greatest wildlife photographer alive today!”
“Thank you for your help with the NatGeo Wild Great Migration episode. Your onscreen presence and storytelling talents added significantly to the show. By the way, your pictures are amazing. Some of them look like paintings. So impressive.”
Wonderful, wonderful show. All of it. How Todd became interested in photography, his life in Tanzania as a boy, the influence of his parents, esp. dad’s photography, Julie, taking their kids to E. Africa, and then the amazing, amazing photography. Very few stills, but those were delicious. He talked to us about how to set up the shot, and the elements he thinks are significant. The subject is just one element, composition, light, setting . . .Of course, he makes it look easy. Because of his immense physicality and capability, it is certainly easier for him than it is for most. But I could see a master at the height of his craft. Not fond of the meat-eating shots, and shielded one eye from them. But loved the fun ones, the cute ones, and all of those about family and traveling in herds or packs or prides. The narration was informative, well-spoken, and just enough. You can see that each of them, Jane and Todd, have practiced and learned an economy of words. Convey information, but not too much.
This, of course, was revelatory in that (1) much of the show was focused on photographing the movement, (Love those migration shots), and (2) imagine what happens if one sits still and actually watches the entire show, from start to finish, without distraction.
Maybe I’ll watch more tv if this is what you get. Only rewarded.
I prefer to see your work on paper, rather than a screen. But I will preview your last book on this screen as I am here just watching dogs, and that will give me a special treat.
Congratulations on finding such a wonderful and skilled teacher as Todd. SOMEBODY has to teach wildlife photographers how to photograph in the wild, and he told us about how he teaches you. Makes me happy that you have found an extraordinary avocation that makes not only you but all the rest of us who enjoy your photographic gifts, happy.
Xoxo from the snowy land of Denver with dogs.
I would love to have my elementary student’s go from your photo to the drawn sketch. I love how you express love, life, and the hunt. Survival I think children could express emotions and feelings through drawing your photos.
We are eager to share all of the exciting, ongoing news about To the Ends of the Earth! From our beautiful, hand-sewn, leather-bound books to our original photographs.
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