Nick Brandt takes some of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen. His work is haunting and mesmerizing. The animals actually look like they are posing for their portraits. Brandt says about his own work that he specifically tried to move away from traditional wildlife photography, which is usually action shots taken with telephoto lenses.
"The wild animals of Africa lend themselves to photographs that extend aesthetically beyond the norm of 35mm-color telephoto wildlife photography. And so it is, that in my own way, I would like to yank the subject matter of wildlife into the arena of fine art photography. To take photographs that transcend what has been a largely documentative genre." quote found here.
Nick Brandt also has two photo books, A Shadow Falls and On This Earth.