I got Nick Brandt's book from father Christmas: it is lovely. Very inspiring for me as I go to Tanzania each spring. His approach in framing is actually very much my own style (allthough Nick Brandt is far more talented in this area) as I try to accomplish the same thing: animals in their environment. Not just plain portrets.
I was also looking for his technique (or vision or talent or whatever) but he does not clarify anthing in his book, except that he does no use a telelens. The reason for this, he says, is that telelenses show nothing of the beauty of the surroundings but just 'clutter' in the background (I believe he calls it this way in his book).
Now the first thing I find hard to believe: when you see his pictures, some are evidently taken with a short focal length, but also some give the feeling of telework. Not the supertele's, but I think some are at least taken with a 200mm (full frame), considering the perspective.
The second thing that bothers me, is the statement that telelenses do not show any of the beautiful surroundings. I have taken the most lovely scenic shots with the compression telelenses. Take a look at my website
to see my point.
Try to guess which lens I used for these 3 pics (see attachments)! 28mm? 50mm? 200mm? 400mm?
Makes me think... Wouldn't that be an excellent subject for a new contest: guessing what lens was used at what settings for a given picture?