The IUCN Red List details more that 12,000 threatened animal species—it is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. When I first found out about it, it spurred me to embark on my “Endangered” series, the one you see above.

To create these images, I decided to employ a historic photographic technique, the wet plate collodion process, to photograph the threatened species. I shot them as they stood deep-frozen in ice. Each image is, in fact, a unique glass print—as one-of-a-kind and fragile as the animals themselves.

By capturing these vulnerable species in ice and depicting them through a process that harkens back to the beginnings of photography, I aim to sow confusion within my viewers. Why are these animals encased in ice? Are they the very last of their kind? Or, have they been deep-frozen in hope of a better time—a time when the world might be less deadly for them?

—Erik Hijweege


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