Nadav Kander’s work is moving in its simplicity and striking in its composition.

Diver, Salt Lake, Utah 1997

Priozersk IV, Kazakhstan (From Dust)

From the project “Yangtze, The Long River”

Strong compositional elements and a beautiful use of negative space characterise his landscape images.

Officers Housing, The Aral Sea, Kazakhstan

Three Gorges Dam VI

Love’s, Texas, U,SA

Here Kander gives a brief background into his process while shooting Dust, a series of photographs taken in the radioactive ruins of secret cities on the border between Kazakhstan and Russia. The project explores the vestiges of the Cold War and the aesthetics of destruction.

The warmth of his landscape work contrasts with the deep blues and cool lighting of his portraits.

Lily Allen for the Observer Music Monthly, December 2008

Obama for Time Magazine, 2012

Brad Pitt, 2008

In this video, Kander describes how he interacts with his sitters – which isn’t very much at all. He prefers not to talk during a shoot, instead embracing the tension and the authenticity created through lack of knowledge about the sitter and lack of verbal communication. Although he does mention the non verbal body language and ‘brain waves’.

I really like the connection that human beings have when there isn’t a great knowledge, like when you first meet people. I would find it very, very hard to photograph a friend well, or to photograph somebody that I knew well. I think that that tension when you first meet people allows you to communicate without speaking.

Lawrence Okoye for British National Portrait Gallery

Kander was commissioned by the New York Times to shoot 52 portraits of Obama’s staff (advisers, aides, cabinet secretaries-designate and other key people) in 2008, shortly after his election but before his inauguration.

The catalogue contains two audio files – a backstory and narrative by both Kander and Kathy Ryan – very much worth listening to.

If you’re listening to the gallery audio, check out the alphabetised list of subjects in the top left corner of the screen, it helps to see what they’re referring to. You can see the whole gallery here.

Rahm Emmanuel, Chief of Staff

Eugene Kang, Special Assistant to the President

These videos and audio give brilliant insight into the mind and processes of an incredible photographer. I hope you’re as inspired by these images as I am. I feel like Kander’s work will create a quiet influence in my own work over the next while, or at least I’ll try to bring it with me to shoots.