Frans Lanting at the Microsoft Photo Summit

Lanting’s Life Project entitled A Journey Through Time is a mammoth undertaking, a multimedia story of epic proportions. Lanting, quite possibly the greatest nature photographer of his time, traveled every part of the planet and made hundreds of images telling the story of life on earth from the very beginning.

In his words, “Nature’s my muse and it’s been my passion… I wanted to visualize the story of life. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted.”

To watch Lanting’s lyrical interpretation of life is to journey back in our own unconscious to the common collective memory of this planet’s history. The pure, emotional connection to his images made me shake my head in wonder and smile as I watched the story unfold. His brilliance is not just his incredible photography but in so perfectly developing the idea behind the collection and meshing the story with the instrumental music of Philip Glass to create an experience.

During his TED talk Lanting goes on to say “I hope it’s a story that has some resonance for our time. It’s a story about you and me.”

The Life Project includes a large-format book with over 175 images, a multimedia orchestral performance, a traveling photographic exhibition, and a dedicated educational website, The Project is exhaustive, with online resources where you can learn about Life and follow his 6 year experience creating Life.

“So who are we?” he asks at the end of his talk. “Life is a force in its own right. It is a new element.”