photography books
Home Bestsellers Historic Photojournalism War Landscape Portraits Family Wildlife Fashion Art Modern Subjects Sitemap  

Hugo Van Lawick snippet
His tented camp in the Serengeti, became a breeding ground for new wildlife filmmakers. In 1998, Hugo was forced to "retire" due to emphysema. He died at the age of 65 and was buried at the place his tent had stood for over 30 years in his camp in the Serengeti.
Hugo Van Lawick
Baron Hugo Arndt Rodolf van Lawick was born in Surabaya, Indonesia. His father was a pilot with the Dutch fleet, and upon his death while in service the Baroness moved Hugo and his brother first to Australia, then to England, where they lived in London, Hull, and Devon. Hugo was in boarding school, where he remained until shortly after the end of World War II. In 1959, Hugo went to Africa to pursue his passion of photographing and taking footage of wild animals, finding employment as a cameraman for a filmmaking couple.
After a film he produced as the background to a lecture given by Louis Leakey was seen by a staff member at National Geographic, he was given a retainer for future work for the magazine. Upon the recommendation of Louis Leakey, Hugo began photographing and filming chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park in 1962. It was at Gombe that he met Jane Goodall, Leakey’s protégé, who had since 1960 been stationed in the park researching chimpanzees.
As it happened, he teamed up with her not only to make films about the chimps, but in marriage as well. The two were wed in 1964 in London. They lived in Tanzania for many years, at Gombe and elsewhere on research projects, and were joined in 1967 by their son.
Hugo and Jane were divorced in 1974.
By the time he stopped filming at Gombe, he had created a visual record spanning over twenty years and documenting the lives of three generations of chimpanzees. Hugo made a number of wildlife documentaries for television, but also made several films for theatrical release on 35mm film, such as "The Leopard Son" and "Serengeti Symphony". Besides making films himself, Hugo was an important influence and mentor to a younger generation of wildlife filmmakers.