Published: April 2005

Online Extra

A moment between friends Scott Wallace and Nicolas Reynard, at right, was captured during their 2002 expedition into the Brazilian Amazon to encounter an uncontacted tribe. Nicolas died in a plane crash in the Amazon on November 11, 2004 while on assignment for French publications. He was 45.

In Memoriam Nicolas Reynard

Photographer, Friend, and Lover of Life

Text and Photograph by Scott Wallace

When I think of Nicolas Reynard, the first thing that comes to mind was his extraordinary energy and enthusiasm. No one who remembers Nicolas can forget his firm handshake, his infectious smile, and the confidence he radiated.

Nicolas was a gifted, hard-working photographer who plunged headlong into whatever project he happened to be working on. He did nothing halfway; it was all or nothing for him, and he worked tirelessly to surmount any obstacle that stood between him and the photograph he wanted to create.

I spent three months with Nicolas in the most trying conditions, as the National Geographic writer on a three-month expedition into the land of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon in 2002. Nicolas had arranged our participation in the journey through his close personal contact with the renowned Brazilian wilderness scout Sydney Possuelo, who led the expedition.

Living on the edge for weeks on end tends to reveal one's character in ways that ordinary existence cannot. And the thing that most impressed me about Nicolas during our months in the wilderness was how he continued to treat every day of the journey, from the crack of each mist-shrouded dawn, as though it were the one that mattered most, the day that would provide the defining image of the story.

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