Fine Art Portraits Capturing the Expressiveness of Zoo Animals by Wolf Ademeit
If you’ve been around animals for any amount of time – whether domesticated or wild – you’ll see tendencies where it seems like animals experience emotions similar to humans. There are countless studies from scientists and behaviorists on animal emotions. Abandoned dogs can suffer from anxiety and depression, animal mothers experience grief when they lose their young, and primates will refuse food if they know that another primate will receive an electric shock if they partake. It’s all quite fascinating.
Thirty years ago, German photographer WolfAdemeit became passionate about photography when he began studying the craft of lithography. Though he owns an advertising agency and a photography studio,Ademeit still refers to himself as a hobbyist. He photographs wildlife, but not as most wildlife photographs do, approaching animal photography as a documentary. Ademeit prefers to photograph wildlife in the zoo, instead of out in the wild. Choosing to focus on capturing the expressions on animals, Ademeit approaches his work, titled ‘Animals,’ as one might approach a portrait session for humans – as an art form with the goal of capturing the expressiveness of animals in captivity.
All of Ademeit’s Animal’s portraits are in startling black and white. Because of the “artificial” setting of zoos, Ademeit has chosen to darken the areas in the image that distract, providing a stark contrast that makes the animals really stand out in the image. This focus allows the viewers to zero in on the animal – the expression in its eyes that speaks volumes; the small nuzzle of a baby and its mother, or the slight nudge of playfulness between siblings. The series encourages the viewer to reflect on the beauty of these animals and perhaps consider that some are disappearing at a rapid and tragic rate.
The Animals series took Ademeit 5 years to complete, and you can see the full series on his website here. Here are a few of my favorites:
CREDITS: Photographs by Wolf Ademeit are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.
[Via Bored Panda]