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HomeContentsThemes > Fauna


977.01   Introduction to fauna and the animal kingdom
977.02   Henry Fox Talbot: Animal photographs
977.03   John Dillwyn LLewelyn and his stuffed animals
977.04   Trophies and hung game
977.05   Different ways of seeing animals
977.06   Adolphe Braun: Cows and oxen
977.07   Eadweard Muybridge: Animals in motion
977.08   Animals in the wild
977.09   The genius of animal photography
977.10   Smithsonian National Zoo - Contemporary photography
977.11   Diverse perspectives on animals
977.12   Props, accessories and novelties: Horses
977.13   Animals conclusions
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
Status: Collect > Document > Analyse > Improve
977.01   Nature >  Introduction to fauna and the animal kingdom 
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There are a vast number of photographers concentrating on animals of all types and I can not go into them all here. The early zoologists used photography to illustrate their scientific works and this is still done today. Magazines such as National Geographic have always used the finest photographers to bring to the public's imagination the wondrous variety of the biological world.
The bewildering colors and textures of the animal kingdom provide endless possibilities to entrance the eye and the popular coffee table volumes of Frans Lanting[1] and Mitsuaki Iwago[2] highlight the insatiable appetite of the public to explore from an arm chair. In the natural history and travel magazines the journalism is supported by stunning wildlife photographs by James Balog, Michael "Nick" Nichols, Joel Sartore, Chris Johns, Nick Brandt[3] and a host of others. With many it has become a mission to record the world before ecosystems are destroyed - Sebastiao Salgado's 2013 book Genesis[4] is an example of this.
Another approach is to use photography to point out the fact that the extinctions happening everyday mean that the possibilities are far from endless and they provide an ecological message that the world is heading towards less diversity and ultimate environmental disaster. This strand has it's roots in the 1962 publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson - it was perhaps this book more than any other that made the public aware of ecological issues.[5] 
977.02   Nature >  Henry Fox Talbot: Animal photographs 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The long exposures of the earliest photographs necessitated the use of static animals and William Henry Fox Talbot did this in several ways. Firstly he copied animal prints from printed works such as those by Thomas Beswick, secondly he took a photograph of a stationary rocking horse and thirdly he could take stuffed animals. 
977.03   Nature >  John Dillwyn LLewelyn and his stuffed animals 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-1882) was a talented photographer and a cousin by marriage of William Henry Fox Talbot one of the inventors of photography in the late 1830‘s. He appreciated that the exposures required were too long for sharp photographs of live animals and so he placed stuffed animals in false habitats and then photographed them - so we have otters, rabbits, pheasants, herons and a stag all in supposedly natural settings. His wife Emma wrote to Constance the wife of Fox Talbot:
"Mr Llewelyn has been very busy lately making pictures of stuffed animals and birds with an artificial landscape, in real trees, shrubs, flowers and rocks and even shallow pools of water."[6]
977.04   Nature >  Trophies and hung game 
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Slideshow (Be patient as this has 16 slides to load.) 
Just as the results of the hunting of game and wildfowl was a topic close to the heart of specialist painters such as Valentin Gottfried (German painter, 1661-1711) in photography the same tradition was continued in the Nineteenth century. This was the era of shooting parties on the estates of the landed gentry and aristocracy and so the trophy heads that were placed on the walls or hung in the larder to mature were all suitable subjects.
Early cameras were owned by the wealthy and leisured classes who were often of the same social strata as those who enjoyed the rural pastimes of hunting and fishing. Photography was used to record the events and the produce of these activities.
In the 1860 carbon print by Adolphe Braun we see the hunting horn and the gun along with the macabre trophies of the dead boar and bird. The way the items are carefully composed is reminiscent of a Baroque painting or a display at a country fair.
To make the point about the stylistic similarities here between the photograph by Adolphe Braun and the art of the period the 1862 oil painting Hunting Trophy by Claude Monet includes the paraphernalia of hunting along with the catch and an attentive dog. 
977.05   Nature >  Different ways of seeing animals 
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In this collection of images we can see different photographic processes as well as different ways of seeing and interacting with animals:
  • Although long exposures made photographic live animals difficult those with patience did succeed and there are Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes showing pets, especially dogs.
  • During the carte de visite craze comic cards were created for sale, the card here shows a rather happy cat after feasting on the canary.
  • The images from the first Kodak #1 Snapshot camera were circular and here are two hunters with their presumably faithful dog.
  • 4H Clubs in North America are to promote leadership, citizenship and life skills and in this photograph from the early 1960s we see an award being made complete with a photograph of a cow.
977.06   Nature >  Adolphe Braun: Cows and oxen 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Adolphe Braun[7] is remembered in photography for his large scale printing works at Dornach in Switzerland where he produced high quality carbon print reproductions of works of art.[8] Early in his career for around a decade from around 1855 he made a number of studies of cows and oxen. 
977.07   Nature >  Eadweard Muybridge: Animals in motion 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The work of Eadweard Muybridge on animal locomotion had a profound impact on artists would draw and paint motion.[9] It also altered the way animals were shown in museums, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York a display was created using the racehorse Sysonby[10] and the bones were articulated to show the horse during a fast run with all four legs off the ground.  
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The racehorse Sysonby in a museum display 
Prior to Eadweard Muybridge there is no way that a horse would have been shown in this position. 
977.08   Nature >  Animals in the wild 
Until the 1950's natural resources were viewed by most people as unlimited and their exploitation was seen as the natural relationship between man and the environment. In locations where wildlife still existed in plenty it was to be hunted and displayed as trophies or brought back for zoos and research institutes.
Proper wildlife photography was just beginning and when Ylla actually went on an expedition to Africa and took color photographs in natural settings for her book Animals in Africa. Behavioral scientists were starting to publish books that introduced scientific concepts to the public; Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) authored King Solomon's Ring (1952) and On Aggression (1966 - first American edition) and Desmond Morris authored The Human Zoo (1969). When Rachel Carson (1907-1964) published The Sea Around Us (1952) and Silent Spring (1962) it was a shock because she pointed out that the status quo of limitless abundance was tipping out of balance.
At a more popular, and sentimental, level Joy Adamson (1910-1980) wrote three books about her pet lioness Elsa[11] and these encouraged younger readers to think about wildlife issues. Humorous books about the natural world by Gerald Durrell who was a naturalist, traveler and zookeeper were extremely popular. In the UK the 1954-64 series Zoo Quest with Richard Attenborough did the same as did Johnny Morris from 1961 onwards with Animal Magic. This outpouring of increased interest in the natural world found champions when in 1961 Sir Julian Huxley and Sir Peter Scott founded the World Wildlife Fund to protect the threatened species of the planet. Peter Scott was an artist as well as an ornithologist and he created the well-known panda logo.
This background is important as it gives the context for what has happened since the 1960's in photography of the natural world. As public interest developed so funds became available for larger scale projects on television and these switched from studio or zoo based programs to expeditions to photograph animals in their natural habitats. The popular TV series written and narrated by Richard Attenborough for the BBC such as Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990) were accompanied by a host of other series, special programs and accompanying books. The natural world was now mainstream and a consumer item.
The public desire to be shown the beauty of the world has made commercial successes out of documentaries that no studio based film company would ever have thought of. The cinema released documentaries, Microcosmos (1996), Winged Migration (2001) and March of the Penguins (2005), are technical triumphs that have raised environmental awareness.
Interest in the issues has meant more charities, magazines, support groups and books and these require images to support their aims, messages and advertising. Whereas until the 1960's most photographs of wildlife were taken by naturalists the situation has now morphed into photojournalists who want to become naturalists. They are now seeking out stories for National Geographic, Geo and hundreds of specialist magazines for the armchair naturalist and traveler. The internet has allowed groups of photographers to form image libraries and cooperatives to market their works in ways that make it economical. 
977.09   Nature >  The genius of animal photography 
Susan Middleton and David Liittschwager photograph endangered species in an attempt to protect them and preserve their astounding beauty. The resulting images in their book Here Today: Portraits of our Vanishing Species look like Yousuf Karsh or Horst have been photographing animals instead of fashion models and celebrities. The fashion and celebrity photographer Jill Greenberg has pushed this to the extreme with her quite stunning photographs of monkeys. 
977.10   Nature >  Smithsonian National Zoo - Contemporary photography 
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Scientific research and the need to provide images for educational and marketing purposes go hand in hand in zoos. Here there is a selection of images by Jessie Cohen an official photographer for the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington. 
977.11   Nature >  Diverse perspectives on animals 
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977.12   Nature >  Props, accessories and novelties: Horses 
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977.13   Nature >  Animals conclusions 
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The number of wildlife photographers is vast but here are some of my recent favorites:
  • Catherine Chalmers Studio shots of Foodchain: Encounters Between Mates, Predators, and Prey.
  • Jim Brandenburg for his environmental work and his wolf photography.
  • Hossein Amirsadeghi on the Arabian horse.
  • Nick Brandt for his large toned prints of East African wildlife.
  • Maureen Enns has photographed the bears of Kamchatka.
  • James Mollison in his book James and other Apes includes portraits of ape orphans that have been confiscated from illegal traders across Africa and Asia. This is a billboard to the world shouting help us before we are extinct.

  1. Λ Frans Lanting, 1993, Okavango Africa's Last Eden, (Chronicle Books); Frans Lanting, 2011, Jungles, (Taschen); Frans Lanting, 2008, Eye to Eye: Intimate Encounters with the Animal World, (Taschen, 25th Anniversary edition) 
  2. Λ Mitsuaki Iwago, 1993, Nature Calls: Mitsuaki Iwago's Earthy Wildlife Photographs, (Cadence Books) 
  3. Λ Nick Brandt, 2012, On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, (Abrams); Nick Brandt, 2013, Across the Ravaged Land, (Abrams). In 2010, Nick Brandt founded Big Life Foundation to help preserve critical ecosystems in Kenya and Tanzania. 
  4. Λ Lelia Wanick Salgado & Sebastiao Salgado, 2013, Genesis, (Taschen) 
  5. Λ Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was initially serialized in three parts in the June 16, June 23, and June 30, 1962 issues of The New Yorker magazine.
    Rachael Carson, 1962, Silent Spring, (Houghton Mifflin). This book was important in invigorating the environmentalist movement and raising the issue of the indescriminate use of pesticides.
    in 1993 Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a documentary in the PBS "American Experience" series, was shown examining the significance of her book. 
  6. Λ Unpublished letter quoted in Richard Morris, 1980, John Dillwyn Llewelyn 1810-1882 (1980) p. 15, [Catalogue of Welsh Arts Council Exhibition] 
  7. Λ Mary Bergstein, 2000, Image and enterprise: The photographs of Adolphe Braun, (London: Thames & Hudson); Christian Kempf, 1994, Adolphe Braun et la photographie 1812-1877, (Lucigraphie)
    Charlène Sébert, 2010, La reproduction photographique d'œuvres d'art au xixe siècle. L'exemple de la maison Braun & Cie, avec huit albums conservés au musée d'Orsay, (Mémoire de Recherche, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, sous la direction de Mme Claire Barbillon) 
  8. Λ October 23, 1874, "A Continental Printing Establishment", The British Journal of Photography, p. 509 [For a description of the printing works of Adolphe Braun.] 
  9. Λ The work of Eadweard Muybridge is not credited in this book but he did do the photographs - J.D.B. Stillman, 1882, The Horse in Motion, As Shown by Instantaneous Photography, With a Study on Animal Mechanics, (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company)
    Eadweard Muybridge, 1893, Descriptive Zoopraxography or the Science of Animal Locomotion made popular, (University of Pennsylvania: Bureau of Education at the World's Columbian Exposition, in Zoopraxographical Hall); Eadweard Muybridge, 1925, Animals in Motion, (Chapman and Hall) 
  10. Λ Syonsby - Wikipedia
    (Accessed: 1 May 2014)
    Syonsby (1902-1906) is in the American Museum of Natural History (New York) along with General Philip Sheridan's American Civil War steed, Winchester, General Robert E. Lee's Traveller, Comanche ( the sole survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn), and Roy Rogers' Trigger. 
  11. Λ (Born Free (1960), Living Free (1961), and Forever Free (1962)


HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Hossein Amirsadeghi • Heather Angel  (1941-) • Jim Brandenburg  (1945-) • Nick Brandt • Adolphe Braun  (1812-1877) • Giacomo Brunelli  (1977-) • Keith Carter  (1948-) • Catherine Chalmers • Gregory Colbert  (1960-) • Maureen Enns • Jill Greenberg • Frans Lanting • Nina Leen  (1914-1995) • David Liittschwager • John Dillwyn Llewelyn  (check) • Aleksandras Macijauskas  (1938-) • Larry E. McPherson • Susan Middleton • Comte de Montizon  (1822-1887) • Eadweard Muybridge  (1830-1904) • Volker Seding  (1943-2007) • William Wegman  (1943-) • Art Wolfe • Ylla  (1911-1955)
HomeThemesNature > Fauna 
A wider gaze
Collections • Environment • Fauna • Flora • Shells • Weather
A closer look

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Fauna

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailAmy Stein: Domesticated 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (February 8, 2008)
ThumbnailBeth Moon: Thy Kingdom Come 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (November 25, 2007)
ThumbnailGiacomo Brunelli: Creatures 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (August 25, 2007)
ThumbnailLaszlo Layton: Natural History 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (January 10, 2007)
ThumbnailMarian Drew: Still Life / Australiana 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Improved (April 17, 2007) Introduction by Russell Storer added.
ThumbnailNature: Cattle, bulls, cows and oxen 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (April 14, 2012)
ThumbnailNature: Dogs 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (July 11, 2009)
ThumbnailNature: Horses 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (July 14, 2009)
ThumbnailTony Mendoza: An evolving retrospective 
Title | Lightbox | Checklist
Released (May 1, 2007)

HomeVisual indexes > Fauna

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailAdolphe Braun: Cows and oxen 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailAdolphe Braun: Two Men with Cows in Pasture 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailAdrien Tournachon: Races Chevaline et Asine, Primés à l'Exposition de 1855 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: Stereocard details of London Zoo (ca. 1865) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: Stereocards of London Zoo (ca. 1865) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Camel 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Giraffe 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Kangaroo 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Leopard 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Orang Utang 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Persian Deer 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Rhinoceros 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Yak 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailFrank Haes: The Young African Elephant 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailHenry Horenstein: Animals 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailJohn Divola: Dogs Chasing My Car in the Deserts 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailLouis Auguste Bisson: Horses 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailLuis Soler Pujol: Anatomical models and natural history specimens 
ThumbnailNeal White - Tony Mendoza - John Divola - Giacomo Brunelli 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Alligators and crocodiles 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Bears 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Bison 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Cats 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Cattle, bulls, cows and oxen 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Deer 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Dogs: Bulldogs 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Dogs: Examples 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Elephants 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Extinct 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Frogs 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Goats 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Hares 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Hippopotami 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Horses 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Hung game 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Leopards 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Lions 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Monkeys, chimpanzees and apes 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Pigs 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Rabbits 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Rhinoceros 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Rodents, mice and rats 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Sheep 
ThumbnailNature: Fauna: Snakes 
ThumbnailAmbrotypes: Themes: Animals 
   Still thinking about these... 
ThumbnailHorses with long manes 
Refreshed: 18 January 2015, 04:23
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