On shooting animals: Technical prowess, empathy (watch!)
No one can argue the wild, viral popularity of animal photos — In fact I dare you to open your Facebook or Instagram feed and not see a single cat. But, kitties aside, the best animal images, the ones that connect with us on the deepest levels, are the ones that have an element of human empathy — pathos — the ones that seem to show creatures expressing real, “human” emotion.
Few photographers understand this connection as deeply as Tim Flach, and it is why we’re so thrilled to have him joining us tonight at the Hospital Club in London (and on YouTube via livestream!). He’s going to talk to us about his new project, More Than Human, which opens Dec. 6 at the Osbourne Samuel Gallery in Mayfair, London.
Flach’s website describes the technical prowess it takes to uncover such animal personality:
“You can never predict an animal’s mood,” says Flach on his site, “so you have to plan beforehand to get what you want.”
For example, the temperature in the studio often has to be carefully adjusted before animals feel comfortable. Some may need their handler’s presence nearby. … Sometimes Flach and his studio team must work together, like a circus animal trainer and his assistant, to achieve the required response.
But the process is so worth it.
“In our increasingly digital lives, Flach’s photographs reconnect us to the world, filling the viewer with a sense of discovery and intrigue as he brings us up close and personal to his animal subjects,” says Getty Images Art Director Gemma Fletcher. “Unexpected, intimate and playful, the images give us a new perspective on a range of species from the familiar to the unimaginable.”