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Wolves, Germany

by Tim Plowden
Singapore SG

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The Artwork

Greeting ritual of wolves

The Artist

Why do you create? I believe photography is one of the best ways to raise awareness about conservation issues. My goal has been to engender positive feelings about wildlife by showing something that will evoke an emotional response from the viewer. I create wildlife images to reveal insights into the secret life of an animal. This could be behaviour or antic, expression or gesture, a mood even.

How do you work? Ultimately the welfare of the animal is paramount. I treat wildlife subjects with respect and I always try to do them justice by exploring their behaviour, their personality and their response to my presence. I don't use hides or camouflage - I go looking for subjects. I try to familiarise myself with places, sometimes using local guides where time is a constraint. I use experience of field work for conservation NGOs to inform how I approach wildlife, combining research in books with observation in the field and then apply my creative vision and photography techniques to create the images.

Has your creative process changed over time, if so, how? I’ve learned to use a variety of photographic techniques and styles e.g. portraits, landscapes, action, low light, night time, flash, time lapse, video, remote cameras, and even undercover work. I would like to be able to create thought provoking images that reveal conservation issues in an aesthetic way.

Do you consider yourself a full-time or part-time artist? Full time

Besides creating, where else do you spend your time? I spend time with my 18 month old daughter in our local park. We live next to the coast and the park is fringed by beaches with two mangrove lined rivers cutting through it. We have plenty of beautiful trees and wildlife which she loves to watch.

What inspires you? I am inspired by the natural world around us. I love spending time outdoors, I have done for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little boy I was exploring the hidden treasures of the English countryside. I am filled with awe and wonder when I see wild animals in their natural environment - be that the dusty plains of Africa, the remote wilderness of Alaska, the lush tropical rainforests of Asia or the rugged mountains of the Himalayas. Bearing witness to the creatures we share the planet with in some of the remaining places they are free to roam, inspires me to create images that will help to raise awareness and protect them.

What is the first piece of art you remember creating? As a child I used to spend hours outdoors with my binoculars, watching birds and looking for signs of mammals in the local countryside. I would then spend my time at home drawing what I'd seen. I remember one drawing I created of a grebe on a lake was hung on the wall of my school.

What does the term art mean to you? Freedom to express yourself creatively.

Name three artists that you respect? Wolfe, Salgado, McCullin.

What is your dream project? I've been in a privileged position to fulfil several dream projects, such as photographing wildlife in Alaska and Africa.
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