Crawling on the ground for hours at a time in the middle of winter at the mouth of a cave doesn’t sound like a particularly fun time, but for Finland-based photographer Konsta Punkka it’s a necessary sacrifice to get the perfect photograph … of a mouse. At the age of only 21, the budding wildlife photographer has proven himself wildly capable of capturing affectionate portraits at extremely close quarters of squirrels, birds, foxes, and other woodland animals.
“My main goal always is to try to capture the emotions and feelings my animals feel while I take the photos of them,” he shares with Colossal. “The animals health always comes first and then I get the shots if I can. All animal portraits that I have taken have been done with trust between me and animals. And with patience you earn the trust.”
Punkka has amassed a sizeable following on Instagram where he shares photographs from his travels around the world.
In his latest series of illustrations, Alfred Basha depicts a series of images where animals merge with the natural world: trees sprout into the silhouettes of foxes or squirrels, and a forest landscape rests atop a lumbering bear. Basha shares most of his sketches and completed drawings on Facebook. (via Fubiz)
Artist Endre Penovác (previously here and here) depicts mysterious cats and ethereal roosters with a carefully perfected watercolor technique using diluted inks. Instead of trying to control his brushstrokes, Penovac seems to let the medium run amok across the canvas as it bleeds in every direction, and yet even these happy accidents result in precisely rendered paintings. Seen here is a collection of paintings from the last year or so, but you can see more originals and prints on Saatchi Art.
Artist Cindy Chinn (previously) recently created a commissioned work for the California-based Epiphany Elephant Museum, a miniature graphite carving of a family of elephants. The piece, titled “Elephant Walk,” features the animals on the tip of a carpenter’s pencil alongside trees that are dotted to imitate foliage. To accurately carve the minuscule materials, Chinn utilizes a magnifying lamp and trinocular microscope. If you are interested in commissioning a piece, or would like to see her other carvings, she has works for sale on her Etsy store.
You can see more images of her miniature carved works on her Facebook, blog, and website. (via Twisted Sifter)
An ex-military photographer, Aaron Ansarov retired from the Navy in 2007, transforming his skills to create commercial work for magazines and focus on his own practice. Fascinated with marine life since his days growing up in Central Florida, his series “Zooids,” focuses on detailed images of Portuguese Man o’ War. Ansarov photographs the creatures on a homemade light table while alive, then immediately releases them back into the wild where they were found.
Once shot and the Man o’ War are returned, each image receives minimal manipulation, as Ansarov makes only slight adjustments to the photograph’s exposure, contrast, and vibrancy to highlight the vivid details of each venomous siphonophore. The completed works are otherworldly, appearing like alien illustrations rather than portraits, with deep blues, purples, and pinks unfurling in every direction. You can see more of Ansarov’s illuminated images on Facebook and Instagram. (via Fubiz)
Starting out as a jeweler in a retail store, Michael Tatom began carving stone on the side in his brother’s studio. Tatom became fascinated with creating animal forms, especially the details needed to perfect each creature’s muscle definition. Tatom then moved on to casting the forms in bronze, and at the request of his wife started the online store of beasts and beauty. He has now transitioned to producing his animal rings, bracelets, and pendants nearly full-time and often takes requests for custom orders. A recent project gave him the chance to cast the shape of the rare pangolin in the form of a silver ring. You can see more of Tatom’s foxes, wolves, and cats on his Etsy. (via Bored Panda)