'Yawn'* Oriental small-clawed otter Aonyx cinerea
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, UK
'Curiosity'* Red panda Ailurus fulgens
Wildlife Paradise Park, UK
'Munch'* Reticulated giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, UK
Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus ZSL Whipsnade zoo, UK
'Is it a bird?'*
Ring tailed lemur Lemur catta ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, UK
Dromaius novaehollandiae SD Reptile Park & Zoo, AUS
About this page
This is a small sample of Gimara's animal photography.
"I have three key aims when I photograph animals, to (1) capture personality, (2) gain a better understanding of my subject and, (3) expand my understanding of life. Zoo photography gives me to opportunity to capture living subjects outside my everyday surrounds. I am enchanted by the camera's ability to capture a moment in minute detail and I have always enjoyed working with technical instruments from the simpliest imaging devices to electron microscopes. These still images provide me with amazing source material for many artistic endeavours, but I do not use them as a direct reference tool (I draw and paint from life or my own imagination). I feel photography does not replace observational drawing and painting, because one has to translate the 2D dimensional image back into 3D we humans see along with all the other elements a camera cannot capture. For example, the colours can influence the colour scheme of a painting or a fabric choice; an animal's personality may influence the tone of a painting or my creative mood.
So much of drawing and painting life is time spent studying a subject and patiently waiting for them to reveal their personality to you. I try to capture the nature and individuality of an animal over form in these images, as reflected in their labels. This is a very different approach to the one I used in my early years of scientific photography, where my love of photographic techniques first began. I am a strong believer in Hokusai's philosophy that we as artists improve with age. He said, "Ever since I was six, I have been obsessed with the drawing the shape of things. By the time I was fifty, I had published countless drawings, but nothing I produced before the age of seventy is worthy of note; not until I was seventy-three did I begin to understand the structure of nature as it truly is, the structure of animals, plants, birds, fish and insects. Thus, by the time I am eighty I will have made some real progress. At ninety I will have fathomed the mystery of things; at hundred I will have surely reached a phenomenal level, and when I am hundred and ten, everthing I do, be it a dot or a line will be alive". I aspire to a similiar ideal, by constantly challenging myself to new techinques and approaches."
*Please note that all images with an asterik on this page are non-commercial but are still subject to copyright.