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Portfolio: Brad Wilson's Affinity


photo-eye Gallery Portfolio: Brad Wilson's Affinity photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce Santa Fe photographer Brad Wilson as our newest represented artist. To celebrate the launch of Wilson's new portfolio, and welcome him to photo-eye, we asked Brad to detail two of his most memorable experiences during the course of the Affinity project.
Mountain Lion #1, Los Angeles, CA, 2011— Brad Wilson

photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce Santa Fe photographer Brad Wilson as our newest represented artist. Last summer photo-eye was excited to host an exhibit of Wilson's stunningly detailed animal portraits entitled Avian: Selections from the Affinity Series at photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space. This exhibition corresponded with the worldwide launch of Wilson's first monograph entitled Wild Life, published by Prestel, including more than 70 full color plates from the Affinity series, and covering a diverse array of animals. A new portfolio showcasing images of mountain lions, mandrills, and servals — among others — is now available on the photo-eye gallery artist website.  For a more in-depth look at the Affinity series read Melanie McWhorter's 2014 interview with Brad Wilson on the photo-eye blog.

To celebrate the launch of Wilson's new portfolio, and welcome him to photo-eye, we asked Brad to detail two of his most memorable experiences during the course of the Affinity project.

Western Screech Owl #1, Espanola, NM, 2011 — Brad Wilson

"In 2011 I traveled to the The Wildlife Center in Espanola, New Mexico to look at the birds of prey that were currently housed there. As soon as I saw the owls I knew I wanted to photograph them. With their large, intensely-colored eyes and haunting gazes they seemed almost otherworldly, and deeply compelling as visual studies. Several months later, after securing permission to do a shoot onsite, I set up a studio and had a number of different owls brought in by their handlers. One of the immediate stand-outs was this diminutive western screech owl. At only seven inches tall, he was certainly not physically imposing, but with deep yellow eyes set against monochromatic feathers he was a graphically striking subject. The trick, however, was getting him to look in the camera. Since owls can rotate their heads up to 270 degrees and food rewards to manipulate their attention were not advised, this was no easy task. For the whole duration of the shoot, I got only one frame with a direct gaze. But fortunately that was enough. The resulting photograph has become the best-selling image of my entire Affinity series."


Mandrill #1, Los Angeles CA, 2014 — Brad Wilson

"I’d always wanted to photograph a mandrill — the world’s largest and most colorful monkey. However, since they have a fairly limited range in West Africa and are currently listed as a threatened species, I wasn’t sure I would ever get the chance. Last year though I heard about a young male living at a conservation center outside Los Angeles. This particular animal was rejected by his mother at birth and had to be raised exclusively by humans, so he was generally tolerant of people. I say “generally” tolerant because when he arrived at the studio he immediately slammed doors shut, smacked me on the leg as he walked by, and tried to turn over the large table I had set up for him to sit on — not an auspicious beginning. However, in the middle of all his displays, there were a few fleeting moments of calm — usually lasting only a few seconds. It was during one of these rare times that this particular photograph was taken."—Brad Wilson


See the Avian portfolio

See the new Affinity portfolio

Purchase a copy of Wild Life


For more information about Brad Wilson, the Affinity Series, or for print sales contace Gallery Director Anne Kelly at 505.988.5152 x 121 or anne@photoeye.com

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