On Black | On White comes to Instagram

April 14, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I recently rolled out a new stream; OnBlack|OnWhite.

For several years now, I've been shooting dark ('low-key') portraits of animals for my On Black project, and bright ('high-key') portraits for my On White range. I have an Instagram account (@WheelhousePhoto) for all my nature photography, but my new Instagram feed is exclusively for my low-key and high-key animal portraits.

It's a style of photography I really enjoy, and I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would like to see more of these photos. So I figured a fresh stream just for these images would give people the option to follow one style in particular. If you're into these photos, check them out now on Instagram.

For a flavour of these kinds of photos here's a selection of my favourites. I've got exciting plans to build on my portfolio this year, so I should have plenty of fresh new photos as time goes on...


A dark and moody photo of a moose in the black.Low Key Moose PortraitI've always like moose, and I think their strange proportions lend themselves very well to photography.
Ever since I encountered moose in the wild, in Canada, I've been keen to try a close-up, which I didn't have the nerve for in the wild. So I took this opportunity to take this low-key portrait photo with the safety of a fence between us.

Fine Art Nature Photography, Captive Subject, UK.
Highland Cattle Bull - On WhiteHighland Cattle Bull - On WhiteThis bull had the most incredible set of horns. The farmer referred to him as "The Mammoth".
I used another high-key exposure again here, making the most of the sun and the bright sky.
High-key nature photography, Wiltshire, UK.
Puffin On BlackPuffin On BlackPortrait of an Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), shot low-key on a black background.
I usually choose a relaxed 'pose' for these portraits, but I like the character and tension created by the open mouth here. Although it looks like a rather human 'calling' moment, puffins spend a lot of time opening their mouths, and 'chattering' to one another quite happily.
Fine Art Nature Photography, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, UK.

Close-up photo of a cow, from Cambridgeshire farmlandCOWCow portrait, photographed in traditional high-key portrait style.
I really like cows. I think they're very photogenic. I like the eye-contact here, and the graphic quality of the horn, which helps direct the the viewer to and from the eye.
A highland cattle cow in low light, on black.Lowlight Highland CattleHighland cattle, photographed in a strong low sunset light, and presented in low-key portrait style. Red Deer RoarRed Deer RoarA roaring red deer, in high-key black and white.
Taken during the 2015 red deer rut.
Fine Art nature photography, Woburn, Bedfordshire.

White-Tailed Sea Eagle - On BlackWhite-Tailed Sea Eagle - On BlackA stunning white-tailed sea eagle, photographed side-lit by the low evening sun. A portrait in the classic low-key style, to evoke comparison to historical human portraits.
Fine Art Nature Photography, captive subject, UK.
Reindeer on WhiteReindeer on WhitePhotographed in the snow of Finnish Lapland. He was a handsome beast, and a great subject. I was very happy to catch the eye contact here, which elevates this portrait, in my view. I also like the tension created from the trailing leg; clipped from view, as he walks into shot with apparent complicity.
Photographed in high-key portrait style, to maximise the graphical impact and retain a clean bright aesthetic.
A cow stands staring at the viewer, in a dark studio-lit portrait.Low Key CattleLow-key studio-style portrait of a horned cow.

These cows make for fascinating portrait subjects, because of the way they will stand and stare. They're inquisitive animals, and that long stare is inviting and engaging.

Taken in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK.


For more, find me on Instagram @OnBlackOnWhite.

Post by George Wheelhouse, 2019.




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