[Interview] Explore the Complexity of Animal Emotions With Wolf Ademeit on Samsung Art StoreShare open/close
Samsung Art Store continues to draw the attention of art enthusiasts worldwide, offering an expansive collection of impressive artwork and photos directly to their homes. Among the many distinguished artists featured on the platform, Wolf Ademeit has earned a special place in the hearts of Art Store visitors for his renowned black-and-white animal photos.
Since partnering with Samsung Art Store in 2017, Ademeit has quickly become one of the platform’s most beloved photographers. Samsung Newsroom sat down with Ademeit to discuss the photographer’s distinct approach to animal photography, his commitment to authenticity and creativity and his collaboration with Samsung Art Store.
Behind the Lens: An Exploration of Wolf Ademeit’s Approach to Animal Photography
Q: What attracted you to photography? Give us a brief overview of your journey as an artist.
I came across photography as a child. I started by capturing my friends with my dad’s 6×6 camera. During lithography training, I worked with professional photographers and discovered monochrome photography – perhaps, this experience inspired me to pursue black-and-white photography.
My artistic style hasn’t changed much throughout my career. The biggest evolution has been that I have started to take color photos for my “Art of Animals” series since I realized color is fundamental to fully capturing some animals.
Q: What influenced your interest in animal photography? What messages or emotions do you look to convey?
While my background is in portraits, I decided to visit a zoo when I was testing my 500mm lens. As I walked in, I saw a calendar that didn’t photograph the animals in the most favorable way. That’s when the concept for my “Art of Animals” series was born – frankly, to publish a calendar of my own to do justice for those animals! My goal was to photograph zoo animals in an artistic way to highlight their elegance and beauty.
Q: How do you determine which animals to photograph?
That’s more by chance. My pictures are not meant to be a documentary of these creatures. Instead, they demonstrate the animals artistically as individual creatures or species. It’s important for me to capture their beauty, elegance and emotions.
I mostly look for dynamic animals before deciding whether the photo could be compelling, considering lighting, perspective and background. For example, when I photograph predatory cats such as cheetahs, I pay close attention to the setting because a chaotic background may camouflage the subject.
Q: Are there any memorable experiences from your photography sessions?
I had a near-death experience with “Splash” when I attempted to photograph a polar bear shaking his fur dry when he got out of the water in his enclosure. Without thinking twice, I climbed a small wall behind me to get a better view.
Unfortunately, the safety glass was slippery, so I lost balance because of my heavy backpack and fell about five meters down a staircase that led to the basin where the polar bears were. Thankfully, I was able to hold onto some branches just in time, and the photo turned out as I had hoped.
Photography in the Digital Age: Wolf Ademeit’s Collaboration With Samsung Art Store
Q: As a long-term partner of Samsung Art Store, can you please tell us how this partnership has influenced or expanded your work and exposure?
The collaboration with Samsung Art Store was very professional from the beginning. I was pleased to see my photos from the “Art of Animals” series showcased on The Frame – which boosted my visibility and led to a considerable increase in the number of Art Store users.
As a photographer, I naturally want to present my work to a wider audience. With The Frame and Samsung Art Store, viewers can easily access high-quality art at home. There is a big difference between viewing a photo on a giant TV screen instead of on a desk monitor. The Frame’s matte display reduces reflections, delivering a more immersive experience for viewers just like real paper prints in a gallery.
Furthermore, most printing services only offer color options, resulting in black-and-white prints with color cast or gray-white prints with too little contrast. That’s why I produce my own photos exclusively on real, chemically-developed Ilford photo paper – or use The Frame, which is just as reliable.
Q: Among your artwork, “Cheetah” is particularly popular in the Art Store. Could you explain the inspiration behind this photo and why you think it resonates with viewers?
Animals cannot be directed. You can only hope that a situation unfolds as desired. In this picture, something nearby caught the cheetah’s attention. He jumped on the tree trunk and immediately went into hunting mode. “Cheetah” portrays both the tension and desire as well as the beauty and grace of predatory cat species. The cheetah’s expression is authentic and wonderfully visible.
Q: Out of all your photos in the Art Store, which three pieces best convey the characteristics of the subjects on The Frame? Please provide a brief explanation for each piece.
For artists, each piece of artwork is meaningful. “Bow,” “Three Wolves” and “True Love” are my favorite photos because high-quality monochrome images are difficult to find these days.
“Bow” is one of my most beautiful photos. I like the graphic layout and the portrayal of the giraffe’s distinctive long neck. I saw the piece displayed on The Frame at a friend’s house a while ago, and it blew me away. An Ilford photo print the size of The Frame would probably be more expensive than the Frame itself.
“Three Wolves” is an action shot of three wolves. Only the wolf in front paused for me, but with a little luck, I caught all three at just the right moment. On The Frame, grayscale tones are displayed optimally and appear color neutral. Most reproductions on color printers fail to depict these hues as accurately.
For “True Love,” I had to push my camera to its limit. While the elephants in motion made the shot difficult to capture, the intimate scene and playful touch between the two elephants convinced me to include it on the Art Store.
Exploring Creativity and Authenticity in Ademeit’s Photography
Q: Your portraits of animals offer a glimpse into the emotions and personalities of these creatures. How do you capture their subtle characteristics and emotions?
Photographing animals requires patience and concentration while the animals work their way into the positions I’m envisioning. Unlike human models, you cannot move or instruct the creatures. I have to be ready to capture them at a moment’s notice since they won’t stay in the same location. For “Vortex,” I visited the zoo repeatedly for many months until the zebra laid down in the exact position I wanted.
Time and perseverance allow me to capture each creature’s raw emotions. Animals show their feelings just like humans – but often, their expressions are much more unfiltered than ours. In some ways, I photograph animal portraits as I would human portraits.
Q: How have technological developments altered the way people engage with art?
Technology is rapidly changing how we view artwork. Photographers are constantly challenged to upgrade equipment, which may improve the technical quality but not the artistry of photos. Many of my Art Store pieces were taken with cameras that are rather outdated compared to current models. Today’s technological advancements allow anyone to take an aesthetic photo using a camera or mobile phone.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for aspiring photographers who admire your work?
Personally, I look for a background in which the animal in the foreground will stand out. Then, I imagine what will happen next. For example, when the animal is lying down, I try to guess what direction it will move.
I have conducted several workshops on zoo photography – some of them for beginners using simple equipment. With a little guidance, these photographers took very good shots. In the end, it’s not the technique, but the creativity that makes the difference.
Wolf Ademeit’s photography will be featured in the August collection, “Top Ten Photographers,” on Samsung Art Store in celebration of Photography month.
Visit Samsung Art Store in The Frame to see more of Wolf Ademeit’s stunning pieces.
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