Posts tagged: animal photography

The Story of the Fearless Woman Who Saves Elephants

In 1996, Sangdeaun “Lek” Chailert founded Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park, a safe haven for elephants rescued from the logging and tourism industries. For the last 20-plus years, she’s adopted these once-abused animals into her family. “They can spot her from across the fields and will run up to her, trumpeting excitedly,” Kelly Guerin, the filmmaker behind the short documentary Lek Chailert: An Unbound Story, remembers. “They surround her like they do an infant, protecting her under their giant bodies.” She, in turn, greets them with bananas and Thai lullabies. “I still don’t quite have words for it,” Guerin continues. “But in that tiny woman is the soul of an elephant.”

Breathtaking, Emotional Photos of Rescued Elephants

Sabachi, Kenya 2009. Photo © 2017 Joachim Schmeisser. All rights reserved.

LAYONI, Photo © 2017 Joachim Schmeisser. Photo © 2017 Joachim Schmeisser. All rights reserved.

Photographs of poached elephants are graphic and painful. In order to obtain their ivory tusks, poachers first shoot elephants with poison, and then, while the animals are still living and breathing, they rip their tusks (the equivalent of human teeth) from their skulls. Many die from hemorrhaging. They can survive for multiple days in agony. These images have been circulated widely in recent years, as elephant populations continue to be endangered by human activity.

But there’s only one such photograph in Elephants in Heaven by Joachim Schmeisser, a new photo book published by teNeues, and it’s at the volume’s conclusion. Cruelty isn’t Schmeisser’s chosen subject; instead, he tells a story of courage and kindness at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, where elephants orphaned by poaching are nurtured by human hands until they are able to lead a wild and free life with their kind.

Powerful Photos Made with the Ashes of Deceased Shelter Dogs

When I first look at Mary Shannon Johnstone’s Stardust and Ashes photographs, my husband leans over my shoulder and whispers, “Wow, is that the universe?” The pictures look like constellations–Orion, Pegasus, Leo, Canis Major. In fact, they are cyanotypes made using the ashes of cremated dogs from local animal shelters. These dogs, while living, were discarded; they were unable to find homes and families, and they were euthanized.

Honoring Animals Who Have Died, in Images

© Emma Kisiel
Sylvilagus Floridanus 6, 2012
Inkjet print

© Julia Schlosser
Syringes used in euthanasia procedure (These are the needles that were used to euthanize my cat Sebastian on 2/27/2017. Sebastian suffered from multiple health issues for many years, and finally when he had lost so much weight and stopped eating, I decided to have him euthanized. He was 17.), 2017
Archival digital pigment print from scan, 20 x 26.67 in.

Emma Kisiel
Toxostoma Rufum 2, 2012
Inkjet print

In one of her classic children’s books, the author Margaret Wise Brown tells the story of a group of kids who find a dead bird. They try to find a heartbeat, but they are unsuccessful. “The bird was dead when the children found it,” she writes. “The children were very sorry the bird was dead and could never fly again.” Like the characters in the book, most of us learn about mortality when we’re young through the death of an animal. It’s sad and frightening, and it usually marks us in some essential way.

Timeless Photos of the American Midwest

Somewhere near Stoughton, Wisconsin, there’s a white townhouse on top of a hill. It’s alone up there, surrounded by sky. Years ago, it survived a tornado that ravaged much of the landscape. Middleton photographer Michael Knapstein doesn’t know who lives in the house, and that’s alright with him. “I can picture what the owners look like, even though I have never met them,” he tells me.

Heartbreak and Hope in the Lives of Turkey’s Stray Dogs


The squad


For a few years, Ekin Kucuk wasn’t able to photograph dogs, especially the homeless ones. If the Istanbul photographer did meet a stray dog while visiting her mother in Gallipoli, chances were that dog would be gone by the time she returned. Some were beaten or shot. Others were killed accidentally. The pictures became a reminder of their senseless deaths— and of mankind’s capacity for cruelty. It was too painful.

The Man Who Photographs Dogs Like People

San Gimignano, Italy

Kolkata, India


London street photographer Alan Schaller looks for special dogs the way he looks for special people. It’s the “cheeky” ones, the “lonely” ones, the “shy” ones who stop him in his tracks. There are, of course, some differences. “I find dogs are in general more consistently friendly, unpredictable, and amusing than humans,” the artist admitted.

A New Photo Book for People Who Love Cats

Midcentury Kitty on the Red Chair, 2015 © Sue Abramson

On the cover of PhotoCat., Schilt Publishing’s new ode to feline-kind, you’ll find a portrait of Sacha de Boer’s longtime companion– a picture simply called “Julius, tuned out, January 2008.” Julius casts his eyes down, inhabiting his own little black and white world. He might be falling asleep, or maybe he’s thinking about something important. In any case, he’s vulnerable in a way that cats rarely are.

The Sorrow and Grace of Abandoned Cats, in Photos

“I remember having the clear feeling that I was taking photos of people,” Italian photographer Sabrina Boem tells me of her first encounter with stray and abandoned cats. “I remember human eyes that talked to me. I loved those cats, their eyes, the way they looked at me.”

The Grace & Magic of Rural Living, in Photos

Electric Current © Andrew Heiser, Los Angeles, CA

German Pastoral Study #1, from the series Divine Animals: The Bovidae © R. J. Kern, Minneapolis, MN

Dinner Time © Michael Knapstein, Middleton, Wisconsin

Last summer, Feature Shoot launched The Print Swap, a worldwide project for photographers. Here’s how it works: you can submit by tagging your photos #theprintswap. Every day, we curate submissions, and we notify photographers who have been selected. It’s free to submit, but winners pay a one-time fee of $40 per image. We cover shipping and printing, which is done by our friends at Skink Ink in Brooklyn, New York. Prints are then mailed out randomly across the globe, and every participating photographer receives a surprise print from one of their peers.

In recent weeks, we’ve been looking over The Print Swap archive and putting together online group shows with the pictures in the collection. In the past, we’ve explored themes like New Topographics, Seascapes, and the American West. Here, a collection of some of our favorite photographs of life in rural places.

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