Wild animals
April 1, 2014 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Katerina Plotnikova's portraits with wild animals are surreal. The photographer recently posted a behind-the-scenes shot along with an album of other shots showing how they stage each photograph.
posted by mathowie (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting shots, but how exactly are these animals "wild?"
posted by gottabefunky at 12:30 PM on April 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

man, you couldn't pay me enough to hang out so intimately with a bear, trained or not.
posted by janey47 at 12:36 PM on April 1, 2014

Neat photos, but I'm not looking forward to the "Katerina Plotnikova was mauled by a bear" thread.
posted by bondcliff at 12:38 PM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

They should do a followup photo shoot of the model inside the same cages that the animals are kept in when they are not performing for our pleasure.
posted by Poldo at 12:41 PM on April 1, 2014 [11 favorites]

Beautiful pics. It's like a Charles DeLint anthology waiting to be written.
posted by jbickers at 12:46 PM on April 1, 2014

I thought this thread was going to be about these animal portraits, which IMHO, are way better.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:51 PM on April 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

Very nice, excellent and all that.

But surreal? Hardly. The term is increasingly applied incorrectly IMO.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:55 PM on April 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

Hmm. From her Facebook, a video of her model with the bear featured in some of the photographs. It doesn't appear to have any teeth. If that's any indication of how "wild" these animals are, I'd rather not support her work any further.
posted by fight or flight at 12:57 PM on April 1, 2014 [11 favorites]

These photos make me want to adopt a pet owl.
posted by poe at 1:20 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

At first glance, I thought the first photo was basically photoshopped -- photograph the bear, photograph the model, combine the two and then add effects of some sort. Kind of the way they do chase scenes in movies with actual wolves: They film the wolves separately and the fleeing people separately and splice it together so no one gets hurt because actual untamed wolves will actually attack someone actually fleeing from them, trainer or no, camera crew or no.

I can't imagine posing with a real bear, even one without teeth, even if there is a trainer. Bears are quite strong and presumably it still has claws. Some animals just cannot really be tamed, even if they are trained. As I understand it, people who work with large cats make sure to never do certain things because it will cause the cat to act on instinct and actually attack in a potentially deadly/maiming fashion.

I think I liked the idea of the photoshop version that I envisioned better. For one, my impression from the title was more surreal than these photos. I was looking forward to something fantastical, which evoked a reality that does not exist -- a bit like imagining that the people in the mirror are real, not just reflections, and there is a whole other world "through the looking glass."

(I sometimes hope that this bent of my mind means I am well suited to some kind of fictional storytelling and shall some day find my niche. Because, alternately, I worry that it suggests my sanity is merely questionable -- and that's not a pleasant thought.)

Anyway, thank you for sharing. Some of them are lovely and evocative even though it fails to live up to my imagined scenario (and, apparently, up to the morality or whatever of some folks, going by the comments above mine).
posted by Michele in California at 1:47 PM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

If, for the picture of her being sentimental with the white horse, they had glued a horn on its forehead for the picture, it would be the favorite image of half the interwebs.

Also, even if the animals are not precisely wild, FPP is still missing the #crazyrusskie tag.
posted by aught at 2:01 PM on April 1, 2014

I guess the illusion is that we should THINK they're wild animals, as opposed to having models pose with cows, chickens, and pigs, where we know they're not.
posted by Atreides at 2:43 PM on April 1, 2014

Some animals just cannot really be tamed, even if they are trained.

"It's complicated."
posted by The Bellman at 3:15 PM on April 1, 2014

So this is what Tori Amos went off and did after the 1990's. Hunh.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:24 PM on April 1, 2014

Where are the invertebrates? :(
posted by zscore at 3:56 PM on April 1, 2014

All the animals seem to play along really well with their poses, except the raccoon who is auditioning to be a LOLcat.
posted by aaronetc at 4:07 PM on April 1, 2014

Yeah these seem to be more Siegfried and Roy wild, not so much Timothy Treadwell wild.

I'm biased, but I really prefer illustration to photos for stuff like this. I never worry, looking at a painting, about chains or prods just out of frame. Plus: dinosaurs.
posted by Lou Stuells at 6:29 PM on April 1, 2014

> I thought this thread was going to be about these animal portraits, which IMHO, are way better.

Those are good. Thanks.
posted by homunculus at 12:54 AM on April 3, 2014

Portraits of Animals II
posted by homunculus at 5:14 PM on April 28, 2014

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