Finnish nature photographer Sanna Kannisto (born 1974) considers herself both a scientist and an artist, and her images of birds in particular are unmatched in their analytical beauty and compositional perfection. Perched delicately on disembodied tree branches and brilliantly lit against a white background, Kannisto’s avian subjects resemble classic wildlife illustrations or specimens in a museum, highlighting every exquisite feature.
This level of detail provides an opportunity for viewers to study up close the creatures they may only have ever seen at a distance: the chartreuse feathers of the European greenfinch seem to practically glow, while the plumage of a willow tit in flight unfurls into a geometrically perfect arc. In every picture, the deep black eyes of the birds penetrate the camera’s gaze with a distinct personality.
This collection of photographs is a fascinating volume for hobbyist birdwatchers, photography fans and anyone invested in the conservation of wildlife.
The first major monograph by Finnish rising star Sanna Kannisto, Fieldwork explores the dialectics of nature and culture in both artistic and scientific contexts. Since 1997, Kannisto has spent several months per year living alongside biologists in the rainforests of Latin America. Adopting elements of her companions' scientific methods, she developed her own form of visual research, extending her depictions of flora and fauna beyond the confines of the natural sciences. Breaking away from the conventions of nature photography, which typically presents specimens in isolation, devoid of context, Kannisto's work addresses the acts of staging and image-making. Her photographs, with their biologically correct titles, show not only the breathtaking beauty of her subjects, but also the tools used to achieve the would-be image at center--the black drapes, the difficult "neutral" lighting rig, the seamless white background. Signs of a scientifically standardized process--graph paper, rulers, test field markings--are also included, appearing strangely out of place amid the lush green foliage of the rainforest. The core practice of the natural sciences is to collect in order to inspect closely in the service of public knowledge. Collecting implies taming and containment, traits shared to some extent by photography. With her gentle humor, Kannisto recognizes and utilizes the constraints of science and art alike, investigating the concept of truth in photography to challenge how we view and "know" the natural world.
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 11 x 11 in. / 96 pgs / 100 color / 4 gatefolds.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 4/30/2011 No longer our product
DISTRIBUTION Contact Publisher Catalog:
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781597111522TRADE List Price: $50.00 CDN $60.00