Tim Flach is one of a tiny number who has managed to make my photographic kit look depressingly mediocre when it comes to sports photography at the school, but he makes up for this by always being happy to talk with me about his work. For the past three years I have been teaching his son and coaching him athletics, which has only ever been a pleasure, so it was a wonderful surprise to be given a personalised copy of two of Tim’s books as a thank you for the care and support of his son. I also have an invite to his London studio to see him at work – something to which I am much looking forward.
For much of his work, Tim uses a Hasselblad medium format camera, but for Endangered he needed the versatility of an SLR, opting for the 50.6-megapixel Canon 5Ds typically paired with the spectacular Canon EF 200-400 mm f/4L IS USM lens with built-in 1.4x extender. His underwater work necessitated much wider shooting for which the Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM and a Nauticam housing.
Prior to any photography for Endangered, Tim spent six months on research, interviewing scientists and conservationists. The project itself required him to travel the globe for almost two years photographing the rare creatures. He then sifted through his work selecting 160 to feature in the book. He wanted to connect people to the characters and personalities of the animals: some images look as though they are staring at you from the pages of the book.
Articles and Interviews:
- Endangered Gallery
- Tim Flach’s intimate portraits of endangered animals – Canon Professional Network
- Zoo’s company: the wild world of Tim Flach – Canon Professional Network
- Through the Lens of Photographer Tim Flach – fubiz.net
More Than Human represents seven years of animal portraiture with Tim attempting to demonstrate just how similar animal gestures and poses can be to those of humans. Experimenting with different temperatures, lighting and sounds generated very different responses with each animal. Through wonderful closeups in incredible detail, Tim manages to create a sense of intimacy and empathy even with the less attractive animals.
The main section of each book is utterly uncluttered with nothing more than a full-page image. This layout works thanks to an impressive Information section at the back, featuring a thumbnail of every page, together with pertinent information about the animal.
It is rare that I look through photographic publications thinking that I would be happy to have any of the images gracing my walls, but this is certainly the case with these two books. It is almost impossible to select a favourite, but I find the following image stunning to look at – even though the eye are only just visible, they impart an extraordinary intensity.The quality and size of these publications leaves one in no doubt as to the serious nature of the works therein and yet Tim’s practice will soon feature in miniature on an upcoming series of Royal Mail stamps. The series of ten 1st class stamps, titled Birds of Prey will be released on 04 April. Available individually, as a set, as postcards, limited edition prints, etc..
From large coffee table book to postage stamp, each style of publication lies outside the possibilities of my practice although of the 51 years of Christmas stamps, stained glass windows have provided the inspiration for the Royal Mail to produce three sets: 1971, 1992 and 2009 (further information HERE):