Portraiture is no simple art form. To create a successful photographic portrait, you have to extend emotions beyond “the thing itself,” and pull out something deeper, more detailed, a story if you will, in order to draw the viewer to the image. Working with people, this might mean a certain facial expression, a moment caught in pensive reverie, or an enigmatic smile. But when it comes to wildlife, the challenge is manifested by a lack of communication with the subject. To create a successful animal portrait, the shooter has to get creative with angles, seek out behavior, and implement creative lighting in order to highlight drama and ambiance.
Where many underwater photographers are comfortable shooting seascapes, tiny subjects or natural light, it takes another level of attentiveness to have an eye for animal portraiture. Photographer of the Week, Domenico Roscigno, is definitely such a shooter. It’s anybody’s guess how he achieves it, but many of his portraits appear as though he convinced the fish to pause at certain angles or to wait for him to set up his lights before they swallow their meal. It takes a definitive eye and instinct to be able to capture portraits of the caliber of Domenico’s. Combining a keen knowledge of lighting, color balance and moment, his images are truly some of the best we’ve seen.
Green turtle eating a jellyfish in the Maldives
A John dory off the Sorrento Coast, Italy
Melibe nudibranch, Taranto Gulf, Italy
A filefish inspects the dome port, Maldives
A parrotfish flashes a smile at Baa Atoll in the Maldives
A seahorse along the Sorrento Coast, Italy
A jellyfish and passengers in the Mediterranean Sea
A shrimp on a Spanish dancer nudibranch, Sharm el-Sheikh, Red Sea
A moray gets some dental work done in the Mediterranean Sea
To see more of Dominico’s images, check out his Facebook page.
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