Co-Experiencing the Wild
In the last few years, wildlife photography in Bulgaria has become a popular activity to which more and more photographers – professional or amateur – are turning their attention. The opportunities in this area are constantly increasing and interesting outcomes are not late as a result. Bulgarian nature provides excellent conditions for this activity, and free traveling abroad introduces allow Bulgarian photographers to visit some of the most exotic and curious places in the world. Certain directions and trends are definitely being formed, different groups of plant or animal species are undoubtedly becoming fashionable, attracting more and more interest. Photographing wild life is associated with emotional experience, discovery and a fair amount of chance, but it is possible thanks to complex knowledge and skills, to prevent it from turning photography into a negative intervention on biodiversity.
CO-EXPERIENCING THE WILD is a long-term project of Little Bird Place Gallery, conceived with the intention to present an exhibition dedicated to wildlife photography every year. The main idea is to present different authors, to follow certain topics, directions and trends, to support certain causes and initiatives related to the observation, study and photography of biodiversity, but most of all, it is an opportunity to co-experience the wild nature, thanks to the presented artworks.
Bogdan Boev and Ivaylo Zafirov’s photography has a special place in this increasingly distinct genre, and the names of the two authors have long been well known in the community of wildlife photographers. Thanks to the excellent knowledge, patience, perseverance, individual outlook and attitude to the world, their photographs have long gone beyond the illustrative character, becoming works of remarkable artistic qualities, works that express much more than documenting a particular species. They masterfully visualise the pleasure of contiguity with nature and express a personal experience, reproduce states, build a visual story of the wildlife world, give us the opportunity to be very close to it, a world often unknown, always raw and unforced.
Combining the two authors in an exhibition is a great opportunity to dive into this world. The presented photographs show a part of the extremely diverse nature of the Balkans – one, fortunately, still relatively preserved territory of the European continent. Undoubtedly, in the exhibition standing out are the birds, providing opportunity for endless photography experiments. They have become an extrmelly expressive object, but at the same time shoting them is a real patience challenge. Each photograph is a reward for the efforts, an invaluable moment, among many shots. The works affect the audience to a large extent with the presented spicies, but at the same time impresse with the magic of the captured moment and natural state, with the brilliant technical execution, the sealed conflict, the look, the angle, the light. It is these qualities that determine the artistic character of the works that have already left the territory of documentary photography. Last but not least, the photographs are a personal gesture, an opportunity to co-experience the wild and a call for reflection on the fragile balance in nature, a balance that one can very easily violate by stepping into this amazing world.