Likening his camera to a paintbrush, wildlife photographer Alfie Bowen draws upon his experiences of autism and bullying to create startling monochromatic photographs of the animal kingdom. His debut Call of the Wild collection includes his latest limited edition prints of a flamingo, elephant, lion and zebra on museum-quality paper. Featured by ITV News and The Times newspaper, his first-ever hardback book, Wild World: Nature Through An Autistic Eye, is also available now.
Modern yet timeless, Alfie’s black-and-white photographs capture the intense beauty of the world’s animal kingdom. No detail goes unnoticed, from the gentle curve of a chimpanzee’s fingertips to the majestic mane of a lion. This incredible focus and gift for capturing startling moments is, in Alfie's own words, a result of his autism, which has had a profound effect on the young photographer's life.
As explored in his An Eye For Detail documentary, Alfie's artistic vision is shaped by a meticulous attention to detail and an unwavering determination to prove people wrong. Since receiving his first DSLR camera as a Christmas gift in 2015, Alfie has tirelessly honed his craft. Once alienated by his peers, Alfie found an affinity to animals that guided him through his darkest moments. As a child, he sought solace in wildlife magazines and documentaries, now as an adult his work has been featured by BBC Earth and is lauded by celebrities including Sir David Attenborough.
Alfie's photography is noted for the 'tenderness of his soul and the sharpness of his mind', with Intelligent Magazine stating that 'as Alfie bares his soul through his lenses, in return they [the animals] bare theirs'. Visiting zoos across the UK, Alfie waits for hours - sometimes days - to capture the perfect shot, and believes that photographing in black and white allows him to focus on the personality of his chosen animal.
Featured by titles including the Metro and Evening Standard, Alfie's inspiring story has also seen him work alongside charities to raise awareness for wildlife and autism. He was also a judge for the Creative Earth art competition, held in collaboration with WWF and the UN climate change conference COP26. In 2021, he was appointed as a Nikon Z Creator, which saw him explore the brand's new mirrorless system.
Alfie, who released his first book in September 2021, says: "After many years of social exclusion as a result of my autism, I have finally found my calling. Call of the Wild celebrates the results of a ten-year journey from bullied teenager to renowned artist. I am a dreamer, and I am living my dream."
For Alfie, ideas for compositions can come while completing even the most simple of everyday tasks. Quickly sketching out these ideas, he keeps these as references when photographing out in the field, not stopping until the image captured by his camera film is as spectacular as the one in his mind.
His photographs are taken at zoos across the UK, following careful research into his chosen species. Alfie explains: “It is important to know the behaviour of your subject and to be aware of the images that already exist – there is no room for the mundane.”
It is a meticulous process: Alfie must gain the trust of the animals to capture them in a natural pose. Luckily, patience and persistence come naturally to the photographer, who credits his autism for his astonishing attention to detail. He adds: "Autism helps me visualise what I want to capture, and gives me the determination and the obsession to create that."
Alfie dreams of one day visiting India and Africa to photograph animals in their natural habitats. He says: “People tend to care more for the things they love; I hope to make people fall in love with our natural world, so we can save it before it’s too late. We share planet Earth with many other species and it is our responsibility to care for them and ensure that they are thriving for future generations to enjoy.”
Showcasing the very best of our artworks, along with behind-the-scenes updates and interviews, the new issue of our Fine Art Collector magazine is a must-read!
We’re delighted to present Alfie Bowen’s debut collection of wildlife photographs, Call of the Wild. A celebration of the past 10 years of Alfie’s life, the collection symbolises his remarkable journey from a child bullied for his autism to one of the UK's most exciting contemporary artists.
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