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About the Art: Luke Wilkinson

The Horniman will be hosting the British Wildlife Photography Awards until 14 January 2018. Here we talk to photographer Luke Wilkinson about this work.

  • Peeking Red Fox Cub, 'Peeking Red Fox Cub' which appears in the 'Portraits' category, Luke Wilkinson
    'Peeking Red Fox Cub' which appears in the 'Portraits' category, Luke Wilkinson

Can you tell us the story behind your photo in this exhibition?

I had spent five months on this one project; watching and documenting the lives of this family of foxes. It was a huge privilege to watch the cubs grow from just a few weeks old to the cusp of adulthood. This image was taken within a few weeks of finding the den. I was spending up to 10 hours a day, waiting for the cubs to appear, this individual suddenly popped his head out for a quick to look to check if it was safe to venture out. 

How did you go about getting that shot?

Just by being patient, lucky, and putting in the time. I spent as much time outside the den as possible to hopefully get 'that' shot. 

  • Fox Cub, Another view of the fox cub, Luke Wilkinson
    Another view of the fox cub, Luke Wilkinson

What are your favourite scenes, species or motivations behind your photographs?

Obviously, I love photographing foxes, they are so entertaining to watch. I also like spending my time with grey seals on my local beach. Heading to the beach in the dark and watching the sunrise with just myself and the seals is magical. I like to try and create more unique images of my subjects, so they stand out from the crowd more. They take more time to get and plenty of failed attempts but the end results make it worth it. 

What are the difficulties of wildlife and nature photography that you face?

Just trying to stand out from the crowd. Photography is very popular, so it's best to try and be that little bit different from everybody. 

What would you like people to think about when they see your work?

To hopefully inspire people to get outside and to see wildlife for themselves. If people stop and look for a few moments there is wildlife all around us. 

  • Fox Cub at night, A fox cub emerges from the shadows at night, Luke Wilkinson
    A fox cub emerges from the shadows at night, Luke Wilkinson

Did you use any particular equipment or software?

To capture this image I used a Nikon D4 with a 500mm lens plus a 1.4 teleconverter. I used Adobe Lightroom to process the image. 

How long have you been a photographer and how did you get started?

I have been into photography now for about five or six years. I only bought a DSLR camera for a holiday to get some nice 'snaps'. However, I have always been interested in wildlife from a young age, so in the end decided to take that route as I found it the most rewarding form of photography for myself. 

  • Equipment, Luke's equipment, including his Nikon D4 and 1.4m teleconverter, Luke Wilkinson
    Luke's equipment, including his Nikon D4 and 1.4m teleconverter, Luke Wilkinson

What would you advise someone wanting to start taking photos of wildlife or nature in their local environment?

Get out and use the camera as much as possible. Don't be afraid to try different things. The more you use the camera the more you learn. Try and get low and at eye level with your subject to make a more personal image. 

What projects are you working on now or have coming up?

Over the next few months, I will be spending most of my time on the beach working on grey seal pups. I have been working with them for many years now, so will be aiming to add a few different images to my portfolio. I've also got a few weeks up in Scotland focusing entirely on mountain hares. I love being up north, I'm just hoping for a decent amount of snow this year. 

  • Luke and Fox, Luke Wilkinson poses for a selfie with a foxy friend, Luke Wilkinson
    Luke Wilkinson poses for a selfie with a foxy friend, Luke Wilkinson

To find out more about Luke's photography, you can find him on Facebook or Instagram.