Photographer's Captivating Images Of Working Dogs Honor The Species In A Rare And Beautiful Way

His photo series takes us to Norway, New Zealand and beyond.

In his stunning photo series, "The Shepherd's Realm," Andrew Fladeboe traveled to the Netherlands, Scotland, Southern France and Norway to capture captivating photos of animals, particularly dogs, in a way that portrays the species as a subject of fine art.

Fladeboe is a California-born photographer who grew up in Japan, Russia and Austria. Later, he studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Describing the series, Fladeboe tells A+ in an email:

The first volume featured an assortment of animals, but with volumes going forward I pick one country, and try to learn as much as I can about the dogs there. For Norway (Volume II) and New Zealand (Volume III), I spent months of prep time researching the indigenous dogs, their history, and developing contacts with dog owners and trainers. I stay with the dog owners for a day to up to a week before I move on to the next one. It's a wonderful way to see the world and hidden parts of these cultures. 

Fladeboe tells A+ the history of the animals fascinates him, and helps inform his practice. 

I saw an opportunity to create art about dogs that can fit into the realm of fine art. It's always difficult working with animals, but at least they aren't vain. It's a matter of patience and being able to adapt to different situations. The hardest part is logistics and traveling for so long. Often times, I don't know where I'll be the next day, but that's all part of the adventure. 

Among his favorite works, Fladeboe describes "Mackenzie of Tjøme" and "Lass of Slope Point" as the "ultimate dog portraits."

"They look like paintings from the 17th century and captures them with such dignity," he says.  

"Mackenzie of Tjøme"

"Lass of Slope Point"

Additionally, he tells A+: 

"Over the Mountain'" captures such a sublime and unreal moment. It's such a beautiful image to me. And "Asher of Te Hapu" is one of my personal favorites. Asher ran to that spot with no direction from me, and just posed there waiting for me to photograph him. It was uncanny. And it looks so much more impressive as a large print. They all do. 

"Over The Mountain"

In regards to his influencers, Fladeboe tells A+ he looks to Victorian traditions, particularly Sir Edwin Landseer and natural history dioramas. His photographer role models include Simen Johan, Peter Hujar, and Daniel Naude. 

"I think all are taking a post-humanistic stance to photographing animals. I believe we represent them with a nobility and respect rarely seen in animal art."

"I hope to continue creating new volumes. I have a long list of countries I'd like to visit and photograph their dogs." 

Fladeboe's work has landed in impressive publications such as National Geographic and The Telegraph. For more of his art, be sure to check out his website

Fladeboe will be having a solo show in New York City at Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art in October.

(H/T: BoredPanda)

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