Post 20 – Animal Portraits

This summer has provided me with plenty of time at my computer, due to the many summer days of poor light and bad weather.  I have been using some of this time to explore new areas of creative photography.  My brother Robin and his wife Kathy are fortunate to live on a farm in North Devon nestling between Exmoor and Dartmoor.  During my many visits I could not help but make images of the animals on the farm.

It occurred to me that animal lovers often want to immortalize their pets in photographs, so I have been working on the idea of creating animal portraits, starting with Kathy’s two dogs Popsie and Ludo.  I am off to Devon later today with mounted prints of the dogs, the reception of which will be the true test of whether I have succeeded.

I also tried process out on other animals, both domestic and wild, to see how it works.  Five of the images are posted below: –


Popsie and I have been good friends since her arrival and I always get a great reception each time I visit.


Ludo believe it or not is still a puppy.


Please don’t be fooled by the docile attitude and friendly expression on the face of Cheza.  Cheza is a Carpathian Alpha Male Wolf born on 29th April 2001 and would in certain circumstances become a deadly killer.  Cheza was born at the Anglia Wolf Society Sanctuary in Bedfordshire, where he lives with one other male and two females.

The Sanctuary is open to the public and well worth a visit.  I made a video of my day at the Sanctuary, which you can see at Wolves.  I hope you will watch it as its purpose is to try and demonstrates how beautiful and bold these animals really are despite their bad press over many centuries.


There is a children’s book called “The Mousehole Cat” by Antonia Barber, which is about a fisherman called Tom Bawcock and his cat Mowzer, whose exploits in olden times saved the people of Mousehole from starvation.  For people who don’t know, Mousehole is an ancient fishing village in West Cornwall near Lands End.  There are images of Mousehole in the Cornwall Gallery of my website at

I saw this rather large cat on the harbour wall.  You can see he was taking a great deal of interest in me as he stares directly into the lens.  One could not help but think of Mowzer.

Red Kite

This is a different treatment to give the image an older sepia feel.  At the end of the 19th century red kites became extinct in England and Scotland and with only a few pairs surviving in the valleys of Mid-Wales.  They were re-introduced in 1989, since when they have prospered and are now a regular site in the Chiltern Hills in particular.

You can view my video slide show at Wolves by Chris Hotton

Prints of all my images here and at my websites and are available for purchase.  If you are interested and like me to quote prices please either leave a message here or by e-mail

Chris Hotton © 2012


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