This Russian wildlife photographer, Andrey Gudkov takes frequent expeditions to the most distant and dangerous Indonesian and African regions like Borneo, Zambia, and Rinca Island. To capture wild animals living in their natural habitat, a view that has become exotic to our eyes. With his photography, this photographer tries to convey the beauty and importance of these animals as many of them are becoming endangered.
Gudkov had to wait for the right moment to come to chase his dreams and become a wildlife photographer. And that moment was when the Soviet Union crashed and he was able to travel freely. “For me, it all began with the television programs of David Attenborough’s films, and the rare BBC nature programs that were shown on Soviet television many years ago. And when, at the end of the eighties, I first held a copy of National Geographic in my hands, it was a culture shock for me. The photographs dazzled, drew you in, seemed so fantastic and unreal. These shots were my pathway into a fairy tale where a simple Soviet man could hardly hope to end up. Such dreams of far-off countries and exotic animals really got into my head. And as soon as there appeared the opportunity to travel freely and acquire professional equipment, realizing that dream became a reality,” says Andrey Gudkov.
The artist always knew that he wanted to be a wildlife photographer, he was inspired by many famous wildlife photographers, which taught him the craft through textbooks. “I never had to ask myself what genre of photography I should shoot. I already knew that wildlife photography was the genre of photography where I had always wanted to work. My textbooks were the photo albums of world-famous wildlife photographers: Steve Bloom, Franz Lanting, Michael Poliza, and others. Their works inspired me, taught me, and gave me space for creative work; they served as my critics. Little by little, step by step, through trial and error, I worked out my own unique style. In the beginning, it all seemed simple and easy to understand. But the more I shot, the more I realized how difficult the genre was and how endless the opportunities were for creative work in it.”