Sanna Kannisto, Observing Eye

Kannisto photographs birds in the style of classic wildlife illustrations, capturing the delicate beauty of her avian subjects in painterly detail

Finnish nature photographer Sanna Kannisto (born 1974) considers herself both a scientist and an artist, and her images of birds in particular are unmatched in their analytical beauty and compositional perfection. Perched delicately on disembodied tree branches and brilliantly lit against a white background, Kannisto’s avian subjects resemble classic wildlife illustrations or specimens in a museum, highlighting every exquisite feature.

This level of detail provides an opportunity for viewers to study up close the creatures they may only have ever seen at a distance: the chartreuse feathers of the European greenfinch seem to practically glow, while the plumage of a willow tit in flight unfurls into a geometrically perfect arc. In every picture, the deep black eyes of the birds penetrate the camera’s gaze with a distinct personality.

This collection of photographs is a fascinating volume for hobbyist birdwatchers, photography fans and anyone invested in the conservation of wildlife.