I love not Man the less, but Nature more – Lord Byron
Shaun Walton is a photographer who has successfully combined his background as a trained biologist and professional wildlife guide with his love for photography. He is best known for his striking black and white images of leopard and lion taken in the wild at night in South Africa. In a fluid mixture of documentary and fine art photography, Walton successfully captures the essence of these animals’ mysterious and tumultuous nocturnal lives.
Born in Pietermaritzburg South Africa, Walton graduated from Rhodes University with an honors degree in Entomology before spending two years as a professional wildlife guide at the world renowned Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. It was while working at Mala Mala that Walton learned that combining photography with nature centered him and brought an incomparable pleasure. “If you are respectful and wait”, he realized, “animals will accept you and their true personalities will be revealed.” Seeking to merge his naturalistic background with a more formal training in photography, Walton moved to Santa Barbara, California in 2010 to attend the Brooks Institute of Photography.
His career in the world of fine art photography was launched when after attending a photography portfolio review at the fine art photography gallery Wall Space, in Santa Barbara; he became one of the galleries represented artists.
Walton’s work has been exhibited several times in both solo and collective exhibitions and he is the recipient of several awards including first prize in the 2012 PDN Photo Faces competition.
A recent high point in his career was the purchase of one his pieces by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art for their permanent collection and the exhibition Portrayal/Betrayal. He was the youngest exhibitor among the other 93 artists in the exhibition and as he put it was “…honored beyond words to have my work exhibited alongside some of my photographic heroes such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Keith Carter and Irving Penn.”
When not out tracking and photographing leopard and lion Walton lives with his beautiful wife Skyla (a fellow photographer) and their two dogs Mala and Moose in the forest above Santa Barbara, California.
He is currently working on his first book with Nazraeli Press.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art - Portrayal Betrayal - Collective Exhibition (Youngest artist out of 100) – July – September 2012 (Santa Barbara, CA)
Gallery 27 - In Observation - Collective Exhibition – June – August 2012 (Santa Barbara, CA)
Visions Gallery - Nocturnus - Solo Exhibition - Feb – May 2012 (Ventura, CA)
Photo LA 2012 – March 2012 – Collectively exhibited by Brooks Institute
Wall Space Gallery - Multiple Exposures - Collective Exhibition – December 2011 Date (Santa Barbara, CA)
Art for Animals – January 2012 – Collective Exibition (Santa Barbara, CA)
Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Santa Barbara, CA) – Nocturnus 5, 2010 Limited Ed. Pigment Print
First Place – Photo District News (PDN) - Photo Faces Competition - August 2012 (http://www.facesphotocontest.com/gallery/2012/?contest=amateur)
Honorable Mention – Photographer’s Forum – Best of College and High School Photography 2012
Nazraeli Press – Nocturnus – Hardcover coffee table book (In press - exp. publication early 2014)
Santa Barbara Museum of Art – Portrayal Betrayal - Exhibition Catalogue
Photographer’s Forum - Best of College and High Scholl Photography 2012 - Hardcover Book
Photo District News Magazine – Photo Faces Competition – August 2012
Mala Mala Private Game Reserve – 2010 Calendar
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
- Lord Byron