By assuming the Cartier-Bresson “decisive moments” mantle and implying that his own images are ‘iconic,’ the Canadian wildlife photographer Scott Linstead may alienate some readers of his new book who might think him, well, presumptuous.
But then they open the book.
Inside, they’re met with page after stunning page of once-in-a-lifetime wildlife imagery that Linstead is able to produce on a seemingly daily basis. Most of us never witness an osprey sweeping down to pluck a writhing trout from the surface of an idyllic river. Linstead has witnessed it, and caught it in beautiful photographs time after time.
Traveling the world to find appealing backgrounds and situations to capture definitive representations of photogenic creatures from raptors to rodents, Linstead has packed “Decisive Moments” with animal and insect portraits that are clinically fascinating for the detail, color, texture, and body language they showcase. His refined eye for lighting, composition, and backgrounds raises the images from the clinical to something artistic. Each is a gem—which is not to imply they’re stiff, posed or too obviously staged.
Based outside Montreal, Linstead (33) is a specialist in stop action photography. Animal body language is often the real subject of his pictures —always true, descriptive and revealing. This mid-flight or mid-leap aspect adds a dimension that is lacking in most wildlife work. He shows animal motion in crystalline detail and with a visceral immediacy. His owls-in-flight are some of the best anywhere.