Photography and Art by Kathryn Cooper

Inspired by the natural world

Photographer -- Scientist -- Designer -- Climber

I'm a wildlife photographer and artist based in Sheffield, UK. I've always loved the natural world, fell in love with Africa, then discovered the wildlife on my doorstep. I have to spend time outdoors, whether it's taking pictures, hiking, biking, kayking or climbing. I trained as a physicist and you'll see in my images that the scientific curiosity hasn't left me.

After a decade in the medical technology industry I swapped the deskjob for a more active life in the outdoors. I currently split my time between coaching strength and mobility to climbers and long term creative projects.

I live with my partner Alex and Charlie, the most handsome black and white cat, in a home full of plants.

I'd love to hear from you if you're interested in collaborating on future projects, want to use my images or order prints, or just want to chat wildlife and photography.

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I love the process of researching, locating and studying an animal; spending time with them until I'm allowed into their world. Many of my subjects are local to Sheffield and the Peak District so I will often visit the same individual many times over a season or even years so that I get to know their habits.

All the photographs I take are of wild animals. It can sometimes feel like we are doing so much damage to the natural world that it would be impossible to have wild encounters close to our biggest cities. Thankfully, I've found a different world. Find a quiet spot, be patient, and stay at a respectful distance; the wildlife is there, getting on with it, usually in plain sight. Sometimes, if I am lucky, they will come to me.

For many of these encounters, I am in debt to my partner, Alex Wilkinson, wielder of the binoculars and carrier of the heaviest packs, who has the keenest of eyes.

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I live in a beautiful part of the world. Sheffield is known as "The Outdoor City" and it's on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park. I love to explore, climb, bike and watch wildlife so it's not a surprise that I get to see some incredibile landscape that I try to capture with my camera.

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This is an abstract project that combines an inquisitiveness for art, science and nature. Here I delve into the patterns of birds in flight by compressing the time dimension of a video onto a single image. It struck me that experienced birders can often identify a species in a single glance, using what’s known as “General Impression, Size and Shape”. On a still frame, the bird is often little more than a tiny speck so recognising patterns in their movement, akin to a human’s gait must play an important part in identifying them.

I set about exploring how to capture their distinctive flight patterns and found that this revealed both beauty and insight into their interaction with the space around them. My background as a scientist and computer programmer allowed me to write my own bespoke algorithm to combine the frames of a video, creating the outputs that you see here. I enjoy the creative process of letting nature do the hard work, and seeing what pops out of my algorithm.

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