Making Metaphors from Metamorphous

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Leica R8 camera and Leica 90mm f2 Summicron R-series lens with Fuji Velvia 100F film

There’s a long tradition in fine art black-and-white photography where nature and still life genres come together. It’s the photography of dead things, whether located in the natural environment or after mummification. While somewhat morbid the best of these images, to my mind, are those that deal with the reality of life and death.

It was sad to see this little penguin lying dead on the rocks, just a few meters away from the sea. I know not whether its demise was due to natural causes or otherwise. Perhaps it died at sea and was washed up onto the rocks at high tide. In any case sadness gave way to a deeper enquiry as to the nature of things, which lead to the making of the above image.

I’ve long believed in the power of duality, the juxtaposition of two opposites: life and death, beauty and horror, evoke powerful associates and metaphors for the fine artist. As long as the subject is dealt with in a respectable manner, I believe such images deserve their place within the fine art tradition. In the process of making metaphors from metamorphous such images cause us to think about the bigger picture. And the more time we give to such pursuits the richer our lives will become.

The original 35mm color transparency was scanned and rendered into black-and-white with Adobe Photoshop.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru