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21 JULY 2020:

Leaving the Roost

A-087. Leaving the Roost - by Greig Clifford
Copr. Copyright © 2020 GREIG CLIFFORD.

This is an image I've revisited a number of times since first making it in 2014 and until now I had felt unsure of showing it. I think my trepidation arose partly because this is a composite image, and as such I felt it wasn't a true photograph in the purest sense, which went against my goals at the time.

However, as my interest in some great pioneers of photography grew, I realised compositing was an important historical tool in a photographer's artistic armoury. I realised I could in fact make this image in my darkroom quite easily and so to do it digitally really wasn't quite the cheat I initially felt. Besides, I just couldn't seem to forget about the image. So yesterday I completed a final edit, cropping to a square and converting to black and white, adjusting contrast to suit my taste. I now feel it is finally finished and feel I can move on from it.

This was my old sofa slowly rotting against a back wall in my garden. One morning a young seagull spent some time there and I quietly photographed it as it tried to get comfy, before it eventually stretched it's wings and moved off.

At the time I wanted to capture an image with a feel similar to those old Victorian photos and paintings found in stately homes, of prize winning cattle, horses, dogs and other estate and farm animals. The even light that morning gave me the opportunity to treat the bird in a similar way but my mind started to change as I took more shots.The rotting sofa added another element, a surreal sense of the unusual, of things not in their normal place.

It felt there was an opportunity for something a little more 'arty' here... I liked the precise posing of the bird, seemingly choreographed (and this is my nod to the original inspiration), but I still felt like something was lacking. Compositing the bird three times allowed me to highlight the distinct poses, add to the weirdness a little more, and also create a narrative to work the mind in other ways. Two birds watching a third getting ready to fly from the roost, a symbol of growth and development, from sitting, to standing, to flying... perhaps in search of a better (newer) home and more prosperous times?

If this image is the first of mine you have seen, or you are generally new to my work, please know I'm always keen to make new contacts and push my photography to wider horizons. If you like what you see, say hello!

If you are able to help bring my photography to a larger audience, then lets talk! I'd be glad to hear from you!

Finally, prints of this image are available, starting at affordable prices to encourage new collectors. Signed archival quality prints are strictly limited in number. Your support is very much appreciated.

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