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The Lord Mayor’s Chain

by Rebecca Michael

Every Friday, Darren invites someone to become ‘Guest Editor’ for the day to choose and discuss three or four images that have not been previously published on the website.  Today’s Guest Editor is Rebecca Michael, a wildlife photographer trapped in a concrete jungle.  You can see Rebecca’s photography on her website and follow her on Twitter.

I was so excited to be asked to be Guest Editor on Darren’s Friday spot. Someone asked me once, what I wanted to do, and I remember saying, “I’d love to be a wildlife photographer”, but in my heart knowing that ‘it is too hard’, and ‘very expensive’.

I am jealous of the qualities found in a wildlife photographer, patience and stillness, and capturing character, something I would love to attain in my daily life, generally.

The images I have chosen to speak about reflect an aspect of these qualities. Firstly in the abstract – they highlight this ability in their absence – it isn’t something we can experience our selves – only Darren had that experience, the waiting, making specific choices, and that ‘moment’ when you hit the shutter. The stillness is captured in the frame at a specific time. Maybe his subjects were not ‘still’ at all, and maybe neither was he. To capture the ‘essence’ of stillness, in sharpness, movement, and composition, is in my opinion what I think is captured in these images, and they are so full of ‘character’ and bursting with life.

I adore this image of the beautiful creature. I have no idea what genus it is or what it is commonly called. It has the most beautiful complimentary colours, rich royal blues and the golden feathers in its body are an artist’s standard colour methods of choice for drawing you in and also at the same time creating space. On the left there is turquoise and on the right some feathers are more apricot. It has a white bib, which is like a Lord Mayor’s chain, and its head is crowned a rich black. It stands in a field of muted green. But the way it stands reminds me of a sergeant, its wings tucked in neatly. It seems that in this moment it is only the wind that has ruffled this immaculate creature. He seems very regal, it is the weight in the mid section and the placement of its legs that gives this appearance.

And I got to thinking can we know the ‘character’ due to what is reflected in an image a person has taken. Do we just see the ‘character’ of the subject, or do we see the ‘character of the image maker’,  or maybe a mere reflection of the viewer projecting themselves onto an image?

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