I was Christmas shopping with Tom, my brother-in-law, a true manly man road builder with a big diesel pickup. I saw a dead goose by the side of the road. Tom was full of warnings about poaching, but made the two 3-point turns to come back around. I could not pass up the opportunity.
I thought I could make a photo to go with the very popular octopus photo.
I've also been fascinated with Alexander Pope. The De Young has a couple of his paintings, including The Wild Swan, which I love.
Two-thousand, ten is for composition. I spent last year intensely focussed on lighting, now I want to focus on composition, creating more complex images, and working with moods other than "this object is awesome" and concepts other than "this lighting is tricky". So, I tried to do as many different shots as I could.
The bird had a broken wing and a bunch of abrasions, so I figured it had been struck by a car, but with a newborn in the house, I needed to be extra careful. Luckily it was freezing outside, so I kept the the bird on the patio when I wasn't photographing it. Besides, I wasn't sure how quickly I'd be able to shoot (again, newborn).
My interest in animals continues, especially as symbols, and often dead, although I think that's only because they don't move. In looking for more information about Alexander Pope, I found I like a lot of old still-life, old French stuff and American trompe l'oeil, which, along with my affection for Norman Rockwell, is sure to get me kicked out of San Francisco.
Of course, a goose is not a swan, and a white door is not a black door.
My picture is more gruesome than Pope's, I think, which has to do with the asymmetry, and the uncomfortable way the wing points. This goose is some kind of undead avian doorman. Also, belly forward is far more vulnerable than spine forward, which is another way that Pope's is more flattering, more uplifting. Finally, the visible, bound legs connect the goose to the door and make it more real, whereas Pope's is realistic, but also sort of floats there like an angel.
I had to work with what I had around the house, prop-wise, since the goose had an expiration date and I was in the middle of the holidays with a newborn. The chinese mushrooms in the jar are not perfect, and the dagger's kind of weird. But I like the fall of the roses, and this picture holds together as a still-life. It's a scene, rather than a picture of a goose with some stuff around it.
In making this last photograph, I realized I have some interest in doing classical still-lifes of modern vocations. Jackie's a nurse, so I'll probably start there. Any volunteers?