The result was not anything like I had expected. The creative process is not always straight-forward. I had ended up with images much different to those I had envisaged. When Shirley, the Gallery Director asked me did I want to take part in the group show “A Tiding of Magpies” naturally I said yes. About 10 seconds later I realised that I did not actually have any images of a magpie!
Hmm – this sounded like a challenge…
I am not overly concerned, it should be easy to get a photo as we often have a family of magpies in our yard. When I am out working in the yard, they will often follow me around as I stir up a bit of a smorgasbord for them. The parents attend to a rather large chick, who always seems desperately hungry if you judge by its constant cries. However, they became shy as soon as I got my camera out. So rather to try to approach them, I just started pulling out weeds like I normally do. It was not long until one of the parents come closer for a look through the pile of weeds. I managed to grab a couple of frames, and headed inside to download.
One of the frames was perfect! Despite the shallow depth of field, the eye was tack-sharp and I really liked its stance.
I had decided to make a black and white image, but when I looked on the screen, I thought it was boring. Recently I had played with a series of macro shots of Rosella feathers as possible scarf designs. A thought crossed my mind of what if my Magpie was a Technicolor one, and that maybe my scarf design could be somehow draped over. After a few attempts this also was not working for me.
Finally I wondered what this magpie would look like in a Warhol inspired series. So I placed the magpie into each very bright background, then brushed some of the visibility back to make the magpie seem to burst out of its background.
I am really happy how this series turned out and that the images work well on their own, or as a set. What was amazing was that had I not been asked if I had any images of magpies, then almost certainly these images would never been made.
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