The Water Phoenix

WaterPhoenix2This image is made from 2 photographs. One being a surface reflection of flowing water, and the other, remains of a seagull.

The seagull caught my eye because as it was lying in the water at the river’s edge, the wings were moving with the rhythmic lapping of the water, as though somehow, there was still a touch of life.

© Karen McRae, 2013

85 thoughts on “The Water Phoenix

  1. Oops, I just commented as the digital lightroom. As I said with my other hat on, I think this is a really remarkable photograph Karen. It won’t let me go..

    1. Adrian, thanks for that comment. I wasn’t sure if people would just think this is strange… but sometimes strange can be good…
      I love that it won’t let you go.

  2. I think that a common reaction, especially among us non-photographers, is to shy away when we see a dead animal. But you stopped to observe it, saw it moving with the water, captured it and made something beautiful of it. That is fantastic!

    1. I’m glad you like it, thank you!
      Yes, sometimes I photograph the strangest things but it seems okay somehow, part of the process of photographing almost daily.

      1. It was already on my mind because I had a meeting just before lunch, and we were talking about hardening an aluminum frame, and the guy made the comment that too much current would burn it. I asked what burn meant in that context . . . he said it meant it would be no more, gone, would cease to be. I asked him if he was quoting the dead parrot sketch, and he did not know what that was.

        I looked at your photo shortly after that, and you made the comment the waves were moving it as if still alive . . . ergo . . . dead parrot skit. And yes, I had to rewatch it as well.

    1. This is put together with Photoshop, although I do make in-camera double exposures quite often. They are challenging to make. Thanks very much for your comment!

  3. Great composition Karen – and better still that the gull looked so relaxed almost like it was lying back with his its legs crossed just basking in the fresh air 🙂 welcoming your gaze.

  4. Delicately handled, mysterious and beautiful. I found dead geese and ducks frozen in a field this winter – something about flightless birds with wings still open that haunts. This has the look of marble, too, or an archeological specimen.

  5. Gorgeous composition Karen. I come across ex-birds quite often here (though in an urban context, and I find them quite beautiful. Usually it’s wings that are left, often fully extended … a different sort of flight. This image also call to mind Chris Jordan’s heartbreaking images from Midway Island. Are you familiar with his work?

  6. Bonjour Karen ,

    Très belle composition , entre deux mondes en soi ,
    L’eau et l’Air restent rois , pour une sereine vision ,
    Celle ci demande un don , celui de voir Au Delà ,
    La vie nous tendre les bras , quand l’Oeil perçoit l’Union .
    Amitié Printannière

  7. You have made such a beautiful image of something that in the first place sounds all but beautiful. I love the texture and tonality of the pictures. The composite image feel feels so organic and alive. Great work!

  8. Oh! This is my favourite of your recent collages – something very definite about it – real flesh and bone inside some kind of dreamlike fantasy form..

  9. This is quite an arresting image. I had to look at it up close and for a long time. I may have more to say at some point! Is it a one off or part of a series, do you think?

    1. Hi Emily, looking at something close for a long time – who could ask for more. That’s great response, thank you.
      This seems to be evolving onto a series, it started with a fish!

  10. Gosh, is it just me who is detecting a maned head with eyes, nose and an almost toothless mouth?
    It’s only now, on my third visit, that I noticed it, but this phenomenon might be the reason why I was so fascinated on first sight. .

  11. Fascinating work!! Very inspirational. I think I see another ‘visage’ as does Sean J. . Is signature of your successful abstraction.I’m glad WP oriented me to your site!

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