“Specimen: An individual animal, plant, piece of a mineral, etc., used as an example of its species or type for scientific study or display.” – Oxford English Dictionary
An idea generates, inspiration is found, images are made, and more expansion on said idea begins to happen, more photos in the works! When did all this come to fruition? Last year, I learned that our local Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center would be hosting a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition this year. I hope you all had the chance to see it before it wrapped on September 20th. As an instructor as Bemis School of Art, I started to work on developing some courses that would compliment the exhibit and dove into a bunch of research on Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. During that time I was inspired to create images with skulls, so that led me to start looking for skulls anywhere I could find them. I searched antique shops, estate sales, and bought some of the best off Craigslist!
What are you looking at? Well, this a ram, and I bought this ram from a man in Lafayette, CO who told me he found it while elk hunting 20 years ago and hiked it out over 5 miles! It’s pretty darn heavy, so he must have really wanted it! Well, so did I. It is an interesting and beautiful specimen, and I am photographing this skull and all the other skulls I’ve collected in hopes that my images will help to revere these marvelous animals. I imagine them as ghosts, and each can tell a story of a life lived.
So, this is a project about skulls and the majestic animals they represent. However, it has expanded a bit to include the “plant” part of the specimen definition as well, so stay tuned. Plants, and animals, and even some other natural elements that represent both will round out this new body of work. It’s a lot of fun, and eventually, I’ll have a nice batch of work to add to this website as a new portfolio.
This image was made using a Cambo 4×5 studio camera, a Schneider/Kreuznach 210mm lens, and Ilford HP5 4×5 black and white film. My settings were f/16 at 1/250 at ISO 400. The HP5 was processed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B. Stay tuned, as I have a lot of ideas for this portfolio.