October 22, 2011

"It is a picture that seems at first to be quite beautiful."

"Only as the eye lingers do you fully realise its shocking context."

21 comments:

Paddy O said...

At first quite beautiful?!

Maybe I'm around a lot more pelicans. It's shocking right at first, and the sort of thing that has appeared in the news since at least the Exxon Valdez spill. It's almost a stock photo in its commonplace theme. Every other National Geographic has a picture like this.

Dare I say there is a wee bit of politics behind the prize?

traditionalguy said...

"It's an oil painting." Hilarious.

Maguro said...

I'm sure the birds were wishing they had run into a windmill instead.

Levi Starks said...

It's all about the light

edutcher said...

Of course, well-oiled pelicans are worse than dead people.

Paddy O said...

Dare I say there is a wee bit of politics behind the prize?

Your gift for the obvious is shattering.

Freeman Hunt said...

How would you not notice that the birds are covered with oil first?

It's the other way around. "Birds in oil! Ugh. Hmmmm. If you look at it for a while, it's almost beautiful."

chrisnavin said...

I think it's pretty clear to me that modern photography and environmentalism have a common root in Romanticism with all its tragic impulses, potential nihilism and extreme individualism.

Otherwise, nice composition and light.

ndspinelli said...

Slick.

chrisnavin said...

I also think there are some class and cultural issues that have to do with why some Britons treat environmentalism like a religion...

mariner said...

Freeman,

Many people look at the picture and don't even realize there are pelicans in it, until someone tells them.

Paco Wové said...

"...some Britons treat environmentalism like a religion..."

The English have always been kind of dotty with regards to animals.

If that's the kind of image of nature that you find "shocking", well, I suspect you don't get out in nature much.

Cedarford said...

8 oiled pelicans vs. 42,000 US casualties in Iraq driven by need for Arab oil as much as for Neocon nation-building adventures.

Or, 8 oiled Pelicans vs. 12,000 dead birds a year on a California wind farm.

timmaguire42 said...

Maybe it was ruined for me by having read the quote first, but I knew immediately what I was looking at.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Pelicans should be marinated in clarified butter, not oil.

wv: wifyin-- what I'm doin' right now-- thank God for 802.11n!

Chip S. said...

Does art imitate wildlife, or does wildlife imitate art?

homo œconomicus said...

http://img.chan4chan.com/img/2010-08-31/dd328c3cae77b006b576fa826ba20cf4.jpg

Roger J. said...

Does anyone know the procedures for cleaning these birds up? Pelicans are quite large. How much hands on effort is required--Oh well, its a slow saturday here so I suppose I could research it.

I suspect our erstwhile commenter Beth from NOLA could tell us, but she hasnt been on lately.

Methadras said...

Was HDR used?

David said...

Is it safe to eat them yet?

Paul Brinkley said...

It is an interest group that seems at first to be quite thoughtful. Only as the mind lingers do you fully realise its dumb context.

Peter said...

The real story of the BP oil spill is the rapidity with which nature broke down the oil and recovered.

The only narrative I've been able to find in the MSM is "Corporate perfidy." And while that's a true and legitimate story, it's not the only story. Or, in this case, even the most important story.