photographing death and decay


death and decay

I’ve been watching this lone, tenacious apple for a few weeks now.  It has held on, slowly shrivelling, while all the other apples on the tree let go to begin their return to the earth.

Death and decay have been hovering in my field of vision for the last couple of weeks. Some near and dear to me have lost ones near and dear to them. And it makes me think, perhaps a little morbidly, that the time is drawing closer to my losing loved ones as well…

As an avid fan of the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, the subjects of death and decay have fascinated and intrigued me for years.  It’s not a subject I’ve ever been afraid of, but not one I’d thought to photograph myself.  There is a certain taboo and shocking-ness around images portraying death.  Or so I thought until I came across the works of Sally Mann and her Body Farm series.  And when you start Googling the phrase ‘death and decay’, it’s surprising what comes up in results.  It doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up photographing gorgeous families, but it does mean that I’m not going to be quite so afraid of photographing nature and her equilibrium.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Einstein to ponder…

The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Is death and decay a taboo topic for you?  Or is this part of the cycle of life openly discussed?

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