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The Child Experiments with Being a Bird

Digital photo with post processing

On the series: These portraits were more collaborative efforts with my young son, than my simply taking pictures of him. He would prepare a situation and would ask that a picture be taken, which is how the series began. He wanted to see how what he'd dreamed up looked like through the eye of the camera, and enjoyed having it preserved--probably like most children. Then when I was working on a picture in post production I would ask him what he thought as we both conjured a photo befitting his dream.

On this photo: This is the first photo from The Child Experiments series, taken on my cell phone (post-processed here but not so very different from the original). H.o.p. was eager for me to capture his playing at being a bird. He had wanted wings so we wrapped felt around his arms and attached a feather, as basic a wing treatment as there can be but more than just fine for his purposes. Then he wanted to see for himself how it looked, if a photo would reveal he had become bird-like. And, seeing the photo, he was satisfied with his appearance as a bird. It took so very little, the felt and a single feather on each arm, but he had transformed. He then continued to ask for photos of some of his creations, and it occurred to me I ought to do a series of the child experimenting with play, at being all these different things a child experiments at being as they discover who they are and the world around them.