20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World

Flying gecko, in preparation to be preserved as wet specimen. The subjects in this body of work, are noted to have been sourced ethically, whether they have died of natural causes, purchased(dead) from a shelter, farm, or a licensed taxidermist. Still… they raise the question of where the affirmation of ethics really lies – whether truth is validated through documentations, real-life consensus, or perhaps something else entirely. These are the inquiries I associate with the particular (pseudo)scientific vantage point utilized to capture the subjects within this body of work. Since its invention, photography has been used alongside scientific protocols as a tool to document and quantify truth. The photograph in this body of work are taken in a biological laboratory where dead animals are preserved and studied. To me these photographs are nothing short of art objects in the way they are composed, meticulously staged and captured. Furthermore, there is a deeper meaning in these images than what meets the eyes. When we look at a photograph, we are looking at a process. We think of how pictured subjects ended up in front of the camera, why, and for what purpose?

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: None, United States of America
Camera: ILCE-7M3
Copyright: © Chris Manfield