Memento Mori

I found this dead juvenile Blue Tit in the garden. Barely fledged and either just out of the nest or nearly so, it was lying on the lawn where it had been dropped. Maybe a magpie got it and was scared off before it could eat it or something. I don’t know. It looked so perfect and poignant that I wanted to photograph it.

In my studio I have a kind of deliberately neglected window sill, behind a tatty curtain that came with the house, which I will replace someday ( yeah right ). This window sill is the repository for all sorts of odd stuff picked up from the garden or just accumulated. Shells, leaf skeletons, acanthus seeds, a dead hornet, small bits of blue and white pottery, fossil shells, a red rear light lens from a Morris Minor and even a few bullets from the battle of Omdurman in the Sudan that a friend gave me years ago. That sort of thing, all overlain by a drift of cobwebs.


I laid the small corpse down on that window sill and took some shots of it, influenced by a book of John Blakemore photographs that I got recently probably, and just because it felt right.

Then I noticed that one of the larger shell fossils was shaped just right to take the dead bird. So I took some shots of it lying in state on it’s fossil shell.


Technical stuff – I have a 49mm to 46mm reducer on my X100 which allows me to use my Nikon WC-E68 wide angle adaptor (as I mentioned in a previous post). It also allows me to use a x1 and x3 macro attachment, though not at the same time as the wide angle thingy obviously. . .


I used the x1 and x3 together for these shots with the X100 set to macro mode. The depth of focus was pretty shallow, but the results were sharp enough when I got the distance right.

Processed in ‘Raw file converter ex powered by silkypix’. Which I have only just discovered and is brilliant once you get the hang of it. I wish it was compatible with non Fuji cameras too.


One thought on “Memento Mori

  1. The black and white photo is more magical as you have to look twice before you see. All the parts on the photo add towards the picture it’s not just a dead bird.

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