Every New Year’s editorial cartoonist depict the passing of the old year by drawing pictures of an elderly bearded man, dressed in a robe and carrying a scythe and often an hourglass. Who is this geezer and why is he resurrected by the media at the start of every new year?
The ancient Greeks called him Chronos (the root of “chronology”) and the Romans knew him as Saturn, son of Uranus (Sky Father) and Gaea (earth mother). In the middle ages, he was thought of as the Grim Reaper, but now we simply call him Old Father Time. In all of these myths, he symbolizes the inexorable flow of time, both its destructive and constructive effects. But even as his physical vitality dwindles, like an inverted hourglass, it is replenished with serenity, wisdom and the awareness of being part of a continuum. That is the gift of time. Happy new year.
“When you take anything out of its context and put it against a white background, you see something different” explains photographer Andrew Zuckerman. “It forces all attention on the subject….It’s the absence of space and color…in the end, all you’re left with is the form and range of colors contained in the subject.”
Like his previous books “Creature” and “Wisdom,” Zuckerman’s latest book, “Birds,” is shot entirely against a white background. Using a Leaf Aptus 75S digital camera along with high-speed strobe lighting, Zuckerman caught details that would be impossible to see if the birds were photographed in their natural environment. Instead, Zuckerman set up a mobile studio, mostly at zoos, in four countries and coaxed 74 species of birds into the camera’s range. The result is microscopically crisp detail and dazzling nuances of color. To see more Zuckerman birds and a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot, visit Show-Off, a virtual nonprofit gallery conceived and curated by San Francisco/Newark, UK-based design firm Dowling Duncan.
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