Friday, October 12, 2012

Photo Essay- Bird Droppings

Bird Droppings in the Everyday Aesthetic

By Maddison Colgate and Jordan Murray

Humans unknowingly engage with bird droppings on a regular basis, as a result of it being a small and mundane aspect of their lives. This idea relates directly to Murray’s (2008)concept of the everyday aesthetic. She makes links between amateur photography and ‘ephemera’ photography, and their importance in creating a purely realistic portrayal of human surroundings, as well as the unnoticed aspects that we encounter on a daily basis. Bird droppings demonstrate these concepts as a very common object within our lives we have become disillusioned to this typically ‘grotesque’ matter. We endeavoured to reveal the modest beauty behind this ordinary phenomenon by capturing the subtle elements of the droppings through its variety of distinct colours and textures on a wide range of surface. These included, light fittings, concrete and pathways, park benches, poles, and rubbish bins. We were able to capture these images in a style that creates total, raw, realism and urbanisation- thus, leading our photo essay to be one characterised by amateur photography. Many of these images depict bird droppings in different stages of decay and decomposition. By capturing these stages it poses the idea that bird droppings are polluting the urban environment which directly links to Murrays’ idea of ephemera.
Through our editing process we implemented a practise, explored by Murray (2008), which involved deleting selected areas of an image - to ensure that our photos would directly communicate with audiences effectively and  be more manageable within our iMovie process. This process is commonly known as “Lossy compression” (Murray, 2008, pp.150). It is clear that by using many of the techniques Murray (2008) has described in her work “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics” that we have successfully understood and captured the everyday aesthetic.

Sun City Flats- Ryan E. Goodwin (2009), Attribution- NonCommercial- Share Alike 3.0 USA License,

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