The dark side of nature, post-life photography (warning for the squeamish)

Nov 15, 2019
It's often hard to get images of elusive animals, but over the past few years, being opportunistic and on-the-spot as it were, my nature photography has taken a darker turn.
I've started take pics of the dead animals I come across. I am now fascinated by this side of nature and actively seek out this subject matter, which is pretty easy to find and doesn't run off the moment you start fiddling with the lens.

I understand that it's not for everybody, but this sort of stark reminder of mortality has become a fascinating field for me. Old masters of painting have long incorporated dead life into their still life studies or even portraiture. Open casket funerals used to be the norm and people had pictures taken with the corpses.

Nowadays, if we post this sort of absolutely natural thing to Facebook the posts get reported. I am stunned, but ok, I guess I get it.

Perhaps we've become too removed from nature and farming to really appreciate, accept or acknowledge this sort of thing in our modern world, but I'm giving it a go in my photography portfolio and have quite a collection now. A macabre coffee table book in the making? :)

Does anyone else do this too?
I try to get the shots in situ, not moving the subjects at all, though it has been tempting when the background is terrible.

Below, an obvious roadkill, the hard, rough surface of the road contrasting with the organic shapes of the hare.

Nov 18, 2019
I would probably have cropped that square. I read that birds are the most biodegradable of animals, often disappearing in less than two hours. Interesting subject.
Dec 12, 2019
War photography is perhaps the most obvious example of photographing 'The Dark Side' in this case of human suffering not wildlife and as we all know for some photographers it is their job.

As far as photographing roadkill I say why not? However this can be a very personal thing and you should not expect to win any prizes and for some others to be revolted. Each to their own I say.

I do know people who would think me weird if this was all I photographed and certainly it would 'bomb' at photo club competitions. Even judges (of whom many I find have a narrow outlook and closed minds) would most likely reject unpleasant images even if superb photography was demonstrated. Sad but true.

Roadkill is one thing but animal behavour images such as an Eagle with its prey or a Lioness on the back of a Buffalo are revered and applauded since these add to understanding of wildlife and their lives.

I suppose a series of roadkill images of a rare animal in a specific area might document a need for a wildlife tunnel under a road but this most likely would be record photography.

I would add that if you are serious about a coffee table book you might not want to show it to perhaps a new girlfriend on her first visit for example as she is likely to flee the house immediately - lol