The wonderful Bob Croslin’s Grounded just one first place in Pictures of the Year Internationals Science and Natural History Picture Show category. I wanted to know a little more about this stunning project..
What gave you the idea to start this project and how long did you spend on it?
I’ve dropped injured birds off at the sanctuary over the years and I’d always donate $10 or $20. The last time I dropped a bird off (an injured blue jay) I took a look around and started thinking about how I could do something to support the organization. I reached out to the sanctuary’s PR person and offered to shoot a public service campaign for the sanctuary as well as mount a gallery show where I’d sell prints to benefit the organization. It took some convincing but I got the OK.
Was it difficult to get access to the sanctuaries?
Yes. They were very reluctant at first to allow me the access to do the work I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do dramatic portraits of the birds and that it would involve a backdrop, lights and multiple handlers to execute it. The PR person was on board but I had to convince the hospital supervisor and the bird handlers that we could photograph the birds but not stress or injure them in any way. We started with the white pelican who lost a wing due to fishing line. He’s an education bird that is used to humans and was easy to photograph. We still spent the better part of 3 hours chasing him around light stands and the seamless. When I was finished with that first shoot I knew I had a great image and I immediately started emailing the image to all of my contacts at the sanctuary. They were blown away and with that I was in.
(Click on images to enlarge)