Photo of the Day: Athena Devouring Her Soldiers


Inspired by Francisco Goya’s 1819-1823 oil painting Saturn Devouring His Son, the above project speaks of humanity’s innate compulsion to send its soldiers into the throes of death.  We fight for land.  We fight for possession and power.  It is our willingness to send man and woman into war; and Athena above, goddess of warfare (and wisdom) unleashes her rage over the very men and women we as a people send into battle.

On the other side of the coin, we also fight for freedom, for a voice, for the ability to live our lives as we choose.  There are always two sides, our decisions coming from a place we find within ourselves.

Shot with three Q-flashes, black back drop, and a 6-stop neutral density filter allowing me to shoot wide open, I brought the subject as close to the wide angle lens as possible to create distortion in her face and hands.  Goya’s image is offered below for reference.

Location: private residence

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

16mm, 1/80 sec at ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, tripod.

Post: LR4 & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 1.23.58 PMFrancisco Goya (1819-1823 oil painting) Saturn Devouring His Son

Photo(z) of the Day: MK Cuttin’ It All Down


I invited Matt over on an unusually warm late winter day in the PNW.  Two ideas: Matt in his element pruning trees outside (above); Matt taking the outdoor technique indoors and getting a little carried away (below).

This blossoming flibert tree (also known as a hazelnut tree) is a sign of the beginning of spring.  The pollen on each flower is loaded, and the slightest gust of wind releases plumes of the fine yellow dust.  Honey bees were loving it, one of their few choicest sources of food this time of year.  Matt climbed the ladder.  I positioned lights and posted on top of his car.  Snap.


Banzai pruning is an artform, same as large-scale pruning, but on a different level.  Instead of setting up Matt to look like a Zen master delicately snipping away at this miniature money tree, I wanted him to look guilty, cutting away his profits with shock and awe.  Maybe it also reflects the scale of environmental damage that the fracking on the Bakken Shale in Montana and North Dakota cause, as well as the further advancement of permitting for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  As an individual, spending his days outdoors working with trees, Matt chooses the preservation and cultivation of nature over the growth of the “money tree”.

Cameron Karsten Photography