In UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, there exists a large wooden sculpture of a raven perched upon a shell containing humans which was sculpted by Bill Reid and titled The Raven and the First Men. I happened to see this sculpture up close when I was there with my brother and a friend in November of 2010. Made entirely from laminated yellow cedar, the sculpture depicts the creation of humans according to Haida legend. So what does this have to do with this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge?
The photograph you see below shows the raven fully illuminated, but the humans are largely in the shadows. I was pleasantly surprised at how this photograph turned out because it depicts light and shadow so well. The eye is immediately drawn to the head of the raven as it is fully illuminated, and then drifts off to see what the raven is standing on: the humans. Again, taken with film, I found the colours and contrast to be quite good. There’s a bit of grain in the shadowy areas, but it is to be expected as film always has grain.
I’ve always wanted to acknowledge the artisans of the Haida Gwaii. Their artwork, I think, is quite captivating in its geometry, intricacy, and deceptive simplicity. I can only hope that I’ve done Bill Reid’s sculpture service by photographing it as such.
Taken with Canon EOS 650.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.
Fuji Velvia 50.