Animalia. Funny things, those. All shapes and sizes. Covered in protective plating, some. Scales, shells, or film if undersea. Bare thin skin, if human. Many species come wrapped in some variation of fur or feathers. Some borrow, buy, or steal a covering - a sea snail in a conch shell and a supermodel wrapped in Dior apparently have the same desire to turn heads. Virtually every living thing covers up to protect against the forces of the universe that aims to wipe it out every second of every day.
UV, volcanoes, ice ages, plagues, sudden tectonic plate shifts, tsunamis, black holes, Lyme ticks, and fruitcake, it's a wonder we critters survive at all. And don't relax; here comes 2000-SG344.
But still, here we are, celebrating life - ladybugs, snow leopards, crocodiles, angel fish, geckos, corgis, and incorrigible Aunt Ursula, all resplendently adorned in a cacophony of crazy cover-ups.
So let's go COVER-UP hunting! Like Woodward and Bernstein, we'll root them out and expose them to the world!
Cover-ups are everywhere, and indeed, plants have them too. But adding flora to our fauna assignment just might be one straw too many for a two week exploration, so feel free to keep it simple. Or not.
You might want to focus on a single organism. Aphids, let's say. You'd want to grab your macro lens and a tripod, perhaps a small strobe or reflector to light the scene. Find a rosebush crawling with the little critters and get in close. Hey, they're not so scary after all. Amazing, actually. Beautiful, even. They're semi-translucent! Who knew?
Pets - you know we'll be seeing lots of those this assignment. But find a new and unusual point of view, one that you haven't photographed already. Make fur your subject - how can you showcase it? Need a soundtrack to work to? Ludwig Van has that covered for you - crank up Für Elise.
We have some bird shooters among us. How can you up your game? A longer lens? A blind? Tease a songbird into your hand? Or sneak up on a robin's nest with a cell phone camera?
We humans revel in cover-ups - hair on top if we're lucky, skin everywhere else, some scars to prove we've pushed a limit or two. We've earned every one of those wrinkles and splotches, as well as the ones that are still in the developer tray. Sometimes we slap some more cover-up on top of our natural covers, to cover the cover, and willingly pay top dollar for it. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. Who's to say? The camera will if we won't.
You can't judge a book by its cover except when you can. Perhaps a cover-up reveals a truth rather than conceals it. Follow the clues, or symbols, or money, or thread until you find it.
Metaphorical cover-ups are fair game too. Who was that masked man? How many -gate prefixes has Watergate spawned? Who cares about Area 51? But what is Area 52 hiding? Who really killed JFK?
That's it - a simple assignment with a trillion rabbit holes. Cover cover-ups. Cover to cover.
COVER-UP will run for two weeks, from May 8 through May 21. Run for cover, then shoot it.