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Susan Middleton

Susan Middleton has described her photographs as portraits that she hopes will “evoke an emotional response.” Requiem’s subject is a passenger pigeon that died in 1884. Once the most populous bird species in North America, it was decimated by hunters and is now extinct. Middleton lit the iridescent feathers to maximize their luster and enhanced the effect when inking the print. The jewel-like bird is ensconced in a velvety black typical of photogravure — Middleton called it a bulletproof black. The subject of Day Octopus is a living species whose exceptional camouflage abilities not only protect it from predators but also make it extremely challenging to capture with a camera.

Banner image: Detail, Susan Middleton, Requiem, 2008, color photogravure, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Kathan Brown, Courtesy Susan Middleton

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