John Poon

Joined January 2010

Creating an image is not just viewing what the camera captures but expresses what the artist sees. My images, though seldom of the human...

Pain in Birds - for Sojie 13 WIP

A digital art translation of Pain in Birds by linaji

I was working with the digital art translation of Fear and Anger when it came to me that I might have something that would work for a digital art translation of Pain in Birds. I have some bird images with that abstract quality in Lina’s image.

I had no idea what the piece about was at first, the fine details were too small for me to make out; and the phrase Birds in Pain was new to me. I googled Birds in Pain and the returns were all about animal cruelty. I then wrote Lina and asked her to tell me about her piece to see if I get it. This is what she wrote

“Yes… Pain in Birds is about for me… the levels of coming from fear and flying free…

Birds represent (to me) … eggs (birth), nesting (grounding) , and in the grounding and birth so much pain of loss, due to predators, dropping, loosing, destruction…
but the ones that get through and are born to the life of ‘birds’ … FLY FLY FREE….
.
anyway for me that was the feeling in my own life as I created this"

I think I get it :)
There’s pain, but there’s also hope, sadness with optimism.

So I thought of this piece I named Omen. The description of the image reads,
“The birds of Rhiannan in Druid legends are blackbirds which sit and sing in the World tree of other worlds. Their singing puts the listener into a sleep or a trance which enables him or her to travel to the otherworld. It was said to impart mystic secrets.

I was torn between this and making it more Dark/Dramatic but I settled for this to let the viewer make the choice if this is a good or bad omen."

At least this sets the mood for me. The blackbird is the messenger, the bird is the message. I would like to offer a glimmer of hope in this translation; and maybe tie it in with animal cruelty if only in a subtle way… and so the working title came. I will call it No More Turning Away – another Pink Floyd inspired title form the song On The Turning Away.

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

This second image is the main component that will give the translation its abstract quality. Some of you might be asking what Photoshop tricks is John up to now. There is no post processing done on this image except tone adjustment. I have been experimenting with motion blur (of the subject, not the background) and panning, and decided to combine the two together.

Shot early in the morning before the day is bright, at maximum zoom with aperture set to lowest F8 and ISO at 80 to give me the longest exposure time, which was 1/5 of a sec. The rest is just luck getting good action and a decent composition while running chasing the flocks.



WIP#1

A blending of the two images

Don’t want another dark piece and trying out a different color scheme, and defined which parts show through.



WIP#2

Now to add in the tie to Lina’s title, pain in birds, and the underlying meaning of my translation. I kept the blackbird in both dimensions at the same time; and added in the two gliders.
.
.
Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering


.
.
It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone


.
.
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night

Coming up to the home stretch and having a wee bit problem with the final component…



WIP#3

I should have provided more info on the statue to provide more context. The statue below reminds me of Artemis the Greek Goddess who prefers nature to the politics. … Artemis was also a bird Goddess

The next piece was going to be my final but I am having too much fun to stop now.

As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord

Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare



It was not easy to choose this as the final translation. No doubt some of you may favor one of the intermediate images over others, as I have a hard time deciding when to stop. The process has come full circle in the way that it started out a basic concept and a simple merging of 2 layers, then more complex ( to the point I was afraid I was over working it) and finally back to the basics. I am glad I have chosen a working title before the work started. As I was working on the images, I was hooked by the lyrics and went with the flow interpreting each passage of the song.

As this translation came to a finish, I am already missing the journey it has taken me. It’s been a learning experience. I thank Lina for the inspiration, Sojie for providing the opportunity, and no less, the kind support and gracious encouragement everyone have bestowed upon me. Thank you all!!!

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