As ‘dark’ as this photograph seems, it’s one of my favorites both in composition and meaning. The composition and detail within the photo is eerily awesome. And it represents the circularity of life.
The photo is that of the remains of a spawned-out sockeye salmon in Alaska. Sockeyes hatch in freshwater rivers, migrate to the sea where they spend several years then migrate to the same river to spawn before dying.
The photo catches what can be cyphered as salmon from the past greeting the new spawn as they now begin their life trek.
Its name ‘Alma Mater II’ is taken from a famous sculpture that greets students at the University of Illinois. The sculpture is of a mother figure, accompanied by two other figures, reaching out to the students below. The inscription reads: “To thy happy children of the future those of the past send greetings”.
I always thought that to be kind of creepy, until I found my spawned-out salmon.
Then it all made sense…