In Aesop’s fable The Swan and the Goose, a swan, mistaken for a goose by the cook, distinguishes itself by singing a sweet song that enraptures the cook, saving itself from slaughter. If it weren’t for the sweet song, this swan would have been surely killed, which was ultimately the fate of its unfortunate neighbour, the goose.
For her documentary photo series Utah Swan Hunt, photographer Cayce Clifford followed hunters over multiple expeditions during the controversial swan hunting season. Somewhat typical of the usual hunting photo essay — the early morning sunrise shot, the token huntsman holding up his prized kill, it’s the swans that catch our attention. It seems wrong to kill these beautiful creatures, with their pristine white plumage and graceful long necks that stretch out vulnerably into lake mist.