Birds in the wild are difficult to photograph. So when I saw these photographs by Minneapolis-based Paula McCartney, I was impressed by her closeness to the animals (although just the right distance to have the viewer fooled, at least at first), as well as the inclusion of the environment. “This seems realistic,” I thought, “only slightly better. She must be a really quiet and really still person.”
In her native New Zealand, photographer Thysje Arthur catalogs the breathtaking flora native to the Westland rainforests. Here, nutrient-rich humus composed of rotting leaves and bark allows for a thriving and fertile forest floor blanketed in color. Exuding a spellbinding aroma, the soil, plants and flowers underfoot cause the ground to feel surprisingly spongy and less solid than we might expect.