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Some ten centuries ago, the epic poet Homer is believed to have told the tale of the sirens. As his version would have it, the wicked women enticed men to their island with song, vowing to prophecy the future before driving the sailors to shipwreck their boats and meet their deaths along the serrated cliffs.

In subsequent versions, the corpses of these men are either left to rot or consumed by the sirens themselves, with only one hero, Homer’s Odysseus, having escaped their rapacious claws. Now, Los Angeles-based photographer Tyler Shields returns to the island of the sirens, staging a series of images featuring the exquisite and treacherous creatures at play along the rocky shore.

Shields created Sirens after a period of heavy rainfall, casting a group of women as his heroines before tasking them with staying completely motionless for the duration of his long exposures. Nude amongst the rough wilderness and frigid air, his collaborators lied unstirring for anywhere from two to nearly thirty minutes. Using his Hasselblad camera, Shields created each final image entirely in camera.

As magnificent as the images are here, Shields insists that in person, the quality and luster of the prints dazzle in a way that simply cannot be replicated online. All prints are available for purchase via Guy Hepner.

Tyler Shields’s Decadence is now on view at Maddox Gallery Mayfair in London until February 24th.

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All images © Tyler Shields

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