Parting Shot: Stephen Green-Armytage's Poultry Portraits | October 2021 | Visual Art | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Parting Shot: Stephen Green-Armytage's Poultry Portraits | October 2021 

click to enlarge Asil Rooster, Stephen Green-Armytage
  • Asil Rooster, Stephen Green-Armytage

A white Jacobin pigeon stares in shock, burrowing into its mass of feathers as if it’s been caught in a heist. A chamois Polish Frizzle chicken peaks out from lengthy, curling feathers with wet, pleading eyes and a downturned beak, ready to cry out in distress. These are some of the photographs in “Extraordinary Birds,” an exhibition of avian photos by Stephen Green-Armytage at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum through November 7.

A career in wildlife photography for publications including Smithsonianand Lifeput the Woodstock resident on the path to photographing what most would consider to be ordinary birds. He’s published three bird-based photography books: Extra Extraordinary Chickens, Extraordinary Pheasants, and Extraordinary Pigeons

For each project, Green-Armytage finds his subjects at poultry shows. In the midst of coops, birds squawking and laying eggs, and judges determining the grand champion of each category, Green-Armytage sets up a makeshift blackbox studio, complete with proper portrait lighting, and photographs the birds while their owners stand by. He’s attended shows in the United States as well as Denmark, the Netherlands, and other European countries.

The portraits of the birds highlight their varied textures, feather patterns, and colors. Green-Armytage hopes that spectators will be as enthralled as he is by them. “When I first got introduced to these different creatures I just had no idea that there were so many different pigeons, so many different pheasants, so many different chickens,” he says. “The birds are really strange and wonderful, and sometimes quite beautiful.”

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