The Image: Thomas Bangsted, "Lobster Study"

I made this photograph some years ago while contemplating what an interior maritime picture would look like. Several attempts at photographing the lobster industry in Maine and Massachusetts preceded this picture, but that environment just seemed impossibly quaint and unsuited for a deadpan depiction.

I went home to Denmark for Christmas that year. While browsing through old boxes in the attic I found some unfinished childhood drawings I had once made of a red lobster. Later upon my return to Connecticut I purchased a dead specimen from a local seafood store and resumed this study of crustaceans.

I would keep the thing in the freezer and only take it out for an hour or so, leaving enough time to complete a new sketch. The freezer block served as a pedestal for the model. After a few months of repeating this ritual, I set up the camera one day and made the picture.

I have made few of these still lifes since, but once in a while the occasion presents itself. These pictures always come as an utter surprise to me.

Thomas Bangsted