In his series “An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds”, British photographer Luke Stephenson explores the beauty of ornamental birds, capturing them through colorful minimalist portraiture.
An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds is a study of a hobby that to most is a hidden world. It began with a very simple idea, that I wanted to photograph budgies, influenced by prize pigeon photography this was all I set out to do. Upon entering this world I discovered a whole range of wonderfully colourful and interesting birds and the hobby of bird keeping that I began to learn about, soon it had sucked me in and I became fascinated with it. During a 3 year period I photographed birds and I met a great deal of people (mostly men) who were very enthusiastic about their hobby, many of which had been keeping birds there whole lives and were extremely knowledgeable and happy to share it with me. This became very infectious and turned me into a sort of collector of birds, but not by owning or breeding them, but simply by photographing a certain species and adding it to my collection allowed me to tick this bird from my self imposed list.Luke Stephenson