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Clown Exposure: Lost For Flight

In 2004, when Slipknot were working ‘Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses,’ percussionist Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan was hired by the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan to work with some photos that had been taken of the group. “A friend of mine had shot the band at a show, and I was to take these photos, treat ‘em, and put my scratch on them to give them a different look.”

In addition to manipulating band photos, Crahan took many of his own shots in the hope that the Wu could make use of some of those as well. While working on the project, he placed a ‘W’ for Wu on various objects and photographed still lifes, living and dead, then manipulated the pictures with a variety of techniques.

One of the photos he shot was an image of a dead bird on a highway, which he later named ‘Lost For Flight.’

“It kind of looks like an upside-down ‘W’ to me,” Crahan told Noisecreep. “But this is a beautiful thing that’s supposed to be flying, and here it is in this tunnel and it just has no chance.”

What’s especially striking about ‘Lost for Flight’ is the way Crahan used depth of field for the shot. The bird’s stretched claw and right wing are in razor-sharp focus, but the head is slightly blurry and the phosphorescent lights and tunnel exit in the top half of the frame are so blurry they resemble a nightmare.

“This is just something I found when I was out looking for inspiration for Wu-Tang. It’s about searching for something and finding it, even if you didn’t know what you were looking for. It never got used, but I love it so much I made prints of it. The purple in the picture looks really amazing.”

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