Everything in nature has a life-cycle, a beginning and an end. Death doesn’t always have to be ugly or gruesome. Sometimes vegetation can be just as pretty in its final stages as it is when it blooms. Unfortunately living animals reach us emotionally once their lives have ended.

Steve Troletti Photography: VULTURES / VAUTOURS (Cathartidae) &emdash; Turkey Vulture / Urubu à tête rouge

No matter how sad it may seem, nature always has a purpose in life and in death. Turkey vultures are dependent on death in nature. Their acute sense of smell allows them to find and feed on dead carcasses. They play a valuable role in accelerating the process of decomposition.

Steve Troletti Photography: HERONS, EGRETS, BITTERNS / HÉRONS, AIGRETTES et BUTORS (Ardeidae) &emdash; Great Blue Heron Spear Fishing / Grand Héron harponnant sa proie

Some death occurs through the actions of a predator. In this case a Great Blue Heron harpoons its prey, a fish so that it can feed itself and maybe its young.

Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; Happy Leaf in Snow! / Feuille heureuse dans la neige!

In other cases death may just be the end of a cycle as this leaf from an Oak Tree falls in early spring as part of a cycle of life.

Steve Troletti Photography: Montreal - L’Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park 2012 &emdash; Trash Littering the banks of Montreal's Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park

Death may also be symbolic, as in pollution slowly killing off the environment, becoming inhospitable to living creatures.

Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; Death Along the River

Nature is not always kind, passed its beauty it can sometimes be cruel. This fish reached the end of the line and will probably be scavenged by Gulls as part of the ongoing cycle of life.

Your Challenge is to document Death in Nature as part of the Cycle of Life. There should be no hand of man involved, keep the setting as natural as possible. There’s always a deeper meaning, a new understanding of nature when we go out in search of death. Feel free to document in a short paragraph the nature value and the impact of your image.

This is not an opportunity to destroy vegetation, kill animals or abuse nature in any shape or form. You must document what you find as an editorial or artistic image. Keep your mind and your eyes open as life and death takes on many forms in nature. (If animal cruelty is detected in any shape or form, it will be reported to authorities.)

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.