As I mentioned before in a post about Robert Ormerod, who also photographs pigeon keepers, I really love pictures of pigeons and the people who make them a part of their lives.  In Chris Arnade’s series especially, I think it’s great to see the diversity amongst these people, and also to read a little bit about the community their hobby creates.

Since I think most viewers can quickly tire of images of flocks of pigeons (personally, I could look at them forever), I am focusing more on portraits of pigeon keepers in this post.  I am also including the captions the photographer gave each image on Flickr, because I feel this is something quite uncommon in the kind of series that I post here.  As soon as I found out about this project, I spent a long while looking through all 76 photos and reading each caption.  To me, it’s nice to see the photographer’s notes and anecdotes on what he learned about and the relationships he formed with his subjects.

From the artist’s statement: I first noticed the beautiful flocks of pigeons high above Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick last summer.  At the time I had no idea that they where part of an old sport.  Brought over by the Italians, Bushwick used to have well over a hundred guys (yes all of them are guys) who kept pigeons on the roofs, now its only about twenty.  Not raised to race ([that’s] another sport), they are simply collected and bred and then flown to highlight their beauty.  These days, its mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican men; [every one] of them has been more than happy to show me their flocks.  Kept in coops on various roofs, the pigeons are fed and flown almost daily.  Once you view the flocks flowing and swirling high above Brooklyn, catching the shifting sunlight, you start to see the artistry involved.

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Found via: Feature Shoot