When we think of hunting, beautiful is typically one of the last words that comes to mind. But photographer Isabella Rozendaal's series "Isabella Hunts" shows that the dangerous sport yields gorgeous images, wrapped up in all the thrill and drama of the hunt itself.
Rozendaal embarked on the project in 2009 and expects to continue until 2015, traveling the world and documenting the rituals that accompany contemporary hunting practices. A city girl raised in Amsterdam, Rozendaal barely knew hunting still existed growing up. But when she encountered the modern practice as an adult she was captivated by the simultaneous violence and serenity of the act, and vowed to see more. She enrolled in a six-month hunter's education program and travelled to locales from Louisiana to Germany, recording the details of the oddly enchanting ritual.
Rozendaal explains her fascination with the hunt on her website:
"Compared to the hypocritical relationship meat-eating city dwellers tend to have with animals, where they are either part of the family or an unrecognizable industrial food product, the world of hunting seemed surreal -- oddly honest and confronting. I was intrigued by this combination of a peaceful, meditative interaction with nature and the unforgiving confrontation with death."
Rozendaal's long term series pins your ethical judgment against your aesthetic judgment; whether or not you agree with hunting as a practice, we suspect you'll be more than a bit intrigued by Rozendaal's color-drenched images. Take a look below and let us know your thoughts.