I made a start a few days after receiving the course material. The initial task was to choose one of the given themes and brainstorm them.
I have a tendency to be indecisive and had mixed responses to all four themes so I chose to do a speedy brainstorm of them all.
- Tropical Tourist: I liked the sound of this one and knew I would have no problem finding relevant objects.
- Style Lounge: I got a bit stuck with this and knew I wouldn’t pursue it
- Iced Landscape: I was intrigued by the theme and chose to go for this one as I was curious to see how I would create a sense of an Iced Landscape.
- Nature’s Larder: I was immediately drawn to this, because of living in rural Wales, always liking natural forms and enjoying nature, walking and foraging but it was almost too accessible and I sensed it wouldn’t challenge me to think outside the box
Once I chose Iced Landscape I brainstormed the theme further, concluding that the aspects that interested me were to do with the cold hard ice/snow/frost/rock and what people who may live in these conditions use: animal skins and furs which create a softness and warmth. I also picked up on the imagery of light and atmosphere – the mood that can be created. Finally I thought of the animals that live in these sort of conditions – arctic hares and foxes, snow leopards, bears, fish…
Once I had a sense of theme and concept I collected my objects. Here is an image, photographed without any particular arrangement or attention to lighting:
I chose: some sort of gemstone/crystal, a pendant a friend had made into a necklace for me (originally part of a chandelier I think), some wool knit booties leather soled and sheepskin lined, a round glass lamp, a pair of leopard print knickers (!), a clay modelled animal I had made randomly once and a semi precious stone egg.
Choosing how to compose and arrange the objects effectively for photography took some time. But it was a process I enjoyed. I realised pretty quickly that the images would look better by using the lamp lit up.
One of the outcome themes from my brainstorm with an ‘Iced Landscape’ was that of atmosphere/mood/lighting coupled with the contrasts that I had noted: light/dark being one of them.
Here are a selection of the photos I took:
The more photos I took, the more I noticed that they looked better if kept simple. I also found the images adopted a narrative quality, possibly due to the intimate lighting ‘setting the scene’, adding drama, atmosphere. Also the animal sculpture creates a sense of figure in the landscape. The fish skin began to take on the qualities of a rocky mountain surface. The lace and it’s shadows create a sense of fragility that comes when faced with extreme weather conditions.
I particularly liked the shadows being created by the lace, and the reflections in the pendant which almost took on the image of iced snow topped mountains.
I was surprised by what I had discovered. I felt that I was really ‘investigating’ something. I look forward to Part 2!