Exercise 4.5 asks us to google images of an ordinary subject and discuss the similarities. As I was working with food in the last exercise I decided to google sprouts and cabbages. This is the screen grab I got:
Basically its made up of dishes using the foodstuff and images of the actual food stuffs, nothing in my opinion really eye catching. Yes the food looks tasty enough, but the images are what someone may produce and add to their social media page to show what they had been eating in a restaurant.
What this exercise is looking for is a little creativity. The similarities here have good all round lighting that you might get in a well lit kitchen, with the exception of the cabbage in the top row. Here lighting has been used to highlight the shape, showing the crevices and veins, in a lush dark green cabbage, but….. its just an image of a cabbage. I looked and looked at the images I had screen shot and got an idea of what I wanted to do, a little like Ernist-Haas when he looked at the image of an apple and visualised sensations with literary words.
Off I went to the local supermarket and chose my ingredients carefully. I had a shot in mind and the ingredients had to be just right for the project to work.
The first shot related to the cabbage and sprouts. As a young child I loved cabbage but hated sprouts. My mother told me that sprouts were just baby cabbages and they were really the same. So I started eating sprouts. Below is the image I had in mind when buying the cabbage, and as it was not the season for sprouts I had to buy frozen ones, which in the end was a happy accident as I used it to add another ‘meaning’ to my image.
As mother had said, ‘sprouts are baby cabbages’ I thought of a cabbage which had been grated to produce small cabbages, aka sprouts. The happy accident with the frozen sprouts that are melting and are now wet, (in my minds eye) represent the sweat that might be evident after having to work hard as the grating process was administered! It was an after thought as I saw the frozen sprouts melting and soon found a solution to the problem. I don’t know if a person viewing the image may have the same thought.
The other images I took had a similar outcome. I used thin spring onions and fat juicy shallots with a couple of other food stuffs.
Using the same background (a black towel) I utilised the pattern on the towel as a platform to lay my ‘subjects’ on. Then took a flat image, Well as flat as I could as the tripod could not be moved closer ‘over’ the image. But I think the angle adds to the overall image of the shot.
This image came about as I am trying to lose some weight. I enjoy a chocolate and think this could be my problem!
As I was shopping I was aware that there were a number of children in the shop. It was the school holidays and I wondered what it was going to be like when the long summer holidays were over? Would the children want to go to school or would they have to be dragged crying and screaming?
In summery, my shots differ from those on the google screen grab, in the fact that I have used the same subject as they did in the screen grab, but I have changed its ‘value’ from a foodstuff to something completely different, that tells an every day ordinary story. I feel I have turned the ordinary, into an extraordinary, then back into the ordinary.
This was achieved by using an everyday food (vegetables), to produce an image that would not be normally associated with that food (way the food was used), then back into the ordinary by way of content, ie, weight loss, school and what mother said, all telling a story. This is what I feel David Bailey meant in his comments below:
David Bailey’s comments from his interview in The Face (Dec 1984) – ‘In photography everything is so ordinary: it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary’ .
Seeing something extraordinary in the ordinary is something that photographers need to nurture. As Valerie Jardin said, in an article, ‘See The Extraordinary In The Ordinary’ on the Digital Photography School site;
‘I am never bored when I am with my camera! I love the challenge of photographing an ordinary object and try to make it look interesting’
I took Varerie Jardin and David Bailey’s comments on board, and decided to look around for an every day object to photograph. I picked up my hair brush and used it as my subject. I used varied lighting and took shots at different angles, and ended up with the shots below: