Monday, December 08, 2008

Every picture includes two people

click photo to enlarge
Here's my third and final 1960s-themed image. I've wanted to do a photograph that included eggs for a while because I find them such beautiful objects. From the "eggshell" lustre of their outer surface to the elegant shape and unlikely method of "manufacture", they are a fascinating piece of nature's handiwork that has been appropriated by designers for thousands of years. The earliest such example that I know is the Ancient Greeks' use of "egg and dart" ornament in architecture. This moulding, found on entablatures, columns and elsewhere, symbolises life (the egg) and death (the dart i.e. spear).

No such elemental symbolism can be ascribed to the eggs in this photograph. I conceived it as a semi-abstract composition, and simply used them as an irregular pattern to break the symmetry of the black and white background. I liked the soft colour, the three-dimensional qualities, and the pale shadows that they brought to the starkness of the background.

Someone looking over my shoulder at this photograph said it was reminiscent of the buttons on a clown's or harlequin's suit. Which just goes to prove the truth of the observation by the American photographer, Anselm Adams, that "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer". And, I suppose, that every viewer brings along something different when they engage with an image.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f16
Shutter Speed: 2 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: Off