Saturday, August 01, 2009

Through the square window

click photo to enlarge
When they were small my children sometimes watched the BBC TV programme for pre-school children called "Play School." This featured songs, games, short films, etc, all within a structure that was repeated in each programme and thus became familiar to its target audience (and their parents). One device was where the presenter invited the viewers to see what was through one of three windows, which were round, square and arched.

I was reminded of this long-gone programme as I framed shots that included the square "window" of this structure in today's photograph. It is called, "The Sampler", and is a sculpture-cum-seating-cum-part-time-audio-visual device outside The Hub, Britain's National Centre for Craft and Design, at Sleaford, Lincolnshire. The design, by Catherine Bohme and Andreas Lange, has arms that come off a central pole. These have metal seats, tables and canopies fixed to them, and one has this "window" or frame which can have a screen fixed inside it. The arms can be rotated around the central pole because the are partly supported by wheels. Presumably this serves the double purpose of varying the sculpture and allowing for the position of the sun when projecting images on to the screen. When it was first erected the seats and canopies were painted red or yellow. On my recent visit they were battleship grey. I hope this is an undercoat awaiting the final original, brighter colours, because it takes something away from the design.

In fact, "The Sampler" isn't a particularly great piece, sitting outside the converted and extended warehouse that constitutes the Centre. However, it does offer interesting shapes when seen from the viewing gallery at the top of the building. I've photographed it, and commented on it, before - see here - and the other day I thought I'd try for a contextual shot of it using the square "window" as a prominent feature in the composition.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11mm (22mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On