Saturday, June 12, 2010

Serendipitous visual connections

click photo to enlarge
Photography has always made more of serendipitous visual connections than has painting. The fact that painters have a free rein when it comes to subjects, whereas photograpers have to root their images in something offered by the real world largely accounts for this. Surreal paintings, for example, can be anything that the painter can imagine, whereas the photographer's conceptions are limited by the subjects he can capture and the way they can be juxtaposed.

Today's photograph was taken at the same exhibition of underwear as yesterday's image. Here a group of mannequins modelling bras, corsets, briefs etc. were arranged on raised blocks in front of a wall. The curator had taken careful steps to theme the signs and props that accompanied the lingerie, even to the point of having a discreet "Please do not touch" sign painted on the backdrop in a red, cursive script. It was clearly meant to apply to the mannequins and their underwear. However, when framed by the camera alongside a headless, voluptuous female shape made of overlapping shadows it seemed to be less of a request for restraint and more an invitation to consider the nature of reality. Can you touch a shadow? Does a shadow actually exist in a corporeal sense, or in any other tangible way? How would you go about leaving a mark on a shadow?

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2
Shutter Speed: 1/40
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On