Thursday, August 01, 2013

Mundane photographic subjects

click photo to enlarge
Some of my best photographs feature the most mundane subjects. This comes as no surprise to me because, having an interest in art and painting, I long ago observed that the same is true of many works that I like. What it does mean, however, is that it isn't especially easy to find such subjects because you don't usually plan for them in the way that you might for a landscape, portrait, architecture or other branches of photography. What often happens is that during the course of doing something entirely unrelated to photography, you notice a composition or item that looks like it might make a shot and you point your camera at it. Such an approach relies on you having a camera with you at the time and that's where a pocketable compact camera is so valuable.

Today's photograph was taken while we were gathering blackcurrants at the house of some friends. Many people in rural communities swap and share garden produce when they have a glut that is beyond their capacity to eat, store, preserve or freeze. It's a sociable and sensible thing to do. Having filled a couple of containers we were sitting at a textured glass table below a green parasol enjoying a soft drink when this composition caught my eye. Glasses and bottles have been the stock in trade of painters of still life for centuries, and the simple qualities of form, colour, shape, reflection and transparency that these objects presented to me had something of a painting about them. Perhaps it was the way the tinted, textured, opaque glass of the table top looked like it was composed of brush strokes. Or maybe it was the way the same surface turned the clouds into what looked like painted representations of clouds rather than reflections. Whatever the reason, I took my shot and I'm happy to say its modest, unaffected qualities please me more than most of the images I've posted on the blog in recent months.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 21.5mm (58mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On