Experiment: Photo shoot #3 – we need to talk

Another photo shoot was planned with a significant phrase as its basis, “We need to talk”. A set of props came to mind that would reference a conversation taking place, or at least being requested. A parrot and ‘tin can telephone’ seemed to match the humour of the previous photos quite well. A few sketches were made below to study the balance of the proposed image. I wasn’t sure whether the string would add too much clutter but as a lead in to the image I thought it was worth pursuing.

A remote location was chosen for the shoot to create an ironic counterbalance to the words being spoken. The location was the summit of Kinder Scout where I knew some small fir trees grew. The slider below shows the best results from the shoot. It was challenging to portray the real remoteness of the place and I was concerned that the image would seem to be just off the road when in fact it was 2 miles from anywhere.

The three images below are favourites. The top one I like compositionally but in retrospect I think the string is unnecessary and would clash with the other images I already have. The middle image has real humour and offers a more remote outlook but the character does look quite timid, which is not the words resonate with me. The bauble was an added extra but I think it also adds confusion to the pure meaning.

The bottom image is the most compositionally strong and the character dominates the scene. More importantly the composition matches the previous two photos, in terms of character size and pose so this is the image I’ll work with. The colour saturation in this version is too low however so it will be matched to the other two to ensure there is consistency in as many elements as possible – I want the message to be the dominant changing feature rather than any other pictorial element.

Summary & next steps

This is a good result with a strong character pose that matches the previous ones. The props work well and the mask blends perfectly with the dress. The colour of the dress is a nice contrast against the upland moor. This is a powerful short phrase and even without translation it dominates the scene and it has a comic absurdity that I enjoy very much.

This image was confirmed as the most successful through a quick peer review with my peers as well and several did confirm my own thoughts that a higher saturation would work better.

I now have three good photos to work with so presentation is the next consideration. There are countless options available to present this work so I’ll consider quite a few before settling on what I think is working best.

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