We had a photo shoot last week at college. This was to provide us with professional standard photos for use on publicity stuff: postcards, business cards etc. Some students arranged for models and brought all sorts of props to set up their work to suggest fashion or interiors situations. My collection is made up of art pieces on felt, paper and digital projection and so I don't really need any props, just a wall or two.
What I really wanted were some close-up shots of stitches and my embossed paper pieces. These are what I've really struggled to photograph well myself. There isn't much for the camera to focus on as it is all monotone; it is the shadow created by the texture that gives contrast. I got my images back early this week. The images of the felt pieces were no better than I can manage myself. I'm looking forward to getting these up in my space for the show to be able to photograph them properly together. Meanwhile I've found that close ups taken outside in the sunshine give the best results (above).
The photographer at college managed to light the paper pieces so that the embossed marks show but the shadows cast by the stitches aren't too dominant, although the images are still quite dark.
When I photographed them myself in strong sunlight I got some good bright shots but the shadows are so strong they are a bit confusing: they look more like drawings.
I like the ambiguity of these pieces however, so perhaps it is about capturing that...
I've taken so many photographs recently and I'm struggling to find one that captures the whole collection to use for my postcards.
I keep coming back to these folded, clamped and dyed silk pieces, which were really development pieces and haven't made it through to the plan for my show space but which are hanging in my studio.
They have the three dimensional quality that I originally intended for this project and which in a sense has been put aside in favour of more subtle 'flattened relief'. I'm tempted to try and include them though... just not sure how to do it. The danger is that I end up just including everything. I know the secret of putting together a good collection is what you leave out when the temptation is to include as much as you can - just have to try and put that into practise!