All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
– a collaborative micro project with Simon Johnsen & Ella Rivett
I typically intend my work to stand alone and require minimal (if any) explanation, but my component of a collaborative micro project does require a little background. Having established that we were going to depict ‘work’ in black & white and ‘play’ in colour, I was keen to embrace both facets in individual shots, necessitating colour popping – something to which I am not adverse, but a technique that is always embraced warmly! Both shots allowed me to use my favourite lens, Canon’s EF 85 mm f/1.2L II.
Constrained by the restrictions imposed on photography within a school, my compositions had to maintain the anonymity of the pupils. The above shot, taken in my IT Suite, was entirely staged with the only post-production being the colour popping. I rearranged the pupils to have those who were dark-haired and dark-clothed seated at the computers that were locked displaying WORK multiple times. The only blond-haired pupil in the room became the de facto ‘star’ of the shot and was told to pretend to play the Invaders game (this was in fact a still image). It was interesting to note that I had to ask him to look to the very top of the screen to produce a composition that looked just right – when looking at the middle of the screen his whole body shape appeared to point down in a rather negative way.
While the yo-yo image was also staged, it stemmed from the commonplace sight in the classroom of an abstract toy. No matter what subject a child my be studying, there is an intrinsically childlike approach of having to have something to play with close to hand – not that they would actually put the item to use during a lesson! Thus pencil cases or pockets tend to contain yo-yo’s, tennis balls, small rugby balls, etc., etc..