M1 Wk4: Collaboration

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

– a collaborative micro project with Simon Johnsen & Ella Rivett

Work & play cover (low res)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.

DCP_5411 e2 (low res)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.

DCP_5423 e (low res)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..

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