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TAOP: Assignment 5: Planning and Research – Part 1: Turned to Liquid/Lost in the Sea

For the first shots of the narrative I’m reducing my original idea to just a couple of elements – the miniature boat on the sea of wine and the wine glass.

The origin of the seed of this idea was a website advertising an exhibition of photographs where the photographer had used a number of settings in the home to create an impression of a miniature sailing boat at sea.  Curled up carpets represented storms, light creeping under a door was used to show a sunrise.  While clearly in a home setting, the photographer was very effective at evoking the sense of the ship being on a voyage.  This is a more  ‘real’ interpretation of what I’m talking about (the ship is also a lot more dominant than in the photographs I saw):

  • Sailing on the clouds

Sadly, despite extensive searching, I’ve been unable to find any examples from the exhibition and I don’t recall the photographer’s name – it being more than two years since I saw it!

In any case, it did leave a lasting impression on me and I want my first shots to borrow from this idea; albeit with wine as the sea.  My first shots will show a miniature boat floating on wine.  The first shot will be close up; then the second will be more distant – with the tipped glass showing for the first time in the foreground.  I’m going to revisit the technique I used in my last assignment for the ‘colour’ examples. I intend to use blue light as the background to clash with the red of the wine and the boat’s “hull”.  In the colour assignment I noted the red and blue clash was strong and created almost a ‘wave’ of movement and I think it will work here to create that sense of movement and discomfort.  Here’s a very bad illustration of the kind of thing I’m thinking of (I’m sketching things out for a ‘storyboard’ so I get a rough idea of how the narrative will tie together, but I can’t draw for shit – so it won’t look all that great!):

Wine and Boat

On my futile quest to find the miniature boat photographs, I stumbled upon this image by designer/photographer Grassi Stefano:

Grassi Stefano’s image

It’s a composite of art and photography and it’s got me thinking about how I might play with reflections of the boat and wine scene in the wine glass surface.  I think the distortion might help reinforce the idea of being lost and distant, and the curves may even enhance the impression of waves in the wine.

The third shot of this sequence will be of a lighthouse.  There is a danger here when moving from still-life ‘impressions’ of landscape (or seascape, I guess) to a genuine landscape as the images need to flow – rather than appear out of place.  Weather could help or hinder this change – a clear night shot of the lighthouse would ‘borrow’ the blue from the first two shots in the night sky; a cloudy shot would appear grey.

I’m thinking a long exposure will work here if a lighthouse is in operation, along a similar line to this image – though perhaps with some direction from the light:

  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse

I particularly like the appearance of stars on the above image; that could tie in well with the first picture for the next page of the narrative…

However, back to lighthouses again – for the purposes of reinforcing the narrative sense of ‘lost’ this alternative kind of lighthouse picture could work; so perhaps weather won’t be a big problem:

  • Portland Bill at night

Another possibility to minimise the change from still-life to landscape might be to employ tilt-shift techniques as Alan Finn has done with this image:

  • Tilt-shift lighthouse

However, I would have to ‘fake’ it in post, as I don’t have a tilt-shift lens.  It is something I’ve done before, in this shot in Wales:

Welsh Landscape Tilt-shift – click to see large on Flickr

Elevation is required for tilt-shift though; so my decision to use it would also be restricted by location; and that seems to be a particular challenge.  This site shows lighthouses in the North West and their status. It looks like the nearest ‘proper’ active lighthouse is up at Barrow-in-Furness.  I think I’ll need to research locations, more than techniques, before going ahead with this one!

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