Assignment 1: The concept of Contrast

Ideas and inspiration on 'Contrast'

I'm not done with all the exercises running up to the first assignment, but I have been thinking quite about the concept of 'Contrasts'. The idea of the first assignment is to produce pictures that show different kind of contrasts, for example 'light and dark', ' straight and curved' etc. Especially after looking a bit at Ola Lanko's work, I've been thinking much more about why and how we perceive the things we see. What makes us decide what is contrasting? Have a look at these illustrations from the book 'Elephant Elements', a very simple, yet clever way to show how contrasts highlight a very specific element of an object:

  Francesco Pittau & Bernadette Gervais,  Elephant Elements    (2001) [   Les Contraires    (1999)]

Francesco Pittau & Bernadette Gervais, Elephant Elements (2001) [Les Contraires (1999)]

A photograph I find really striking when it comes to contrast is 'Waxwork of Tony Blair', by Peter Marlow. Different contrasts can be seen. Before reading the title I was amazed at the fact that all these people were passing Tony Blair as if he was just a regular guy. There's a contrast between the irreverence he seems to be treated by and the kind of attention of bystanders you would expect when there's a famous person around. Then looking a bit longer, I thought it was a strange place for an M.P. to be posing for what seems like an official portrait anyway and stand so perfectly still with a lot of movement around him. Well, then I saw the sign at his feet and read the title of the photograph. It explains it all and the main contrast becomes clear, the difference between people that are alive and a waxwork. Here it is:

 Waxwork of Tony Blair, Peter Marlow, 1996

Waxwork of Tony Blair, Peter Marlow, 1996