Assignment 3: Influences

As mentioned in my former post, I have been looking at a lot of work of Ernst Haas to be inspired for this exercise. Work of other photographers and artists were also of influence in my approach to the use of colour in photography. William Eggleston was one of them. What strikes me in his photos is how he lets the light define a lot of the hues. Most photos outdoors are taken at sunrise or sunset and the colours are very strong and striking, while indoors the fluorescent lights make the colours much colder and more distant. What also interests me is how he can make ordinary things and people look strange, and the way he uses colour and light certainly accentuates that.

When taking photos for this assignment I wanted to catch the light in the same way Eggleston and Haas did. It was not very easy since in Senegal there's only a very short time frame in the day when the light is not extremely bright. And during sunrise and sunset I'm often busy doing other things. But I got up early on a Sunday morning to shoot under a bridge, since I like the colours of the pillars and knew it would work well with the buildings and cars that pass. This one turned out to be my favorite:

Under a bridge on a Sunday morning

Under a bridge on a Sunday morning

The following pictures were inspired by Ernst Haas' abstract images of torn posters on a wall, his flowers and the one with the waves. I have tried to get the same kind of feel in the images, especially defined by the use of colours.

On the left: 

Haas, E. (1968) Tobago Wave, Caribean 1968. Ernst Haas Estate, Available from: http://www.ernst-haas.com/colorGallery02.html [Accessed 19 April 2013]. On the right, my picture of a wave, Dakar 2013. 

Haas' images of the torn poster looked like paintings to me, I wondered if he first made a collage himself, but then when I started concentrating on walls with posters, scratched cars, oil stains, etc, I found some beautiful details as well!

On the left: Haas, E.   Torn Poster IV,  Ernst Haas Estate, Available from: http://www.ernst-haas.com/colorGallery01.html [Accessed on 19 April 2013]. On the right, my picture of a detail of grafitti art.

In 'The Ongoing Moment' Dyer talks about how through the history of art and photography there have always been still lives of bowls of fruit and how Meyerowitz' photo 'Still life with Newspaper'  falls in this category. When I saw the scene of this plate of tomatoes, fish placed on a green cloth, I thought it somehow fits within this tradition of colorful fruit and plates, but African style. I like how the table cloth has the same kind of black spots as you can see on the tomatoes.

Tomatoes and fish

Tomatoes and fish

I'm at a stage that I enjoy looking at other people's work even more than taking photographs myself. It is nice to notice how different I'm starting to look at the world around me and how I start to appreciate details that I never would notice before.