Macmillan Dictionary had flat-pack as their Word of the Day yesterday. A strange choice, I felt; so much a commercial thing that it doesn’t feel like a word to me. But, it got me thinking about a photo walk I had attended at the weekend, a workshop that focused on our photographic capture of modern architecture.
Now I’m sure you’re still wondering what all this has to do with flat pack.
The blocks of modern flats and offices that my lens was focusing on may well be home to many a flat-pack product, but the real link in my head is “flatness”. The shot above, with its lack of colour (matching Sunday’s weather) and with no geographical or structural context, shows off its flatness more than its true shape and size.
This workshop focused on a topic that fits well with many of my city shots, where I love to carefully combine lines and shapes in an interesting manner, and then add in a little something (often a reflection) that hints at unreality. By the end of the day, I felt more confident in my approach: the leaders had shown how effective such photography can be, and how easy it is to prompt the viewer to question what they are seeing.
So if you find yourself wandering around a city that you have photographed many times, feeling bored and / or uninspired, why not try a mini-project where you focus on small segments of the buildings, using lines, angles and textures to create a more challenging view of something familiar.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 27 November 2018