The Fridge

 Posted by on April 6, 2014  Add comments
Apr 062014
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Scott invited me along to fill a spot in one of his high country photography workshops.

Firstly – thankyou Scott. I had a great time and to have a guided glimpse at the world where you once worked and lived was a privilege. I can see why these workshops are so popular and I will recommend them to everyone.

But – Ferg issued me a challenge. “Photograph that kitchen in a way that can only be you” he said. That must be what we always strive for anyway, so I was keen.

So I stood for a while in the kitchen.

The dirt and the grime spoke of neglect but, more strongly to me, also of layers of story. Much has happened in this place. The chairs are welcoming. However the centerpoint is the fridge – many a Speights has been cooled in here, as well some milk I suppose.

Did I make it mine by using familiar techniques (lensbaby and textured post processing) or are those techniques secondary to the story?

In the end, when I looked at this image, I didn’t see anything about me. Instead the subject spoke through no matter what I did.
So whether is Scotts view of this kitchen, or mine, or anyone elses it’s the kitchen that speaks….. It is the kitchen holds the truth and knows the stories.

Perhaps I have learned a truth about photography – it is all about the subjects and not about the photographers

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  8 Responses to “The Fridge”

  1. Thank you Ian, you made the weekend very enjoyable for me. I enjoy sharing this place.
    As you have said, it doesn’t matter who photographs the Kitchen, we will all scratch away another layer of its history & catch that moment. I think even Ferg might find his own layer of history to tell another chapter in the life of the Kitchen.

  2. I beg to differ. It’s ALL about the photographer . You can only bring what you can to the subject. But the subject has it,s own history and story which you can only hope to interrupt from your own perspective . That informs us about the photographer more than the subject.
    Hence your image. Standing there imagining the history of the fridge, who sat in the chairs, while you stand amongst it. I really like this image from that perceptive.

    • So the image is a picture of me thinking about making a picture….Interesting and a view I like but not what I was thinking at the time

  3. I agree with Tim’s comment here. As soon as I looked at this image I knew it was one of yours Ian, and I really like the fact that you have brought your own self to this, especially with the influence of having seen this subject many times in other images. Anyone of us could have used the same techniques and subject but the subtleties of our own perspective, values and experiences will come through, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Contemplation allows the effect to be strengthened, from this interplay of history, imagination and experience. I like Tim’s comment “the subject has it’s own history and story which you can only hope to interrupt from your own perspective”, I want to remember that.

    • I get that, and Im pleased that, the image has a “me” feel. My frustration, expressed in the last couple of sentences, was that try as I did the photograph also had a “sameness” about it. Strong subjects must be “worked with” rather than made into something.

  4. Although this discussion centres on a fundamental aspect of making images, I think it becomes greater when the subject matter is well known to the maker and some viewers. In this situation the maker or viewer is in more danger of thinking it is a copy or that someone has gone out of their way to do something different so as not to ‘conform’.
    When we pick up the camera in this situation, it is very hard to determine whether we are just responding to what is in front of us (truly in the moment) or to wider influences. Personally I do not care – it is either a good image to the maker or viewer or it is not.
    Ian, I think this is a good image.

  5. It definitely has YOU in it, Ian. I can just make out only one crutch!!! I agree. It is a great image – your lensbaby effect, your texture effect too.

  6. I LIKE this image, Ian. At least partly thanks to my tardiness (or something) we’ve had the time to look at it over a few days, and I don’t mind in the least. I know it’s your image. I also know that everything in the image is there for a reason. I keep wondering about the placement of the beer bottle. The chairs. The milk bottle. The fridge. You. What are you saying. What were you thinking as you created it. And you’re undoubtedly a part of the kitchen’s history now, which hasn’t occurred to me before. Very well done!

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