The Way I See Things



"These pears are about perfect now," said R.

"Good," I replied. "Photogenic, you think?"

"Oh," said R. "I didn't realise they were a photo project. Sorry. If I'd known, I wouldn't have eaten half of them."

"That's fine," I said. "I only need one."

We play variations on this theme quite frequently - unless my still life purchase is something he doesn't like, obviously - but my rule is always that if he eats it before I get round to pointing a camera at it, that's totally cool. I hate food waste, and disorganised as I am these days, fruit can easily turn to mouldy mush before it reaches the top of my potential subject list, so rather than have that happen, I'd much prefer that it gets eaten and I photograph something else. That said, had I spotted that R was eating the pears, I would have asked him to go for the more marked ones first, because this guy is really too flawed for still lifing... but I'm going to call it "characterful", rather than "bruised".

I didn't have a lot of either time or light for photography today, because it was a dark and dreary day, and R and I set to and bottomed out the conservatory (which is also our formal dining room), ready to be decorated for Christmas. Between finishing that task - tiring, but ultimately satisfying - and making ourselves a late Sunday lunch, I fetched an old brown table cloth (very 70s), set up the pear on the dining table, and shone a soft box at it. R, acting the part of my glamorous studio assistant, stood behind the table with a dark backdrop, and patiently took direction ("Down please. There's leg in the frame. No, you'll need to angle it. No, not that way, it's reflecting. No, THE OTHER WAY.") as I tried various combinations of distance and angle. It sounds tortuous, but it actually only took a few minutes, and perhaps surprisingly we were still speaking at the end of the shoot. Of the available images, R has chosen this one for my blip. Which is only fair.

"Characterful", remember. Not "ready for the compost heap".

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