That keen photographer was better known for his radio play and the books that followed. I wish he was still around as I loved his work. I never got to meet him, but the younger of my two sisters did and asked him to autograph a postcard for me after a university talk he gave. I’ve kept it ever since, filed away so safely that it took a while to find in the archives. I don’t recall finding out if this was the only thing she had for him to write on, the image on the front wasn’t what I’d expected from my sister. Rebelling Uni days I guess!
Douglas Noel Adams, creator of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and co-writer of The Meaning of Liff and Last Chance to See came up with many such sayings for his books, and a good number of them are now stuck inside my head. I’ve read that he’d keep a number of identical cameras in the boot of his car. Why change lenses when you can get another body to put on the back of each one? I like the way the man thought!
If time is an illusion then so is much of what we see in photography, make-up, special lighting effects and clever editing all adding to the final image. Taking the thinking further, if something is going to be outside of the frame or final crop does it need to be there? Unless it would add or subtract to the light that falls on what can be seen or in some way physically supports it then the answer has to be no. So when building a set or creating a costume that will be used only the once for a shoot and then dismantled, recycled or thrown keep in mind that it’s an illusion you’re creating, you only need what can be seen or has influence on it. Why pay a dress maker to do sleeves and finish cuffs if they’ll not be in the shot? And if the top doesn’t need a back to be shown why waste time and material making one that will never be photographed? If the height of your studio is an issue and you’re only taking shots above the waist have the model kneel on cushions to allow the strobe to be positioned better above their head.
You’re recording what’s in the box (frame). Think outside it!
This lunch break didn’t feel like an illusion and was over far too fast. Back to work!