For my next shoot I decided to walk around campus to see if I could find any interesting subjects for some exterior shots. Which is when I became fixated on photographing fallen apples in the University walled garden. As I really love the richness of colour in these apples which for me links with a lot of of Dutch Genre painting from the 1600s that I have been looking at in my art history studies recently. Which although part of the general period of Baroque painting in Europe, had more use of realism in comparison to the more cinematic, manipulative imagery of earlier painting that was characteristic of the Baroque period and Rococo movement.
The way plants and food is presented in The Golden Age of Dutch painting particularly interests me because there is always at least one flower for example that is wilting, or food that is going rotten. This conveyed a very potent message in the context of the Dutch mercantile culture of that time. As they symbolise the transient nature of life; that despite the weath of this culture, wealth is not something that you can take with you after death. So wealth is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
I wanted to work on showing the varying decomposition of these apples against the exterior of the walled garden, illustrating this evidence of the changing of the seasons. However I quickly became very aware of the difficulty of framing the apples in a visually interesting manner without staging where the apples were. My issue was in trying to give the pictures more context in regards to the exterior space while creating a strong composition with the apples. However the highly textured backgrounds created by stone steps and grass became increasingly distracting in composing the numerous apples that I wanted to be the focal points of my images.
Eventually as illustrated in the contact sheet above, I came across an old metal tank that some of the apples from the orchard had fallen into. The dark warm toned backdrop of the inside of this tank became the perfect backdrop to bring out the colours in these apples and keep them the focus of the image.
Above is my favourite image from those that I took on this shoot, as I think the framing is strongest here with the diagonal line created by the edge of the tank balancing the two halves of the image nicely. I also like the richness of colour and texture in this photograph and my only concern is that this photograph is possibly too close up and more of a still life photograph than an interior shot.
*After a recent tutorial with Gretchen we discussed the above photograph and came to the conclusion that this is fine for an exterior shot as it gives a lovely detail to the walled garden exterior. I now definitely want to use this for one of my four final exterior prints.
Above is another more still life image I took on this shoot that I was particularly fond of. I don't think I will end up using this image but I found it really intriguing the way this hose pipe was emerging naturally from the ground.