Friday, 27 August 2010


List more than one symbol for the following subjects saying how you might use them in a photograph.

I might represent this by taking a double exposure, having zoomed in before taking the second shot to show a relative increase in size. Another idea I had was to take a photograph of something small (eg a child) and produce a composite of it next to say a large building, but show the child etc as either equal in size or maybe even larger than the building.

For this one, I thought about showing someone surrounded by a huge quantity of food. The idea of excess would come across quite strongly if the food consisted of cakes and biscuits or something similar.
My second idea would be a shot taken from one end of a long bar in a pub, of someone at the other end with their head on the bar, surrounded by empty beer bottles.

I was walking through the East End of London recently, and someone had taped around the outline of the shadow of a street sign on the pavement as a joke. This reminded me of the crime serials from the 1970s, in particular the chalk outlines that used to be drawn around corpses at crime scenes. A photograph of such an outline would be a good representation of crime.
I also thought about getting a shot of police barrier tape, using depth of field to make the tape and background fade progressively.

I would represent this using a wide shot of a large group of people kneeling in prayer in a church or a mosque.  Another way to depict silence is using a Photoshop composite of someone's mouth either zipped or stitched closed.

Again, using depth of field, a picture of someone holding a copy of the big issue. Taken with a wide angle lens so that it appears large in the frame, but the arm and features of the person holding it would be blurred.
The other idea I had was to get a shot of some coins in a cap on the pavement, using a slow shutter speed to blur passers by.

What have I learned?
Symbolism is an interesting topic, and not one that I'd really associated with photography until now, but I can see the relevance. One of the problems with symbols is that they can be ambiguous to those who aren't in the know.
The study material raises the point that symbols may be open to interpretation and this is something to consider in modern photography which is conducted more globally nowadays.

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