This activity is not a compulsory part of the course but is suggested as a useful starting point for working with a camera and looking at the neighbourhood with fresh eyes.
I took a trip down to Federation Park at 6.45 this morning to catch some early light, long shadows, while it was empty and before we reached the lovely 40c+ summer temperatures. Federation Park is a very small park in the town centre and it has been recently refurbished to include a water spray park, lots of shaded picnic tables, ablutions and an outdoor stage.
To start with I looked at these circles which are holes punched into the metal forming the back of the stage. The larger circles on the left are part of a whaleshark and the smaller ones on the right form undulating waves for the sea. This is an example of where a simple repeated motif can be used to create shape and the idea of movement on a flat surface. I like the more random placement and different sized holes on the whaleshark – geometric shapes used in a random way.
There were some interesting shadows. First the long lines from a tree:
Then the shadows on the side of a water tank. The edges of these shadows are affected by the rippled nature of the metal which makes for very interesting shapes. The contrast between the horizontal lines of the metal and the vertical shadows could be used in stitch with straight horizontals and contrasting vertical zig zags of different widths.
My own shadow, distorted and elongated, stood out well against the broken design of the paving:
Looking up: Into a tree canopy, at a huge fern and at a lamppost. All featuring strongly against a clear blue sky. The fern tree has wonderfully textured fronds and trunk. The underside of a picnic shelter has strong lines in different directions, limey green colouring and a sense of disappearing into the distance.
Who can resist tree bark? Fascinating shapes, textures and colours. I particularly like the photo on the left with the range of colours from a very pale beige through to dark brown with a spash of yellow to create a focal point. This section of bark is also full of different lines, swirls and dots that would be very effective stitched onto layered, mixed fabrics to show how much depth there is.
After bark – rocks! This is the wall of the artificial cave that borders the water spray park. The colours of nature (i.e. birds) have left contrasting white strips on the fake rock surface which is itself a mixture of greys, reds, ochres and yellows. Alongside the variation in colours there are contrasts of smooth and rough textures, rounded shapes and straight lines.
Earlier in this post I looked up at objects with the sky as a backdrop, now I am looking down at the footpaths. First we have a crazy type paving with broken lines reminiscent of dried up steam beds. You can also see a corner of the straight edging creating a juxtaposition of straight to curved lines. Also along the path are areas of textural surfaces with spots and stripes; perhaps these are calling out to be transformed into French knots and running stitch?
Lot of lines up next. In this first photo the safety fence around the water spray park creates strong shadows at an offset angle. The bike rack next door has lovely curved lines, with the shadows underneath producing even more interesting shapes.
The sprinklers had been on so there was water in the spray ground. There was a great reflection of a post in one puddle (left photo) and looking through a window from the artificial cave produced this view with some more puddles of water, they almost look metallic against the blue floor surface.
Talking of metallic – a strip of metal on the side of the public conveniences reflected the morning light and shows a rough surface like sandpaper which contrasted to the smooth surface of the rest of the block. A collecting point for tin cans also had gleaming spots where the sunlight hit the cans and a range of shadows and darker spots on the further side.
Last but not least – the delights of hub caps! There were only a few vehicles in the car park but they provide quite a variety of lines, curves and shadows. With the majority of vehicles in Exmouth being 4WD of course a couple of them didn’t have hub caps at all, these ones look much more mechanical and heavier duty than the shiny hub caps. These photos may be interesting to process in a photo system to experiment with different photographic effects and see what images arise.