Photography Skills and Byzantine Iconoclasm

26 September 2012

It's only taken me a PhD in the History of Art, a subscription to Vogue, an enjoyable biannual peruse of the Gentlewoman and many hours frittered away on Skandi lifestyle blogs to realise the following:

Yes, WORD is important. There are three major monotheistic faiths based upon this precept. But IMAGE is also rather significant. This is probably why the three faiths have been wary of images at various points, with accusations of idolatory and bouts of iconoclasm peppering their histories.  Remember that rather frenzied hiccup in 8th-century Byzantium? Of course you do.

Not that I am suggesting we daub with whitewash and burn all carefully curated Tumblr pages or back issues of Vogue. My point is that words have power. And so do images. Together, they really pack a punch.

Which leads me back to this blog. Although I'm using this primarily as a means of practising and showcasing my writing, I need this blog to also look good.

Here's an experiement.Take one glass, an old Nokia (mine) and a pair of super sexy Dior sun glasses (not mine. But I will start saving. Do you think Dior does prescription lenses?).

Place objects on table. 

Add one blogger who dreams of creating a Skandi-esque craft blog of beauty and one professional photographer who hasn't but is amused by aforementioned blogger's ambitious dreams.

Give them both the same camera. In this instance an aged and slightly battered Panasonic DMC-FZ7 (mine).

And this is what you get.

My photo. Sunglasses. Rubbish Nokia. Edge of a glass and an errant tea spoon that gatecrashed the composition.

My friend, Rosemary Allt's photo. There are no need for words. This picture simply screams Studio 54 meets Tom Ford.

Hmph. I need to up my game. And so after almost 25 years in full-time education I am taking yet another course as a means of filling this skills void.

Thanks to Brandy Frank, Texan wedding photographer and e-course doyenne of Bella Pop, I can now show you a few Things Wot I Have Photographed. And not one has gone anywhere near PicMonkey, my usual go to for whizz bang photo effects.

These are all baby steps towards getting the most Pinterestable images in the world ever or maybe the sort of pictures Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (AD 717-741) would have deemed worthy of defacement.


Well, maybe just a decent cover picture for my Facebook page. That might be a more reasonable goal to start with.

Weird, fluffy seed head things

Giant's tea party

Duck in a flower pot surveying its empire

Moss on a tile

Bath Abbey in the waters of the Roman bath in - you guessed it! - Bath

I went all David Attenborough with this photo of a dragonfly. AND I NEARLY DIED. Look at it. It's about to pounce. On me.

Dew drops on a magnolia
Now I just need a bokeh-laden image of a dew-smothered,  man-eating amigurumi dragonfly on my blog and then I'm set. There would be no better foil to my writing.

(Images: Zoë F. Willis & Rosie Allt)

No comments: