As the saying goes, “one thing leads to another”. I find this very true when it comes to my photography. Playing with an object will often stimulate new ideas for how I can present it, or use it differently in conjunction with other items. Sometimes, these pairings are not what you’d usually expect, but often they’re the ones which produce the most challenging photo shoots and satisfying results.

‘One thing leads to another’ is the second blog post in the ‘An Evolutionary Viewpoint’ sequence and explores the mischief I got up to with one of my most photogenic glass vases.

The Vase

Lots of bright colours and triangular shapes – what more could I ask for?

Wanting to bring out these two features, I used strong back light (in this case, the sunlight on my deck) to highlight and intensify the colours.

'Glass Triangles' - abstract photography by Jane Trotter
‘Glass Triangles’

The final result was ‘Glass Triangles’ with its plentiful intermingling of colour and geometric shapes.

The Vase and a Mushroom

Not content to finish there, the next installment of the adventure was to hunt for an item which I could use with the vase somehow.

I found this glass mushroom, the largest in a set of three which adorn the bookcase in our lounge. As I looked closer, I became rather intrigued by the little air bubble on the right-hand side.

I decided to place the vase beside the mushroom and discovered how well the colours were being reflected and distorted around the air bubble.

'Birth of Colour' - abstract photography by Jane Trotter
‘Birth of Colour’

I grabbed my macro lens and dived in very close. The end result turned into a real flight of fancy with the colours ebbing and flowing as if they were born in some cosmic soup. ‘Birth of Colour’ miraculously came into being.

The Vase and a Prism

My next thought was to try the vase with a little triangular glass prism. I felt using strong back light would be the best way to help bring out the intensity of the colours, so I did all of this work right by my window.

Here’s an example of one of my ‘proof of concept’ shots – I do these from time to time just to see if a project is worth persevering with. I wanted to check how well the colours would be picked up in the prism and how well I could utilise the geometric shapes. Obviously, this shot is very busy with a distracting background and a somewhat random array of colours – but as an idea I felt it could work.

'Imprismed' - abstract photography by Jane Trotter

So, for ‘Imprismed’, I simplified the structural elements by getting in even closer, focused on a diamond shape and made the colour palette more homogeneous.

Prism Take 2

'Swirl' - abstract photography by Jane Trotter

Feeling the urge to try something different with the prism, I chose to experiment with a few movement shots. I had the prism hanging in front of a dark piece of card and the light was catching the little, coloured, plastic beads strung above the prism itself. So, those are the coloured lines in the top half of the picture, while the prism constitutes the more disembodied, amorphous swirls in the bottom half.

One More Step

Ultimately, I was very happy with the journey I embarked upon with my triangular glass vase. However, there was one more step further down the line – a re-imagining of ‘Glass Triangles’ into a triptych format. The story continues with ‘Prismatic’…

'Prismatic' - abstract photography by Jane Trotter


About the Author

Jane Trotter is an abstract photographer living in Dunedin, New Zealand. Reimagining everyday objects found around the home, Jane transforms them into colourful and dramatic pieces of contemporary art.

Jane Trotter