Category - Exposed

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Spoiler Alert!

In my 'Exposed' series of articles I reveal some of the secrets behind how I created my images.  If you don't want to know how I made this image, then STOP reading now!

Splay of Colour - abstract art by Jane Trotter

I’m always on the lookout for colourful things which I think might be useful for my photography. But even the brightest, most vibrant item, on its own, frequently isn’t enough to allow me to create the type of images I want. More often than not, it’s a combination of very disparate objects that do the trick.

‘Splay of Colour’ is the perfect example of crafting an image using two completely unrelated pieces of subject matter. One very colourful and the other, very mundane!

Item No. 1 – The Irresistible Stripy Bag

I have to confess I’m drawn to stuff like this. What a great bag, and so versatile for the type of work I do. Enough said!

Item No. 2 – The Humble Teapot

Yep – it’s a teapot…

1 + 2

This is where the real fun began. Curved, shiny surfaces are hard to resist, especially as they tend to morph and distort what is being reflected in them.

I set up my tripod, moved the teapot close to the edge of the bench and, holding the bag in one hand, began to subtlely move it around to adjust the reflections.

Here’s a closer look at the effect. I was fascinated and delighted by how the once straight lines on the bag were transformed into sweeping, undulating colour curves with a life of their own.

I can safely say that I was completely absorbed for the majority of that afternoon under a large plastic bag.

There were many shots to choose from after my endeavours, but something always brought me back to this one.

Original shot for 'Splay of Colour'

This is the original, unprocessed image. Despite a 15 second exposure, light was still at a premium under the bag, so a bit of post processing work was required to boost the colours and contrast.

1 + 2 = 3

My rather cryptic subheading is a nod to the fact that I still wasn’t finished with the image. At the time, I was starting to explore the world of triptychs and in fact, ‘Splay of Colour’ was one of the very first images I converted into this format.

Splay of Colour - abstract art by Jane TrotterTo this day, I still can’t explain why my gut told me to ‘go with it’. I know there’s essentially nothing in the top right panel and the bottom right splits the prominent curve of the teapot, but for me it works. I find a restfulness moving between the different sections, a kind of equilibrium of space as I traverse the triptych.

My fondness for this image hasn’t diminished over time and it will always hold a special place in my oeuvre as one of my earliest forays into the world of triptychs.



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