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!

'Air Guitar' - abstract art by Jane Trotter

Sometimes a rather unusual pairing of objects can produce something you least expect, and, result in a very satisfying image. I know I get a real ‘buzz’ out of discovering connections which unexpectedly work. ‘Air Guitar’ is one such happy revelation.

One of my all-time favourite ‘go-to’ props is this stripy bag. I’ve kept it for years (and it’s definitely starting to look a bit worse-for-wear now). It’s great for subtly, or not so subtly, adding colour and leading lines when combined with other objects.

Another prop I find really useful is tinfoil – usually to reflect light, or on occasions, to add some indistinguishable, blurry background texture.

One day I decided to see what would happen if I combined my two props together.
Knowing that the stripy bag works well when reflected in shiny surfaces, I placed my objects close to the window to best utilise the natural light.

I wanted to experiment with how well the colours from the bag would ‘spill over’ onto the tinfoil.

Past experience also taught me that the tinfoil tended to work best when it was slightly crinkled, allowing peaks and troughs for the light and colours to play in.

This approach was promising, and I could see the potential. However, I wanted to go in closer. I grabbed my macro lens and started to move in really close, honing in on very localised, specific areas.

Original, out of the camera image for 'Air Guitar'

And this was the result - an intriguing, metallic, textured effect running diagonally across the image, and a more indeterminate, nebulous rendering on either side. I’ve always enjoyed the contrasting juxtaposition of something ‘solid’, transforming into an amorphous mist.

After a little colour enhancement and cropping, I had my final image.

The title ‘Air Guitar’ comes from me imagining a strange, misshapen guitar in the central grey ‘monolith’, thrusting upwards towards the blue ‘sky’.

So, the next time you find yourself with something stripy, get out your camera and tinfoil and go exploring. Who knows what other instruments you may come up with!

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