04.03.12, Week 29: Potpourri

by pbnb

Here we are again.  Earlier today I was sat watching Ireland and France play each other in the postponed Six Nations match and at some point during the time I was flopped on the sofa, when my eyes weren’t glued to the screen, their gaze settled upon the potpourri on the coffee table. The potpourri is a constant source of amusement for me as it was purchased by my housemate, who is currently in training to join the Marines, in order for us to feel more at home. Not exactly the behaviour you’d imagine from most Marines; this is more what I imagine. Incidentally, this was next to the previous image when I searched for the poster on Google images. I think Google knows men. Was that a stereotype?

Anyway, to move away from offending the feminists, I’ve thought about taking pictures of some of the more interesting bits of the potpourri ever since I first laughed at my housemate for its being there. The wicker ball above has often appealed to me because of the way light can shine through it. I thought it would be quite interesting to compose the image so that the light shone from the side in order to create a variation of tone throughout the ball and to make its shadow quite long. It took me a while to figure out the right angle to shoot it from and also to get it framed in the way that I wanted; with the ball in one-third and the shadow across the other two. I also was a bit amateur and took a few pictures with the edge of my desk in, or with light reflecting from the base of my infuriatingly shiny desk lamp, creating an uneven balance in the top of the image.

Shining the light in from the side of the ball not only varied the tone but it also lit the inside of the ball better than it did when the light came from other angles. I’m happy with the representation of the texture of the individual strands of wicker as I think it shows the way the strands are stressed and bent. I’m very pleased with the soft ambiance of the image, it’s got quite a gentle lighting and feel to it that’s characteristic of the way I light my room when I’m relaxing. The shadow is, however, my favourite part of the image. Whilst it’s not an obvious component, I really like the softness and variation in intensity. I also like the way that its lines don’t really reflect the shape of the wicker ball, they look like a shape of their own that is lying beneath the ball on the table. Overall, I like the simplicity of the image, it wasn’t hard to compose or conceive of and I’m still happy to share it with you.


Much like last week, as I write this I am listening to music that isn’t necessarily characteristic of what I would normally consider to be the music to soundtrack the sorting of images and the writing of these blog entries. This week I am listening toan instrumental band called Talons’ second album Hollow Realm. I first encountered Talons when I saw them supporting a band that I wrote about a few weeks ago, 65daysofstatic. Talons were absolutely outstanding when I saw them live, despite mine and my friend’s initial hesitations when we saw a bloke in a Burberry trench coat enter the stage with a violin. Luckily, 65 are by far the most consistently incredible live band I have had the pleasure of seeing multiple times, otherwise they would have been in serious risk of being outshone by their support band.

As I was in a band at the time and with my band mates, we were all very aware of what our respective musicians were doing. They are an incredibly technical band, and both the guitarists and the drummer absolutely blew us away. For me though, being a drummer myself, I was amazed at the talent he had; playing with one bass drum what I would have had severe trouble playing with two. We were all eating our words after having been so judgemental to begin with. The music we heard that night all came from their demos/EPs, which was subsequently grouped onto an album called Commemorations. Listening to Hollow Realm, there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the two in terms of style. If anything it is heavier, but no less complex, unpredictable, and enjoyable as the music I saw them play live.


      • Date taken: 04.03.12
      • Aperture: f/7.1
      • Speed: 1/50 sec
      • ISO: 400
      • Focal length: 35mm