Assignment 2: Elements of Design
Pattern: Red Scales & Leeks
These two images were both examples of pattern and as a result also implied triangles. I was intrigued by the effect created by the moisture on the strawberries and that it made them almost seem ‘fleshy.’ This inspired later ideas in this assignment about presenting the food stuffs not quite as they are usually seen and juxtaposing unlikely combinations.
2 points: Salt & Pepper and Eggs & Flour
The salt & pepper and the eggs are obviously both examples of using two elements within a frame. The eggs were particularly difficult to work with because once they were dropped in the flour there was little I could change. As well as the focal points I was interested in exploring texture with both images. I was really pleased with the contrast of the glossy egg yolks against the powdery flour.
Curves and Rhythm: Egg Cup and Spoons
The spoons were another attempt at creating a sense of rhythm in the frame. I wanted to focus in on a detail of food preparation i.e. the herbs and spices but present them in such a way that they created an overall pattern. I also wanted to utilise the different textures and colours. The egg in the egg cup arose out of thinking about curves and I had sketched some thoughts around eggs and egg shells early on. The morning I took this photo there was very strong natural sunlight that I exploited to get strong contrast and emphasise the various curves present.
Single Points: Cauliflowers
Working with the cauliflowers was one of the ways I was thinking of creating a single point of focus that confused or played with expectations. Firstly by placing a piece of broccoli within the head of the cauliflower and then trying out something completely alien like adding the screw. With both approaches I wanted to use the different textures and shapes to highlight the contradictory points.
Diagonals and multiple points: Mushroom and Kiwi Beetles
The idea for using large mushrooms came to me early on in undertaking the assignment but I wasn’t sure how I was going to include them. Initially, I tried a number together to create a pattern but I didn’t feel the images worked particularly well. I then focussed in on a single mushroom and the diagonal emerged. With the judicious use of some dressmaking pins I pulled the two pieces together to accentuate the diagonal across the frame. I really wanted to capture the detail of the veins as they could be seen as diagonals in their own right.
The Kiwi Beetles were in part inspired by playing with the cauliflower. Again I had tried various configurations and when I looked at the early shots the hairs on the outside of the fruit intrigued me. They put me in mind of large spiders or beetles. So I thought I would play with that notion and used the pins to act as ‘legs.’
Distinctive shapes, horizontals & verticals: Pepper ribs and Pasta Sea
The pepper ribs were another attempt at creating some optical confusion and contradiction. Initially I was thinking about using the peppers to create a sort of topographical landscape but once I had sliced them up I couldn’t achieve what I had in mind. As I moved them to rethink the approach the slices fell in such a way that they looked like a rib cage. I then started to play with this idea and added the raw bacon to accentuate the illusion and move towards something slightly more grotesque than some of the other shots.
The horizontals and verticals had eluded me for most of the process but when I was working with the bacon it reminded me of the pancetta with its stripes of white fat so I decided to use this with the leeks. Thinking about these as ingredients for a pasta dish the pasta quills were then added. They looked to me like water lapping at the base of cliffs or around an island.
Several points in a deliberate shape: Prawns and Tomato Flower
Prawns was perhaps a more formalised composition compared to some of the others but I wanted to experiment with using just a few items to create a striking composition. I initially thought of the noodle nest and then the other elements followed. As a result of these ingredients I was partly inspired by the apparent simplicity of some Japanese graphics or paintings. As in one of the earlier exercises I added various items and moved them around until I felt I had found something that worked.
Tomato Flower was another approach to making the elements appear something they are not. The little Gem lettuce suggested an opening flower so I then used the parsley, carrot gratings and tomato to build the illusion of the stamens of a flower. I was particularly mindful of using the shapes and the colour to try and heighten the illusion.