As promised in Dutch Designer Marcel Wanders Part 1 and Part 2, here are pictures I would not have taken before I saw the Marcel Wanders Pinned Up exhibit at the Stedelijk and a bit about what’s different.
Wanders emphasized stories in his work usually by adding the human form. That got me to thinking about the difference between object, scene, mood, and story. Object, scene, mood, and story form concentric circles around the subject of an image no matter what the medium. The wider the images reach, the greater potential for viewers to engage.
A few weeks after the show, while at the Lan-Su Chinese Gardens in Portland, my first impulse was to make photographs of flowers (object). However, I remembered Wanders’ emphasis on story, surface detail, crafts, and his rejection of minimalism. I pulled back from the object.
As a result, the image goes from an object (flower) to scene (flower in the garden). Wanders also paid particular attention to surface detail.
The contrast in the above image between leaves, rough stone, mossy tile, regular brick, and slick glass, the soft surface, and the hard ones begins to make you wonder where this place is and how it can exist so near to downtown. (It begins to evoke a story.)
This photo juxtaposes oasis and bustle. A couple walking over the bridge would have activated a story here. Who are they? Why are they here? What is their relationship with each other?
At the Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park, broken possessions litter the path leading to the memorial referring to people in flight. Two people stand at the memorial reading names.
When you add humans or references to humans, a story almost immediately appears. Spent blossoms in the foreground and an older couple in the background at Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, the Netherlands give this photo an extra layer of complexity.
Elsewhere in the gardens a man takes a photo of two young women.
What is his relationship to them? Elsewhere at Keukenhof, a flower-fatigued couple takes a break.
Object, scene, mood, and story form concentric circles around the subject of an image no matter what the medium. The wider the images reach, the greater potential for engagement. When I went back to photographing one of my favorite subjects / objects flowers, I brought this experience of seeing with me. I have tried to photograph them in a way that alludes to a story or steps along the continuum from object, scene and mood to story. I have also made better use of titles and captions to tell the story.
Here’s an example with mood:
Here’s an example post-Wanders with a sense of the relationship between the object and the scene and context:
And lastly, here’s one with allusion to story.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it!
For other posts on Amsterdam see: