Composition 4 | Experiments with scale

On a recent excursion with my photography class to the CCP, the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Fitzroy, Melbourne, we took some time to explore the surrounding alleys and lanes for interesting colours and textures.

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It was a beautiful sunny day and I think everyone caught some interesting shots, in particular because most of the class consisted of international students who had not spent much time in Melbourne. Some had never made it to Fitzroy, and everyone seemed happy to be able to have a look around. I certainly was, because I really love the area and managed to capture a lot of interesting shots. Here are some photographs I took to serve as background textures, and because they show some beautifully layered surfaces.

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The student’s pictures reminded me of a recent class in which we discussed photographer’s experiments with scale, for instance in the work of Minor White or Edward Weston and Aaron Siskind. These photographers used extreme closeup to achieve a surrealist and disorienting effect with their photographs.

Weston Cracked Earth 1938

Blossfeldt Chestnut Branches 1928

White Sound of one hand clapping 1957

Other photographers such as Edward Burtynsky used the opposite, extreme distance, to achieve a similar effect. The presentation also covers difference in scale as used by Julia Fullerton-Batten, Tim Walker or Marc Da Cunha Lopes. Tilt-Shift photography makes landscape photographs look like miniatures, for instance in the work of Vincent Laforet, while other artists use real miniatures to deconstruct the viewer’s sense of what is real.

Burtynsky Rice Terraces no 2 2012

Tim Walker Eagle Owl and hatched eggs 2010

Barbieri Rome Coliseum 2011

The class presentation with some slides containing works of these photographers can be found here, on Slideshare.

Here are some more photographs of our Fitzroy excursion:

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Fitzroy’s back alleys and lanes are full of interesting street art, graffiti, colourful layered surfaces and strange patterns and shapes.

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