Tuesday, April 14, 2009

off the range

I was proud of my class today - whether they were presenting orally, or handing in their projects, many of them came up with some stunningly imaginative, and technically inventive, self-portraits.   This image might seem to be a long way away from that particular exercise, but it's related.   Here are four new plastic companions who will be coming with me on the road this summer, on my crazed zig-zag of a road trip out west, and I intend posing them in a variety of locations and backgrounds, from the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn to the Spiral Jetty.   At least, that's my current plan...   

It's surprisingly difficult to take good photographs of small plastic horses, and I'm learning a lot in the process.   These are probably a hand high - that's four inches at the withers - that's their shoulders...  I've been using a macro lens, a telephoto, flash, daylight... and I have a lot to learn about converting their pretty decent modeled selves into good photographs: it's not that I want them necessarily to look like Real Horses, but I want them to look like the kind of horse that a young girl might be able to weave endless fantasies around... I'm not there yet.

I wondered whether to go the whole hog (if that's not an inappropriate animal for an equine context) and bring some of my old miniature horses back from England: not my Isis models (for I only have one left, a grey stallion, Cheviot - I gave the rest to my cousin Gaynor's daughter Ellie) - these were the British equivalent to Breyer horses, in style and size, only with flowing manes and tails, not moulded ones - but the little ones that were the equivalent of these ones.   But I felt more interested in recreating my sense of enthusiasm, of losing myself into this tiny world of heads and hooves, rather than trying to pay homage to my past horsey fetish objects.    I wanted new, Western-ish horses - one pinto, one near-palomino part Walking Horse, one Appaloosa, one feisty little grey dun mustang (at least, that's what they're most like - Target didn't offer a very sophisticated choice for $5.99 a throw.   But then, I wanted something that I might be able to afford if I were a nine year old, not some impeccable scale model).  What I hadn't bargained for is that it's precisely their small size that makes photographing them such a challenge, even when posed against a neutral background.   Old Faithful or Mount Rushmore or the South Dakota Badlands are going to be even harder...

No comments:

Post a Comment