This week Paula’s guest at Lost in Translation is Tobias M. Schiel. He has set us a challenging challenge entitled Organized Noise. I think I have the gist of it – and this is my take on what he says (so if I’ve got it all upside down and backwards, Tobias, please tell me) – that you can use the camera’s eye to frame everyday ‘stuff’ and ‘clutter’ that of themselves do not have aesthetic appeal. In other words, the photograph itself endows the scene with creative interest and possibility through framing, focus and cropping. It thus exposes something intrinsically or extrinsically fascinating in a context that we might otherwise screen out as uninteresting or unworthy of particular notice. As Tobias says, this is more likely to work in the abstract.
So I’m not sure that this photo of a stricken pine on Cornwall’s Seaton beach quite fits the bill. But I’m posting it because the scene as a whole caught my attention. The tree had been blown off the cliff. The way it was lying suggested to me a crash-landed dragon, the peeled trunk in the foreground its snout and eye. But with a more abstract eye, the main thing that struck me about this pile of beach debris was the vivid range of colours – materials natural and unnatural.
Maybe this next shot is a better example? – a close up of some of Seaton’s amazing geology:
In his explanation, Tobias says that this approach is used in musical composition, but as a writer I can see that this photographic version is also a visual analog for what the best creative writing does: that is, it takes a scene, or a detail of it, something that others might miss altogether were it not for the affecting way in which the writer chooses to delineate it, often mixing heightened reality with metaphorical abstraction.
Thanks to Paula and Tobias for hosting this fascinating challenge.
copyright 2016 Tish Farrell