photo project

Mending spider’s webs and renovating mushrooms

I came across the work of photographer Nina Katchadourian a while ago, and was really taken by two of her projects: in the first, she mended spider’s webs with red thread and the in the second, she patched cracks in mushrooms with bicycle repair kits.

The spiders would often react to the repair by pulling out the red threads, leaving a pile of them on the ground below.  You can imagine them being disgusted at the standard of workmanship and outraged at the use of red thread!

There’s something very playful and whimsical about this that I find  enchanting, but it does pose some more serious questions about our interactions with nature.  Should we intervene?  Katchadourian says that she often destroyed the web further in her efforts to do the repair.  Sometimes we just blunder in and make things worse.

It reminds me of the story of a man who saw a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon and ‘helped’ it by pulling the cocoon apart.  What he didn’t realise was that the struggle to emerge was designed to force fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings and that, without this struggle, the butterfly’s wings would never form enough to fly.

Putting all that aside, I do think there’s a wonderful innocence in the notion of repairing webs and mushrooms that takes us back in time to childhood when magic was around every corner and everything was possible. It’s refreshing to come across work that just has to make you smile.

Photo challenge: what could you do to ‘repair’ nature and then photograph it?

 

 

Colour Workout 1

It’s spring, and the world is bursting with colour.  One very nice, and very simple, photo project is to choose a colour and then go out and photograph it wherever you see it.  If you want to make it a bit more challenging, then get a friend or family member to choose a colour for you.  Or, you could write some colour names on pieces of paper, put them in a container, and pull one out.

Pink & orange

Blue & Green

Collected by LethaColleen; images by, left to right top to bottom: 1) mactastic , 2) Majlee, 3) Jen Bekman, 4) BooDilly's, 5) Majlee, 6) Mervyn Hector

 

You can do this just as well using neutral colours.

 

Collected by LethaColleen; images by, top to bottom, left to right: 1) Camilla Engman, 2) Bird in the Hand, 3) Lucky † 13, 4) Blind Spot Jewellery, 5) Bergman's Bear, 6) bldgblog

 

A variation is to shoot a rainbow of colours.  There are seven colours in the rainbow so you could do a square seven rows wide by seven rows high.  Just in case you’ve forgotten, the colours are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.  And if you want to get really adventurous, you could try something like this:

 

Mosaic Blossom

Mosaic Blossom

I’ve no idea how they did this, but if you want a much simpler mosaic-maker, try here:

http://bighugelabs.com/mosaic.php

At Big Huge Labs you can choose a layout, the number of columns and rows you want, the background colour and border colour, as well as being able to import your photos from Flickr or upload them from your own computer.  You have to sign up, but it’s free.

This is a really easy, fun and effective project – even quite ordinary photos can look really good when you put a collection of one colour together and once you start looking for a particular colour you’ll be amazed at how often you see it and where it turns up.