Posts Tagged ‘set design’

A set design I’m working on for a forthcoming show requires some hints and suggestions of a rundown part of a generic city in an unspecified decade between 1950 and today. Large panels of 2 metres and above, with photographed close-ups suggesting such worn urbanity are in order, and so gave me the opportunity to shoot some street shots with a very specific brief in mind.

Fire Hydrant and Bright Blue background

Bold colours and simplicity, with a peeling orange and red fire hydrant close-up, set against a brilliant blue painted wall. Hard, functional fittings against eye-catching solid colour.

I will share a few more of the images created to this brief in future posts, but first let’s take a look at the brief itself:

1. Nothing complete. For the stage set, it is important not to allow the perception of attempting to create “doors” or “walls” or any pieces of scenery out of photographs. It must be clear that the intention is to suggest urbanity, and not to recreate it.

2. Grot, grime and decay. Each image should show an angle of urban life that is worn, used, industrial, or downright grubby. Nothing that shows affluence, or the facade of city living.

3. Must be framed in a way that can be cropped to square format without losing the balance or message of the original image. This is to satisfy the technical requirements of fitting the printed panels into the set.

4. Must not be busy. The images must not detract from the action taking place in front of them – simple and bold.

5. Must be acceptable as existing in any developed city. Particularly an American city or Singapore (the two cultures hinted towards in the show). Nothing that pinpoints a particular place.

6. Must be acceptable as existing at any point within the last 50 – 60 years. Nothing that is unique to any particular decade or year.

The image of the Fire Hydrant, added to the sales gallery at www.kpburgess.com satisfies all of these criteria, and in doing so proves that excluding so many elements from a photograph can give a much more powerful, attention grabbing image. I’d love to know what you think – share your thoughts with me, and I’ll share some more images out of the set as well as covering some of my tricks for ensuring super-large, 4 metres squared prints still look awesome.