Fork Art Photography Project
Sometimes we need fresh inspiration to keep our photography skills sharp and to stop us getting stuck in a rut. Photography projects are great for this and they can be anything from just a few hours long to months or even years. I find it helpful to challenge myself with a new photography project on a fairly regular basis. It is a good time to push out of my comfort zone. By doing so, it is possible to deepen understanding, advance skills and (probably most importantly of all) have fun. The images in this post form a fork art photography project that I embarked on last week. What is fork art? Well, creating art using a fork (or forks)! The challenge was to create a series of artistic images using nothing more than the mundane everyday household fork.
For this project I decided to work indoors. To get good clean shadows and some interesting reflections I used a sheet of white plastic as a base. The lighting was provided by 2 LED panels. Although I normally prefer using flash, the continuous lighting from the LED panels made it possible to fine tune the shadows quickly without having to take lots of test shots. Some shots were taken inside a light tent to help keep the background clear. I used a 24-70mm lens to give me plenty of options and worked handheld.
To soften the strong lines of the fork I deliberately chose to create quite a few images that were slightly out of focus. If you’ve never played with this idea before, do see the blog post on deliberately out of focus photography. In most situations you want the pictures to be as sharp as possible. However, for artistic reasons, you may wish to experiment with soft focus or out of focus techniques. In processing, I edited the photos to remove some of the strong contrasts from the fork in most of the images. This helped with the softer, almost pastel feel of the images. Below are a selection of fork art photos using these photographing and editing techniques.
As you can see, the images have been converted to black and white. Monochrome conversion is often a good choice for minimalist images as it simplifies things further. The images can become more about shapes and lines or textures rather than the viewer being distracted by colour. The shadows have been enhanced because they didn’t come out quite as dark as I wanted them to when I took the images. Many of the photos have been turned on their side or upside down to disorientate the viewer and make it slightly less obvious what is going on.
In the final few images I allowed myself to introduce one more fork to give more scope to the compositions. The second fork is a small cake fork, so offers some contrast with the main dining fork.
So, there you have it – a series of images that I call a fork art photography project! I hope you can find some inspiration to try your own fork art or other project. Perhaps look for another mundane household item that you could photograph in a variety of ways. If you don’t have a sheet of white plastic then you could perhaps use white card. The plastic tends to work better as it is much more reflective. You could, of course, also experiment with the lighting and add flash gels, for example.
© Joe Lenton, April 2016