Monday, January 28, 2008

On white: Topsy turvy

About twenty years ago, the phrase “achieving balance” began to appear on the scene. And along the way, an industry of self-help books and consultants sprang up to tell us hapless souls how to strike the perfect balance between work and home, stress and tranquility, achievement and rest. And we bought into it and began to experience ourselves the frustration of maintaining balanced lives.

The problem is that balance does not exist. At least not for very long. There are too many competing forces at play to keep all of them in equal tension all of the time. The best we can hope for is to average things out, which is not really balance.

It’s kind of like the rocks that I balanced for the photos above.

I set up my small table-top studio and shot a number of items against a white background for a short series that I’m calling On White. I like the starkness in a photo of an object in a pure white environment and have toyed with the concept from time to time.

It took several minutes of minute adjustments to get the rocks to balance just so. And even then, after the pair on the left were shot, they fell down, as if the force of the light from the flash unit was the last push needed to knock them over. Then I see where artists have made even more intricate stacks of balanced rocks and I wonder how they did it.

Hmmm. Maybe balance is possible.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan. By the way, both stacks consist of the same rocks. They were shot separately and composited into one photo.

1 comment:

Wanda said...

I love your little experiment! And it made for a great picture and post.

I like the way you think about things...!! Well, I gotta run and see if I can balance my day and my checkbook!!! :)