Exercise 2.4 The two dimensional plane

The handbook suggested it could be a problematic photo – so thats what it got. I took this photo about a year ago, and did some editing on it. It was really based around some work I was doing on the most expensive photographs ever sold at auction. So I had taken Gursky’s 99 cent (1999). You can view the original here – http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2001/gursky/99cent_pop.html

The idea was simply to create my own version of it, in Ireland, usual discount store type products. This base image would then allow me to do some work on Photoshop which I was trying to play with at the time. I wasn’t especially happy with the image but it served its purpose at the time. However the call for a rather tightly packed with ‘many subjects at the same approximate distance from the camera’, made me think of this.

99cent final

What catches your attention first?

My eye is first drawn to the knives and aluminium measuring cups near the foreground. It was shiny and at the front!

Where do your eyes go next?

My eyes then followed to the back wall where the scissors etc hang. I would like to say that this is due to the considered composition that meant the shelf on the right leads the eye in, or the lines at the back making my eyes travel upwards – but I suspect the compact, hectic nature of the image means the back wall is the calmest place to look.

Are there things on the edges of the picture that distract you?

The thermos flasks on one side and the poster on the opposite side stood out, but not especially distracting. The whole image is structured inwards rather than towards the edges.

Does your gaze remain inside the frame or is there something pulling it out of the frame?

Yes I think my gaze does remain in the frame. It is compact and close – really a snapshot of what surrounds the photographic frame. The reflections in the aluminium, the shelving, all tell us that what we can see if continued outside of the frame.


Divide the frame. Where does the main subject lie? One one of the thirds? In the centre? One one quadrant?

It is really along the thirds that the lines of the image sit, and this forms the structure of the photo. I am not sure if there is one particular subject in the image, but the my main focus was around the bottom central quadrant.



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