Frames of Mind
Art, reality and the Fibonacci—Ambarin Afsar explores the bounds of perceived reality, through a combination of photo frames and spirals.
- Description: Attempt to re-interpret art frames and reconcile them with concentricity.
- Duration: A day of shooting, primarily in and around the Kalaghoda area of Mumbai.
- Notes: A frame, to me, is anything that contains something within itself. It is better if the frame is complete i.e. it is an enclosed figure.
Taking inspiration from Frank Zappa’s quote, I set to work on a photography assignment that took an ordinary object, word, thought or a theory and reinterpreted it in as many ways possible. I chose art frames.
Conventions define how we interpret things. The more we are dominated by these conventions, the more these things are in danger of becoming cliché concepts. The key to re-interpret a concept. To find new meaning, a new perspective, a new view, to discard old clichés and innovate.
The Real world and Art have always been regarded as two separate but interdependent entities. Art imitates life to an extent. A photograph is the replication of actual objective reality and hence translates itself into perceived reality. The object within the frame doesn’t change, but the perception of it, does. What if the real world steps into the frame and the boundary between the Real world and Art no longer remains?
I was really fascinated by the Fibonacci sequence, and hence, spirals, as they draw you in when you look at them. I wanted my images to have a similar impact upon the viewer, and that is why I decided that I would try to merge the two concepts of frames and spirals for my assignment.
I used two frames – a black fibre frame and an old frame that was falling to pieces. The shoot and the processing of the pictures took one whole day.
Once I finished shooting the base images, I had to process them in Photoshop for them to look the way I had conceptualised.
My Equipment: I used a Canon PowerShot A710 IS and two photo frames. Choice of camera is not paramount, but a camera that allows you to manually control exposure is always better—be it a compact, or an SLR.
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Better Photography.
- Try looking for different natural frames around you. An ashtray is a natural frame, as is a signboard, as is a pattern in the wire grills around you. Don’t stick to traditional square or rectangular frames. A frame can be circular, diagonal or even a keyhole.
- Visualise your final post-processed image even before you shoot. Conceptualise your images. It is very important that you see them clearly before they are shot. Whether it’s an image that needs to touched up, cropped, converted into black and white, or an assignment like this, previsualising the image does wonders.