Photographing sculpture ought to be a pushover. Someone else has already done the hard work and, if they’ve done it well, we amateurs just need to point and shoot to get a satisfying result.
Anybody can do that, and millions of us do. The hard thing is to find an original angle.
You can take your time to think about it. Sculpture sits patiently while you adjust your camera settings, consider the background and wait for the sun to come out.
Gary obviously knows far more about taking photos and processing them afterwards than I do.
His shots are severely photoshopped, and whether you like the ‘artificial’, painted result is naturally a matter of taste. What impressed me was not just his technical expertise, but his ability to find something different to draw our attention to in each of the sculptures he captured.
By manipulating colours and ramping up the contrast in ways mysterious to me, he highlights the textures of his subjects and makes great use of the sky and cloud formations.
Here again is the link to Gary’s Flickr Photostream.
Picking a small part of a larger work to focus on may seem a little unfair to the artist, though sculptors who place their art in public spaces are inviting passers-by to use them however they will. Despite the ‘Do Not Touch’ signs, most artists must enjoy seeing people interacting with their creations, each in their own special ways.
Part of this interaction is that we can use their art as a springboard for creating art of our own. I prefer in my shots to show humans and art together. When people politely pause to avoid walking into my frame, I usually tell them to carry on walking. It makes the shot more lively.
The uncredited sculptures pictured above are (from top) Steinunn Thoranisdottir – Trace, sphere, gate, James Rogers – Salacia, Ruth Downes and Geoff Webster – Casting Around