Remember, there’s no need to make a direct copy of a photograph, for example, a Man Ray photogram; make your own photographic experiment as Adam Fuss did (you can compare their photograms online). If you chose to emulate Man Ray, you might seek out interesting objects that can be rendered graphic shapes in silhouette by shooting them against a white background. Or perhaps you want to emulate the uncanny, liminal sense of space created in a Laura Letinsky photograph but using landscapes. Make the image your own. Artists rarely copy each other, but they do learn from each other. Try to identify exactly what it is in the photograph that appeals to you: • the visual quality (tones, colours, light and dark) • the composition or design • the subject • the concept • the photographer’s viewpoint • the way the photographer has influenced or constructed the image. When you’ve identified these elements, plan what you’ll need: • equipment • location • models. When you’ve organized all this, make the photo.
I have chosen Edward Weston’s Pepper No. 30 as my image of reference. Apparently, this image was taken at f 1/240 and in a round tin box at an exposure of 4-6 hours, in order to get the entire pepper in sharp focus
More about why I chose it can be read here:
My final image: After a much sought after hunting spree for a pepper that was ideal for what I wanted to achieve, I finally found it just in time before I was thrown out of the house for cooking peppers every day.
Process: The pepper has been shot in a square white box with one artificial source of diffused light. Since I wanted to get really close to the pepper, I have used a macro lens here (Nikon 105mm). I also used the macro to get those dreamy soft boundaries that make the tangible merge into the background effortlessly and without boundaries. The pepper was in the refrigerator and when I took it out to start shooting, the precipitation began to show on its body and it just added to the image. I also kept it for a few days in order for it to just decay a bit to get the wrinkles on its surface that I wanted to add. I wanted to compare the pepper to that of a human back – The “sweat” and the “wrinkles” adding to the mood of the image. I have cropped the photograph to eliminate the white backdrop a bit and also changed its color in Photoshop to achieve the final result.
Explorations: My explorations can be seen here.