Our local camera club had an unusual competition recently. Members were asked to pay $5 for an old chair, take it away and over the next four months do something creative with it, something involving photography. The entries were great. Showing wonderful patience, one member had managed to get a couple of dozen portraits of dogs sitting on her chair (or jumping off it). Another bought an old china dinner set, smashed it up and carefully transformed her chair into a mosaic. The winner took her chair to Christchurch, where she photographed it amid the scenes of ruin and recovery. The prints were displayed attached to the chair, by now transformed and distorted to reflect the impacts of the earthquake. A very moving and well-deserved winner.
I took my chair for some trips, beginning locally and moving out to my favorite places around Nelson. Here are the results:
Next step was the Boulder Bank
Finally I moved a bit further afield
A lot of effort for a club competition? Not really. You see, not one of those images is genuine. I began with the idea of putting the chair on top of our City Council building. That involved hanging the chair from a tree to get the right viewpoint (if you look hard you can see the fishing line),
and the rest was Photoshop.
Shots of the old chair against a white background from various angles provided enough for the others. I was quite pleased with some of them, especially the shadows, but I was too honest on the night. The judges thought my decision to explain how I did it was a big mistake! I didn’t mind, the fact that I had them fooled was enough (and each entrant got a box of chocolates for our efforts).
The club was pleased with the result: it made some money, its members had a fun night and. most important of all, it got rid of 30+ old and battered chairs that had been a storage problem for several years.