Are you a photographer who has been taking photos since before last Wednesday? Do you wear your feed cap on forwards? Is your shirt tucked in – to your own trousers? Well, you’re OLD…and it is time to shake up your OLD photos and make them new and cutting-edge. You need Cross – Cliché.
We’ve all seen the once fashionable photos of pebble-strewn English beaches under lowering HDR skies. Also the paddock with a ghost gum and a rusted-out ’37 Ford truck. And a wrinkled Chinese woman smoking in a strong cross light. Heck, we’ve been entering photo competitions with these and the crying baby/leering clown and teenage band glaring at the camera in front of graffiti for decades. and winning – hint: the WD and HO Wills photo comps always favour people smoking…if you could get pictures of fluffy kittens smoking cigarettes you could sweep the field for years.
Eventually, however, everything palls. Then it is time to try the new trend – mixed clichés in one image. This pushes all possible buttons and assures you of the judge’s attention. All you have to do is superadd star trails to hour-exposure water and drive a steam train over a viaduct in the foreground. If a kitten is throwing a fag end out of the widow of the guards van, so much the better.
Flowers, you say? You only ever take pictures of flowers? Well combine those flowers with scenes of animal cruelty in French Indo-China and a skateboarder and you have a winner.
If the contest is a portrait one remember that two heads are better than one. That is why so many of the prizes go to Tasmania. Neither of them need to be all that alive. Very few of the international iconic award-winning ambassador superstar game changing mentor judges are all that good at detecting vital signs anyway. They can tell the difference between a naked, grinning skull and a presidential candidate, but only just.
Occasionally this sort of heady mixture makes politically incorrect statements but if these are fairly blurry they can be glossed over as art. If you insist on sharper focus you’ll have to make it science, and then you run the risk of scrutiny. I was scrutinised once and it made driving difficult for weeks.