News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for October 10th, 2010

Thinking in Sets

by on Oct.10, 2010, under Photography

One of the main differences between art photographers and documentary photographers is that those of us on the art side of the fence tend to work with single images whereas our documentary colleagues think in terms of groups of images or stories. For the mostpart, I’m an art-side-single-image guy but once in a while I’ll shoot a few images that I think work well as a set. Normally I’ll shoot something I like then start seeing other complimentary subjects and end up with a collection.

This happened to me in Boston a couple of weeks ago while wandering around the historic Beacon Hill neighbourhood. Many of the buildings there had strange, short doors at or just below street level. I presume these are to allow access to the basement and were probably used to deliver coal or firewood in the past. I shot several images of these doors and ended up with a set that I rather liked.


Tiny Door III, Beacon Hill, Boston Tiny Door, Beacon Hill, Boston Tiny Door II, Beacon Hill, Boston

Another prior example of this was a set of images I shot of the Texas State History Museum one morning last year. These hung as a group in my last exhibition.


Texas State History Museum, Austin

Lone Star, Texas State History Museum (HDR)

Museum Star, Austin, Texas

While I don’t do this very often, it can be an interesting exercise to try to come up with a set of related images, either different compositions of the same subject or different but related subjects. Give it a shot and see what you can come up with.

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