Meet Stevie, my cat. You don’t see him much on my blog because he’s hard to photograph. He’s either sleeping buried under a pile of blankets or moving non-stop following us around. If I see Stevie in an interesting spot or in good light and leave the room to get my camera, it is likely he follows me as I leave the room. Occasionally I get a good photo of him, like this one yesterday when I already had my camera in hand for other reasons. I got two shots, and then he was gone.
Yesterday I talked about context, and how photographers, or any artists really, choose the context they share in their art. Nothing is a reproduction of reality, it is always influenced by the artists point of view and what they wish to convey.
This photo is no exception. I could have focused in tighter on Stevie, but I wanted the context available around him. It is not just a portrait of Stevie, it is also a portrait of Stevie in our apartment in Italy. The green pot shows one of the colors of our kitchen, the radiator shows how we get our heat. The windows are typical Italian – simple glass and wood frame, with the turn handle to open. There are no screens on the window but you can see the wood bar, which we’ve guessed is to prevent small children or things on the window sill from spilling out the window when it is opened. Stevie sits on the window sill, made of marble. All of these things tell more of the story, not only “who” but “where” Stevie is.
I find it interesting to think about this concept of context. Some of the context in my photographs comes from split second decision making, some of it comes later with cropping and post-processing. How, and when, do you decide the context in your art?