The picture above is from a beautiful book my friend Barb sent me awhile back. It is filled with the gorgeous photography of Art Wolfe, a Washington State native who has been inspiring photographers for years. I’ve been reading this book most everyday and so it sits on my coffee table. I’ve been looking at the cover image daily and have actually become rather obsessed with it. I wanted to try and take a picture like that myself, but of course Seattle isn’t filled with fishermen wearing bamboo hats carrying a basket full of fish so I thought, maybe I could take the idea and make is smaller. I have a bamboo steamer so I figured maybe if I found some very small fish I could create my own still life based on this inspiration.
At the seafood store I found Smelt, a tiny little fish that is often breaded and fried, a dish called ‘fries with eyes’ because the entire fish, bones and all, are edible. Now, I’ve had smelt fries before, they taste fine, but I must admit, having your food look back at you is a bit un-nerving! However, as a prop they fit nicely in my little bamboo steamer so my dream of creating my own take on Art’s image has been fulfilled!
Of course once the one image was out of my head and in the camera, I had to keep going. This is where I have the advantage over Art. His was an image of the moment. I’m guessing he couldn’t stop the fisherman and ask if you could take more pictures of his lovely fish for the next hour or so!
This project was a lot of fun and the next time I order ‘fries with eyes’ I will remember my photo shoot with smelt!
I have to thank my dear friend Barbara Hurst again for sending me this book. Her work has also been a source of inspiration for me. Her still life portraits and her processing is a feast for the eyes. If you aren’t already familiar with her work, check out her blog HERE. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed.
As you read this Brian & I are vacationing in San Diego. We will be there a week, then off to Long Beach where I will be meeting up with dear friends and women photographers for a couple of days of picture-taking inspiration. Hopefully I will have some fun images and stories to share with you in a future post.
In the meantime, thanks so much for stopping by. Have a beautiful week.