- Arts and Design
Photo Clustering Presentations
Clustering means shooting many images of one subject, or a group in many positions, a collections of similar images taken at different angles, closes ups, regular and long shots that will be used to create a photo mosaic. Keep in mind that this is more of a presentation style than anything else. The collection of images regardless of the subject(s) are meant to be displayed at once, like on a poster.
Clustering can also involve many situations, but this will depend on your choice of subjects. If you have seen a model's portfolio then you have seen an example of clustering, as a portfolio involves many images of the same model at various poses and with different outfits. If you have looked upon a poster from a shoe manufacturer which displays all of their shoes, this is also a clustering presentation scheme.
If you choose a person as your subject, then the objective would involve recording images at many angles, different poses on different occasions and should also include many different outfits and during various states of emotions; happy, sad etc. For group clusters, the same subjects that are on one image should be on all images, if not then the arrangement loses cohesiveness.
Naturalist studies, and scientific studies can also benefit from this technique in that they group together the various compositional elements of their particular subject, such as the facial features of an animal species.
After all of the images have been processed and selected, you should mount them on a large frame with a carefully selected example being the center one, with all the others surrounding it. Off course you can do this digitally too by grouping all of the images into one main frame.
Still life lends itself well for this and can be turned into a slight variation which would be shooting a subject, such as a clock and then capturing many images of various other clocks, preferably from the elaborate ones to the simplest. This has been widely used by some product photographers to group large selections of like products and used in advertising efforts with the food industry being a customary beneficiary.
Clustering can be undertaken from a personal standpoint. From family and friends to images of special occasions works well and this is a very popular project for home photo creations.
One particular good genre is sports.Take shots of a sports figure and highlight moves, achievements, highlights and various poses. Virtually any sport's subject can be presented in this way.
Fun clusters can easily be made by using everyday common items, such as pencils, eggs to name a few. Using some imagination and a little artistic touch, one can draw faces or images on various surfaces and photograph them in a group or individually. Similar projects have been used by agencies wanting to promote an idea, such as the public sector's stop smoking campaigns.
Family group clustering is a common theme in which the entire family is photographed at various locations and settings and a cluster album made from these images. This type of photography is very popular for making homemade albums and photo frames often featuring art work or hand drawn messages which gives the set of images even more of a special meaning.
Weddings are quite practical for this style too as this event lends itself for isolating a subject. Photograph the bride at various stages of the ceremony, before and after and make the images a part of the wedding album, with the album cover usually being the most prominent.
People, as said before, are not the only subjects that can be used, insects such as butterflies or some of the more colorful caterpillars make for great subjects too. Monarch butterfly caterpillars can be grouped into clusters, or you can use just one, and various images can be made of the different stages of development. Flowers are often overlooked for clustering shots. If you can, start capturing images of a flower bud and record the several steps until it's fully open.
An excellent idea which is also a study of still life in itself is to take a colorful still life subject such as a colored vase if using color or an simple vase if using black and white film and capture various images from different angles in very different lightning conditions; almost in shade, lighted from an angle, lighted from behind, from top and so on. If the vase is very ornate then black and white perhaps may be a better alternative as this medium brings out texture and shape better that any other medium.
If you want to go the extra mile and also use this theme to send a message,or to use in a social campaign or marketing ploy, then consider using things like a full glass and capture photos as the glass is emptied, see the message involved?
A very popular topic is to choose for example, a letter from the alphabet or a number and take several shots of different samples of the letter or number. Letters and numbers can be found almost anywhere; on street signs, on most advertisements, on household addresses. Don't overlook the obvious like graffiti symbols, letters, figures, numbers, tag signs, which can be found in most major cities.The variety and abundance of subject locations makes for an interesting as well as amusing photographic project but one that falls within the clustering theme.
Be creative and always look to group images that are apart from the ordinary, always trying to impart your vision as an artist/photographer, to give them your own particular style. You can gather more ideas from some of the images that accompany this article.