Influencing Me – Olive Cotton
Perhaps, I thought, it was time I did one of these posts on a woman. Another Australian Photographer and one who worked about the same time as last week’s photographer, Max Dupain. Really, it is hard to think of Max Dupain without thinking of Olive Cotton. Indeed she worked in his studio for some time and they were married breifly.
I have shown you this image before, and said how much I love it and what it represents to me. The way she has lit it and the shadows are so strong. The title always got me as well, Teacup Ballet. It has always been something that interested me, the idea of turning inanimate objects into some more real, as though they really do have personalities and may be like humans.
Similar to the one above. What is the image really about, the glasses or the shadow? I would imagine both, but the way the light casts the shadow of the glasses is wonderful and I have strived to get similar results, but as yet I’ve had no luck.
When I looked her up on Google Images, I was amazed at the variety of her work. You tend to think a photographer will do just one type of image, which is ridiculous, but still you think that. I had no idea that she did images like this. Though she obviously liked still life, the previous two images are testament to that.
It is also strange looking at this images and seeing the effects that film had on them, the grain.
The cover of a book or a poster, I don’t really know, but the image on it is stunning. I see so many people attempting to take images of these or similar plants, and they are wonderful. I do love her black background and the way you simply focus on the plant. I can’t think of the name of them now. I know you blow them in the wind.
This image was a lovely surprise. I have taken so many images like this myself, it was wonderful to see one from her. Makes me feel not so crazy. The mood an image like this evokes is wonderful. The eeriness of the scene, and the way the trees in the foreground dominate the image. I think it is just brilliant.
Of course, I had to show you my own attempt at imitating one of her images. I am not going to go into whether or not it works, just put in Olive Cotton in the search at the top and you can see past posts on this image.
The image of hers is what drew me to her, and it was important to me to see if I could do an image that was similar to her. The lighting was so important and I think, in the end, it was that which lets this image down. I don’t have the studio lighting that she would have had. I don’t think going out to buy lighting just for an image like this is warranted. It has made me think, and you start to realise how important lighting really is.
Finally I have an image of her.
I don’t actually know who took this image, but it says L Graham, so I assume that is the photographers name. She looks like a lovely person, and someone I wish I had known. She died in 2003 at the age of 92. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
I have been doing some research on her for this post and I believe I may have to do more. She looks like a woman photographer who I would like to know a lot more about.