The Spicy Bikila Burger

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I could re-title this post “A Mind at Work.” As I delve further into this 52 week photo project, I find myself observing my creative process and I’m entertained by it. It might sound strange, but my first idea for this week’s theme of “Shoes” was to have bodies buried in the backyard and have different legs and shoes sticking out of the ground. I’d pick up a bag of dirt, add a shovel, and use a remote trigger. Of course I’d wind up dirty and have to do a little compositing, but it might be fun. That’s when I saw the weather. It was supposed to rain all week, so I realized I needed to think of something else.

Last week, for the shadow theme, I shot three different ideas because I couldn’t make up my mind. The first was of stuffed animals with an ominous shadow behind them, but it’s hard to tell a story that way. I played with the shot by way of the Orton effect and decided I needed something else. Shadows, to me, call for something dark and creepy, and I tried to come up with something along those lines. I underexposed the downstairs entryway, crouched in the corner and fired a zoomed low power flash over a hoodie with some horns to create a shadow. Unsatisfied, I then also suspended a softbox from the ceiling to create some mood lighting and a shadowy self-portrait.



But back to the shoes. Maybe I could show the shoes running and water flying. I’d catch it with a flash to freeze it, use the back steps with all of the puddles, and remove my legs and feet in post. It doesn’t sound half bad, but I think maybe it’s too much like the floating coffee cup from the coffee theme. For a minute I consider a stupid idea. Do I really feel like pulling out the goggles and creating a character with six legs? I decide no.



Let’s Google the word “shoes” for ideas. Reflections could be cool. Keep the reflection but remove the actual object. Maybe I should just keep it simple. Most of my photos for this project so far have been heavy in post, some of them not so much that it’s overkill, but how about leaving Photoshop out of the equation? I could try lightpainting the shoes but I don’t have any cool flashlights or laser pointers.

What if I just put a shoe someplace it doesn’t belong? In the microwave or on a plate? What if eat it? This thought of course led me to putting it on a plate inside a hamburger bun. It wasn’t the most appealing sight due to a lack of color, but I didn’t have any lettuce handy. Fill in the space with a banana, no, string cheese, no, some crackers. Add a fork. For what? Eating the shoe burger. Might as well add a knife to go with it. Where does the knife even go? Skewer the thing. It still doesn’t feel right, so add some ketchup.



How about the other shoe? I could drink out of it. Aren’t there straws around here somewhere? I stick a bendy straw in the shoe and wish I could fill the shoe with liquid. Oh well. I set the plate up in the kitchen, position the “shoe juice” next to it, and decide it’s time to grab a camera. Out comes the Nikon with a 50mm still attached, I drop it on a tripod and look through the viewfinder as I move things around. I settle on a composition based somewhat on the golden mean rather than the rule of thirds and get the feeling that there’s a hole in the right side of the image. I need to put something in there to fill the void, but what? I glance at one of the shelves in the kitchen and grab a bottle of hot sauce that catches my eye.

I begin to see the image as some sort of menu because I want to justify the amount of black space at the top. I add in a few barefoot or minimalist themed food items and hit save. With the image done, I begin to think that maybe I need to start getting some brightness and color back into my photos. We’ll just have to see what happens next week.

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