Michael Wolf My Favourite Things

18th November 2019

Take a look at Michael Wolf’s series My Favourite things photomichaelwolf.com

OCA Foundations in Photography Course folder pg101

It wasn’t obvious at first where this series of work was on Wolf’s website. I had to click through the titles which are under specific projects, ‘My Favourite Things’ is under project heading hong kong.

First impressions of this series for me is ‘Love it!!’

I actually love the way that the individual images are presented in grid format together in their appropriate categories, very aesthetically pleasing for me.

We have the following image groupings:

  • mops
  • bastard chair
  • break
  • cats
  • exhaust
  • flora
  • gloves
  • pipes
  • solution
  • storage
  • string
  • yves klein
  • pink

If I had to choose my favourites then for me it would be break and bastard chair, of which there are examples below.

With ‘Bastard Chair’ there is quite a lot other than the chair that is attractive to my eye. We have the colours, the environment, and the Chinese writing/ text, and again text of all types is a love of mine in photography. I also think the composition is powerful in that the chairs are in the middle and take up most of the picture plane and makes a statement – Look at me, I am the subject of importance here although if you see this type of chair in an environment it would be dismissed as an eye sore and definitely not of importance.

In the image above we have workers caught on their break. I like the anonymity of the people, the glimpse of the person and sometimes the activity in which they are participating which might be smoking, reading or using their mobile phone. I particularly like how the environment is very important to the shot of the half hidden person. Each image has either a wall, a door way or stairs which include lines and patterns of their construction or brickwork that leads the eye to the subject, each photograph has been taken at an angle to the subject which emphasises the environment and draws us in. Also the type of environments which are predominantly back alleyways are very exciting to see, I love the grunge and I feel as though I am intruding on personal space and am walking down a dodgy path.

Some of the photographs in this series, especially the mops, gloves and storage, do look as though some of the images have been purely composed by someone setting the scene and placing the objects into position. Yes this could be said for other groups of images as well, for instance the chairs, but the big difference is the chairs could have easily been found out in the environment.

The mop series dose have that element of staged photography images. I haven’t been able to find (as yet) information about this series of work to see if Wolf had wandered upon the subjects or had indeed planned some of them – I will look into this further. If we see the images below some of the mops seem too perfect of an oddity to be founders they are, why would someone place their mops in such positions within the environment?

However for me, again it is the environment that the mops are in that really attract me. These images have very strong building scenes in them, well parts of buildings, with pipes, brickwork and objects within them which acts as an interesting structure and backdrop for the lone brushes. This can be seen in the work below which is ever so intriguing and urban beautiful.

Other mops are placed to dry in such a way that they looked planted by the photographer to cause a compositional and aesthetic effect.

I absolutely love this series, I also like how there has not been an over kill with the amount of images for each subject but enough for the viewer to be left wanting more. This also applies with how the images have been grouped in small grids, which means the viewer is not left over whelmed or with the ability to only take some of the information in from the grids.

Colour and structure is very important here. The structure and composition plays an important part within each image as only the most important information is included within the images. This information may also contain strong lines that pull our eyes to a specific object or indeed, like the pipes in photographs pull our eyes around the composition. With colour it interesting to. note that subtle tones are pre-dominant throughout the series which are either represented in both background and object or have an object thats colour breaks these tones quite dramatically.

This work is very interesting to me and has definitely polished my mind into thinking about using the ‘homing in techniques’ in different ways which includes how to present them. A very informative and inspirational exercise!

All images from the website photomichaelwold.com

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