Record the collection.
I wanted to start with as few objects as possible, so that the photographs were not cluttered. This made me really think about the essentials: sand, goggles, sarong. When I placed the objects, they needed something: a frame and a focus. I introduced the straw fan and the shell.
I liked the blue cast from the goggles. The shadows were terrible. I’m not much of a photographer, but knew that needed to take further photos with a flash.
Objects separately. A little bare.
Experiments with placing nothing on the fan were blank and bland, so all the following photos incorporating the fan, use it as a mat, frame or background.
Only once I started placing and rearranging the objects, did I realise that the set was not complete. As I was taking the photographs outside, I added two new objects. Firstly, a hibiscus flower:
The added colour was visually satisfying, and the soft petals of the flower were nothing like the other textures.
Secondly, a branch from a nearby palm tree. Although also not on my original list, it fit the theme and was neutral enough to add texture and interest to the background, without drawing the eye out of the frame.
I was quite pleased with the arrangement of the objects, the distribution of colours, and the its suggestion of the theme. I really liked the textural juxtaposition of the sand on the goggle strap.
Time to experiment with another texture. I introduced the coconut shell into the arrangement. It didn’t work; the shell was just like a blob, and did not add anything (experiments not included here). Cropped away from the clutter, it began to read ‘tropical tourist’ again:
Time to ramp up the resort connotations of my objects! Adding the tropical fruit to the overall picture just seemed really cluttered (photos not included). Again, I needed to crop away the extraneous.