Reimagining photography’s capabilities with Cécilia Poupon
We then continued our exploration of experimental creative pursuits in a session with French photographer Cécilia Poupon. Teaching the audience how to make otherworldly photographs with household objects, at-home lighting and an iPhone, the results offered us a range of awe-inspiring still lifes.
To aid our audience in understanding the photographer’s unique point of view, the session first began with a Q&A on Cécilia’s practice. Revealing how she began taking documentary photographs, Cécilia became fascinated with still life photography for the inspiration the creative exercise provides. “It’s a relaxing time,” she says of composing her hyperreal imagery, “it allows you to meditate, to discover new things.”
It was exactly this that Cécilia then showed our audience how to do themselves. Walking attendees through how she composes a still life, Cécilia shared how to create impact from the simplest of objects. Instructing the audience to choose something from their own surroundings – “Common objects are interesting” she advised – the photographer demonstrated the process she takes by using a humble onion. Fiddling with its composition, adding detail by zooming for effect in its framing and of course lighting, the final result was truly something from another world, rather than the kitchen cupboard.
Taking Cécilia’s tips and tricks into account – from positioning a desk lamp just the right way, or the optimum type of paper to use as a reflector – the results were so transformative it took us a minute or two to work out the original muse our attendees had picked. From the wire of a matcha whisk creating a dramatic shadowing effect, to a sprouting potato that looked truly alien and a dishwasher tablet that transformed into a rarified object, the evening showcased how an experimental creative eye can reshape the most mundane of objects into art.
For further insight to Cécilia’s practice, take part in her Studio Short: How to light and frame a still-life photo here.