Time of the Signs

Parking Fine by digital-eye
Parking Fine, a photo by digital-eye on Flickr.

The funny wording of signs and the juxtaposition of signs with other subjects is something that has always appealed to me. I like how they can be intelligent, funny and thought provoking. Four years ago I opened a Flickr account and from an early stage I set up an album titled ‘Time of the Signs’ to upload any strange or funny occurrences of signs. The photo that was the inspiration for this set was of a sign that said ‘Slow, children’. It was taken on a school residential visit walking in Osmotherley. The photo appealed to the context of the situation of a class of children taking their time walking across a rugged field. As one of my first photos, as an interested photographer, it reminds me just how much I have developed my own visual language. If I was taking the same photo again I might have some indication of the children in the shot with the sign, maybe in the distance. I took the ‘Parking Fine’ photo (above) at Staithes. I was drawn by the irony and the blatant rule breaking. During TAOP I learnt about juxtaposition and how two subjects can interact with each other within the frame.
My motivation for writing this post comes from having come across Niall Benvie’s website. One of his albums showcases photographs where he has made signs and put them in situations which gives added meaning to the surrounding scene. I can see how this could be a possible area I could research and adapt for my 5th assignment. I can envisage there being many opportunities to manipulate images and give them a voice.


About Matt

Photography degree student with the Open College of the Arts.
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