Sunday, January 1, 2006

Life’s a bowl of photos


By David Gewirtz

The male mind apparently goes through some rather strange transformations upon getting married. For example, prior to marriage, I wouldn't have been caught dead watching "World's Most Extreme Homes" on the HGTV (Home & Garden Television) network. Now, after a year of marriage, I find watching "World's Most Extreme Homes" with Denise both fun and interesting.

I guess there's some truth to the whole nesting instinct thing.

One of the homes featured on the show was a boxy white thing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The whole house was white and square. The homeowners had a sense of style, though, because they broke up the oh-so-monochrome display throughout the house with splashes of shape and color.

One such splash is the subject of this article. It was only on screen for about a second, and was far from the subject of the piece. But on a very large (probably four-feet square, white table) was a large glass bowl filled with snapshots. It caught our attention and seemed like a great subject for a Connected Photographer tip. We decided to make our own, which you can see in Figure A.


You can have a lot of fun with a bowl of photos. (click for larger image)

In this article, I'll first tell you how to accomplish the same effect, then I'll talk about some ways you might have fun with it.

Learning to bowl

To put this project together, you'll need two ingredients: photos and a bowl. For the purpose of constructing a sample, I asked Denise for some of her snapshots. She pulled out one of her storage bins, as shown in Figure B.


You'll need a lot of snapshots. (click for larger image)

This project allows you to display photos in a very tactile way. You'll want to make copies of your prints and use the copies in the bowl if it bothers you to have people touching your originals. You might also want to experiment with inks and paper to make sure you get prints with the least amount of smudging.

The second ingredient is the bowl. We bought the one in Figure C for about eight bucks at the local supermarket.


Why does an empty glass bowl make me think of chocolate? (click for larger image)

The fun part of the project is combining our two ingredients. Dump your pictures into the bowl. You could have fun arranging them, or you could just dump them in. For our picture, we just grabbed a handful and dumped them in.

When you're done, you'll have a bowl filled with snapshots, like that shown in Figure D.


Our bowl is now filled with snapshots. (click for larger image)

Bowl games

The photo bowl is a great conversation piece and even better conversation starter. It becomes a coffee table book of your life, a coffee table bowl. The photo bowl is appealing and inviting.