Exercise: Evidence of Action

For this exercise I am to produce one image which shows 'evidence of action' that is where something has happened but which is only shown in the image by way of signs. The course text suggests an image where something has been broken or emptied. In the example below I came across a spilled can of paint. I almost ignored it, but having taught myself not to miss opportunities I back-tracked and took a few shots. William Egglestone would only have taken one shot and now I understand why! It took a while to decide on the best photograph. In the image it seems clear that someone has dropped a can of paint and then someone, maybe a passer-by, has righted it, allowing the paint to run down the side of the can. The lid is in amongst the spilled paint which has trapped blown leaves. There is nothing to explain why it happened but the are a couple of DIY shops close by so it's possible a shopper dropped it. Outside the shot, there are footprints left by someone who got paint on their shoes. these are indexical signs to the paint spillage. The position and arrangement of the spillage suggests an accident - there is nothing to suggest it was deliberately poured onto the pavement. Although the image denotes spilled paint, one might also read frustration in the image - this would be a connotation.  

Spilled paint.


Salkeld, R. (2014). Reading Photographs. London: Bloomsbury.