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Perfect Twelve

West Dean, Wiltshire Salisbury

One Subject, Twelve Images

Oliver Stainer Photography
Oliver Stainer Photography, Grimstead, Wiltshire, England
Oliver Stainer Photography, New Forest National Park, Hampshire, England

Perfect Twelve

It's quite simple! A simple subject, a simple task, twelve simple pictures, simply created, but perfectly executed. I say perfectly executed but I mean as best as I can. Maybe I'll just say executed well before you judge me.

I believe photographs are made to be in pairs, or rather groups. Lining up photographs gives them meaning and allows the photographer to move from picture maker to story teller. From three or four dimensional (length, width, depth and maybe place) to five or six dimensional (adding time and space).


Take a picture of a tree for example. One picture is just a picture of a tree. Twelve pictures could show it through time by seeing it through the changing light through a day, or the changing seasons through a year, or even a longer time frame watching the tree grow and develop. We can also add the dimension of space by photographing it from different angles, from alternative perspectives. We can learn more about the tree. Maybe from one perspective it shows the tree towering over a beautiful rural farm, but from the opposite perspective could show the other side of the tree backing onto a motorway, or a city skyline. We learn more about our tree with every image, with every perspective, with every changing minute.


This is a concept we all understand from taking holiday snaps. Think of that Greek holiday where you took pictures through time, from landing at the airport to arriving at your villa, from swimming at the beach to eating dinner at that unique Greek restaurant, or visiting that amazing Greek temple. But taking just one picture of the Greek temple wouldn't give your viewer much information about your holiday. It might give the viewer some dimensions (the size of the temple) and an understanding of place (we are in Greece), but no different to another image found on Google. It gives the viewer no concept of time and space. This is why we seldom show just one snap to our family and friends, you want to bore them with all the dimensions of our amazing Greek holiday. This is also why social media is so addictive. Showing just one image doesn't give the viewer much information of who we are, what we are like, how we are feeling. So we give a timeline by adding both time and space, a timeline that could be sped up to give the viewer a movie or story like experience.

A group of images can also be used to categorise and compare, not just as pictures but also as physical things, as unique items. Think of the picture of the tree again. One picture is just a picture of a single tree. Twelve pictures could ask our viewer to review our tree and compare it to eleven other trees. What type of tree is it in relation to the others, or what age, what condition, what environment does it live? The photographer can get the viewer to reconsider, to compare and contrast. This all makes for a much more interesting composition.

So simply, twelve pictures of whatever takes my fancy, executed well. Perfectly might be too much an ask. 



12 Images

I have to include the 12 months of the year into my project 12. It just make sense; 12 months, 4 season, 365 days.



5 / 12 Images Currently

Wales is one of the best places to photograph waterfalls. This has given me an interest in moving water photography.

Morning Thaw

Lone Trees

10 / 12 Images Currently

All landscape photographers love a lone tree, and if taken when the light is right, or the leaves are bright, even better still.

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