Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photo opportunity

Recently we found a old postcard of the famous sign at Bluff in a second hand store (It's the top image above). The reason to buy it (set us back 10 cents) was not for its aesthetic value or even to serve as a talisman of the ends of the earth, but because it is so remarkably uninspiring. The truth is that this postcard version of the Bluff sign is probably close to what most of us would turn up with given a cold wind and someone calling out from the car to get a move on. So how did Peter Peryer come up with such an iconic image from virtually the same situation? Peryer appears to have photographed the signpost from below and to the right creating something fundamentally different. Instead of pointing stiffly into the distances, Peryer’s sign flings its arms enthusiastically up into the air turning a record into a celebration.

Images: top, postcard of Bluff signpost (we cheated and reproduced it in black and white). Bottom, Peter Peryer's photograph  Bluff 1985