26 by 26 6:37am, 5 September 2013
Challenge #14:
Photograph something you consider insignificant.
– Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth

Eyes as Big as Plates

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All images copyright of Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth
Selection of images from Eyes as Big as Plates:
More on the project:

"Eyes as Big as Plates is an ongoing collaborative venture between Riitta Ikonen (Finland) and Karoline Hjorth (Norway). Inspired by the romantics’ belief that folklore is the clearest reflection of the soul of a people, Eyes as Big as Plates started out as a play on characters and protagonists from Norwegian folklore. Karoline and Riitta collaborated with sailors, farmers, professors, artisans, psychologists, teachers, parachuters and senior citizens."


As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group. This can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge or your work-in-progress during the two weeks before posting your final image to the group pool.

We're looking forward to hearing people's thoughts, good luck everyone!
— 26 by 26 team
Mark W Russell Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Mark W Russell (admin) 5 years ago
The bear trap in this challenge is perhaps to echo Riitta and Karoline's "Eyes as big as plates" project, as ones submission.
My initial connect here is "what do I consider insignificant?". Lots of photographers capture the "photo opportunity" or "the decisive moment" but how often do we walk by the insignificant without a thought.

No entry

Yellow bush

White lines/green rectangles
ireniclife PRO 5 years ago
Quite right Mark. The interest for me is that the moment I choose my insignificant thing to photograph, and try and make an interesting image of it, it automatically takes on some significance. Hmm?
Mark W Russell 5 years ago

Yes but will you be able to take a picture of the insignificant thing and it remain insignificant?

I cannot wait to see the types of things/people/places members consider insignificant.
dongbide PRO 5 years ago
They might include things lost or abounded, and places, no one wants to see.
HH 050

GI 001
ireniclife PRO 5 years ago
Mark Russell123:

Exactly : ))
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 5 years ago
This is a tricky Challenge and I look forward to the debate over some of the submissions to the pool!
Maybe "insignificant to you" will be the key to this brief. A non- smoker may not consider smoking shelters of any significance etc.
Insignificant or irrelevant to there's another question of semantics!

“Everything you do in life will be insignificant...but it's very important that you do it.”
― Ghandi
mommaskill: Your dilemma..

Definition of SIGNIFICANT
1sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy:
a significant increase in sales
2having a particular meaning; indicative of something:
in times of stress her dreams seemed to her especially significant
suggesting a meaning or message that is not explicitly stated:
she gave him a significant look
3 Statistics relating to or having significance.

1too small or unimportant to be worth consideration:
the sum required was insignificant compared with military spending
(of a person) without power or influence:
she was so small and insignificant
insignificant yet enchanting phrases

Time needed to think about this...
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 5 years ago
Greens and black

Took these yesterday....somewhere towards insignificant to me possibly.

F, O and Primary colours
Mark W Russell Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Mark W Russell (admin) 5 years ago
For this challenge, does a "deadpan" photograph add to the insignificance? It is difficult to create a picture without an aesthetic edge of some sort; colour, light, contrast, etc.

Work in progress:-
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago
Mark Russell123:

Good question!

The Challenges are about improving our I think we do need to consider the elements that make a good photograph including aesthetic, colour, light, contrast etc. Without considering those factors we are not being photographers but "snappers". However, how we combine them to show insignificance will be significant...
Wendy A. 5 years ago
Lost by Wendy A.

Here is a photo I took last December. This will be a great challenge - I agree with Julia - "when we combine them to show insignificance, will be significant"...when does something go from insignificant to significant?

I am away this weekend without internet or phone service so I will be anxious to see what I come up with and to see what everyone else comes up with when I get back.
david_gillett 5 years ago
Hmm.. the first thing that springs to mind after reading the definition of 'insignificant' that Julia posted was Junk Mail. It seems to me both unimportant and meaningless (99.9% of the time anyway).

So perhaps sculpting and lighting the paper in an Jessica Eaton-esque way ... or delivering the mail back to its source and taking a portrait with one of it's creators / initiators.

....Early days...
dacaccia Posted 5 years ago. Edited by dacaccia (member) 5 years ago
insignificant ... I think when doing street photography we come across many, many unsignificant scenes. Real street life is unsignificant.
In our life full of "significances" it is a good idea to concentrate on the insignificance.


Alte Leopolds-Apotheke

Monty May (OBSERVE) PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Monty May (OBSERVE) (member) 5 years ago

The Shirt


Balcony Fury
maximilianen 5 years ago
Shower Routine
johnpaddler PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by johnpaddler (member) 5 years ago
For anyone who is still tiptoeing around the bear trap... Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth's Eyes Big As Plates project reminded me of Anti-glamour Babes emmaporium (England) & Mrs Mari (Finland) anti-glamour hat wars - a worthy cause fought with insignificant objects.

Anti-Glamour Hat War: The Dispossessed

Anti-Glamour Hat War: Return of The Original & Best Mrs. Spikyhead

Ms Marple, I presume!

Anti-glamour hat war egghead

Photos by emmaporium & Mrs Mari

Regarding the challenge, it strikes me that the small and insignificant is an ideal signifier, bearer of significance. The tension between the small or mundane and the bigger picture may be what makes the shot. In the same way that Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth collect insignificant objects - twigs, grasses, seaweed - which by virtue of number and form (sculpting, couture) become significant, carry meaning.

I don't think we are supposed to avoid or will penalised for ending up with a photo which has some significance.
dacaccia 5 years ago
Regarding only the brief sentence - and not the solution of the brief creators - there is a broad, very broad spectrum of possibilities.
As I am devoted to street photography my "insignificances" are found in street life, in "life-as-it-is". ;)
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago

John thanks for showing us these pictures. They do link very well to the "bear trap"!
Paul Cruickshank 5 years ago
v.good & co. defence lawyers
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago

Trying out a few ideas
david_gillett 5 years ago
johnpaddler: Love these!
Leripix 5 years ago
Some thoughts...

one that came to me when I woke up at 5.30 this morning but it was too dark to get up...
The exact wording of the brief - that is "something YOU consider insignificant", so maybe unimportant or of no consequence in your life, but which would not necessarily be insignificant to others, either because of a way of life or relative wealth or whatever else.

Then (when I did get up) a quote I found from Marty Rubin "Love doesn't excuse our faults - it makes them insignificant".

Like David says.. "early days"
Voltaire 2010 5 years ago
Bit of a paradox here. Doesn't the act of photographing it make it significant.

The photo being a sign, and all.

Will try to bridge that gap, though.
Simon five 5 years ago
As soon as something is the subject of a photograph it becomes significant and therefore is self excluding from the challenge.

This problem of the changing significance in the subject is one that everybody who enters this brief will have to address.
Leripix Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Leripix (member) 5 years ago
#35 Photograph your feelings in a state of boredom.

I really couldn't care less what colour my car is as long as it goes.
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago
Perhaps look at the act of taking a photograph as making a record of the insignificance rather than making the insignificant significant.
Palofperu PRO 5 years ago
This is an interesting brief. My initial thought is everything is significant but does everything matter? A top of the range motor is not something that matters to me but if one ran over my cat it would matter a great deal and would cease to be insignificant. So what we're being asked to consider here is context. It's a challenge alright. Making an engaging photo of something considered insignificant will reveal a lot about the photographer. This will be fascinating good luck everyone.
cjcrosland PRO 5 years ago
Having fun trying to work this one out! :-))
In the meantime, I am enjoying the fun of looking at the bear trap - those pictures are hilarious John Paddler!
mmc1uk 5 years ago
I was racking my brain at first with this challenge. Trying to think of something that would be considered insignificant was quite difficult but, I realised it did not have to be insignificant to anyone else as it was something that I considered insignificant. I have enjoyed looking at the photos already posted and seeing if I find them insignificant or not.
gri2011 5 years ago
cjcrosland PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by cjcrosland (member) 5 years ago
This instruction is like a riddle!
My progress so far - I decided to pick something which looks bland to begin with and then try to create an image that is interesting in purely visual terms but not in terms of meaning, symbolism etc:

maximilianen 5 years ago
Detour Ahead
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