I remember hearing the phrase “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” many years ago. The standard response of men is “But fish don’t need bicycles!” Or at least it is until they think about it. It’s a phrase created by Irina Dunn, an Australian educator, journalist and politician, which she first used in 1970, while a student at the University of Sydney. The original phrase was ‘Man needs God like fish need a bicycle.’ Truth.
Several years ago I decided to start a YouTube channel with my kids and we filmed a range of photographic challenges with cameras. The channel is no longer up. In one video I tried doing double-exposures using an old film camera while my son Gabriel used a new iOS app for his. My idea was to expose the film once and then rewind it and expose it again, or expose one shot, fail to wind on the film and then take another shot. I needed to be careful with the exposure, only letting in half the light needed for each of the two shots. The theme I chose was fish and bicycles, so I bought some Mackerel from my local wet fish shop and took them to the park at the end of the road with my bicycle. For some reason I attracted a crowd.
I still think the images look quite stylish.
I used an old slide film and had it processed wrongly, as if it was a print film instead. That leads to strange contrast and colour casts. I used the newspaper they were wrapped in to give some extra background texture.
I used Agfa’s 35mm film CT Precisa 100. It’s strongly green when wrongly processed.
I bought five fish so there would be interesting symmetry. I tried a range of shots with close-ups and silhouetted backgrounds.
I introduces some perspective:
If you don’t ‘get’ the reference or appreciate surrealism, then maybe they’re not for you.
Doing it gave me a thoroughly entertaining couple of hours.
At the end I got my son Joseph to pose with a couple of Mackerel before I took them back home.
They were delicious, with rhubarb, of course. I cooked them just like this: