Irritation, a state of feeling annoyed, impatient, vexatious, uncomfortable and hundreds of other, rather negative emotions. I instantly thought of the feeling when I'm in ballet class and I really can't remember the steps but the teacher wants me to repeat them. Or the feeling when you pass a stranger and you both don't know whether to go left or right so you just perform this awkward step left, step right dance. Anyway, in photography class we recently had the task to capture irritation in one picture. No photoshop or subsequently added irritation. My first thought was to photograph some disgusting looking skin irritation that unsettled the people even more. But I felt like this was too easy (and also I had no idea where to get a disgusting skin irritation from). I wanted to go deeper and find a subject that seemed completely normal at first. I wanted people to look at my picture and say, that's a cool photo. But after looking closely they would see that something is wrong and I wanted to make the viewer feel irritated rather than capturing an irritation itself, if that makes sense. The photograph I finally chose to submit is the first one of this post. It was actually the first shot too and I picked it because I fell in love with the lighting. All of the shadows and highlights distract from the actual subject that is (and I hope you've noticed yet) the upside down Macbook. Everyone I showed it to said: Oh I like the shadows! Or as my dad put it: What's that light in his face? In fact, no one actually realised what was wrong with the picture. But as soon as I showed it to my designer friends they asked me if I was stupid to place my Macbook on the table like that. And this was exactly the kind of irritation I wanted to create.
Apart from that I also see it as a reference to the daily obstacles we have to face as design students. We're bubbling over with ideas and imaginations and we're busy taking pictures, sketching, discussing the fonts of menus and street signs, buying weird food because of its great packaging, talking about colours, codes and cameras. But at the end of the day we're just not there yet. We still have to learn and master our tools. So sometimes while working on a project, that's exactly how we feel. Irritated, like everything is upside down and we have no idea what we're actually doing there.