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the thimble collector
the thimble collector

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Safety (Basic Editing)
Collection: Objects
Camera: Canon EOS-40D
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS USM
Location: Virginia, US
Date: Sep 16, 2008
Aperture: f/14
ISO: 320
Shutter: 1.3s
Galleries: Emotive, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Sep 16, 2008

I don't blame any of you who might not "get it", as this image is intended as a psychological study and you kind of need a bit of back story to know what I'm getting at.

This image is meant to accompany a poem, and the poem provides the context for understanding this image. You can find the poem here..

I interpreted the poem as being about an angry daughter, who had a mother who was in some way abusive or emotionally damaging. Her mother sews, and the imagery in the poem related to her mother is centered on sewing.

I thought of the psychology of people who have been abused and thought they, generally speaking, would be strongly desirous of safety, and protection - they wouldn't be inclined to take emotional risks.

And then I thought, all our emotions and needs tend to have outward expressions, particularly unconscious outward expressions, so I started to think about this particular woman, the woman of the poem, and what the externalization of her inner anguish would be. Since she sees her mother, the source of her pain, in terms of sewing, I thought: what is the quintessential symbol of safety and protection for sewing?

The thimble.

I decided the woman would be a thimble collector. But not just any thimble collector - not decorative thimbles, collectible thimbles - she would be a horder of thimbles, masses and masses of them, with no particular regard for their beauty or individuality. The thimbles' sole purpose would be almost talismanic, their presence meant to soothe her.

But they don't soothe, or the effect is fleeting, and she is fated to continue to desperately horde more and more, to feed her compulsion for safety.

shot at around the 200mm end of the lens

oh, and I swear I got these thimbles expressly for the project, I didn't already own them. ;)

more than Basic Editing version:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/61651/120/725925.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/61651/120/725925.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Place: 18 out of 86
Avg (all users): 5.8515
Avg (commenters): 6.4667
Avg (participants): 5.7778
Avg (non-participants): 5.8726
Views since voting: 879
Views during voting: 312
Votes: 202
Comments: 20
Favorites: 0

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09/24/2008 10:06:19 PM
ahh... this is one of my faves from the challenge. I think I know the poem you're talking about. :) and this would be perfect for it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2008 07:17:30 AM
I love the story behind this! I rather liked the picture itself before that, too. And I wondered if the thimbles had been purchased for the shot - can't see having that many of the same ones unless one routinely administers quilting bees with novices. I like the way you think.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2008 12:25:49 AM
wow - great image. i feel it can stand on its own, but the story is very intriguing nonetheless! i particularly like how the dof makes an abstract of the distraught. that seems to work well, the thimbles clearly overwhelming the subject. excellent tones, as usual. if the poem is posted publicly online, you can stick a link in your comments without worry. hey - you oughta do a series of these!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2008 12:18:46 AM
I'm glad this placed in the top 20 since I had it rated highly. Now that I know more about the story behind the picture, I can say it deserved a better score. The sharpness and details in the thimbles are what sold the image for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/22/2008 07:23:12 PM
Nice work on making the thimbles so sharp! This picture leads me to wonder why the collector's pose indicates unhappiness.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2008 12:58:43 PM
The background is really distracting. It is out of focus...but there is enough detail to make me guess at what it is. It looks like a back...but I'm probably wrong. The thimbles are nice though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2008 05:46:04 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2008 09:07:37 AM
I think it's too much empty space above the thimbles but love the contrasty black and white of the thimbles.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2008 08:29:30 AM
I like this.
The composition focus and tones used really work well.

Update! After looking trough all the images this deserves a 10.
Its a real interesting image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2008 08:53:58 PM
The background is distracting to me. I keep trying to figure it out. I think the thimbles would have been enough.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2008 08:28:22 PM
Maybe a thimble in use would be more to the point?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2008 03:40:09 PM
I honestly didnt get what you tried to convey here. Is it:

- that the thimble provide safety for thumbs when sewing?


- that the thimbles are mostly made out of the US these days and pretty much identically so there is no point collecting them anymore?

If it is the former, why is the actor/actress sitting holding her head?
If it is the latter, where does safety come into picture?

If it was not for this confusion, I would have rated this one pretty high. It will still get a high score from me owing to a great technical shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2008 01:41:47 PM
Pretty weird - I like that. I can see how they relate to 'Safety'. I think the focus could be a tad bit sharper: 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 07:56:48 PM
I don't really understand why she's crying.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 06:19:34 PM
How ironic... all those thimbles and the top of her thumb is missing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 04:52:52 PM
I really like the thimble idea and the editing looks good, whatever that is in the background distracts me a bit though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 09:48:56 AM
I like the thimbles in the foreground. But the background is messy and distracting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 01:28:07 AM
interesting shot, it took me a while to get what the background is. Maybe the DOF is too short?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 01:02:35 AM
Excellent use of the shallow DOF. The subject matter is clear and sharp, and the background brings some context without being a distraction.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2008 12:52:44 AM
Beautiful, clever, unique - MARVELLOUS!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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