Monday, 3 January 2011

Tank Man

As part of my photography course we were all set the task of recreating an 'iconic image'. We could either create a direct copy, make a parody, or simply create an image that paid homage to the original. I knew immediately that I wanted to pay homage to the images of the infamous 'Tank Man' of Tiananmen Square. The images (shown below) depict a lone protester standing in front of a row of Chinese tanks which were attempting to pass through the square. His identity is still unknown, though there have been numerous rumours. You can read more about the event in this Wikipedia article.

Obviously I didn't have any military tanks at my disposal, so I wanted to create a parody of the image instead. With a few poundshop plastic tanks, an empty car park, and my dog Jasper, I gave it a shot....

the plastic tank in all its glory

attack of the giant dog!

looking extremely bemused

change of angle and now in black and white

you have no idea how hard it was to get him in this position

Despite my model being one of the best in the business, I wasn't happy with the images. I wanted to pay homage to the Tank Man, not compare him to a dog! So I traded my pupster in for a small child who I rented for the day. (NB. I did NOT rent a child. That is probably illegal. I borrowed him from a friend.) Unfortunately this posed more problems than trying to photograph my disobedient dog. You know what they say about working with children and animals...

first hurdle was getting him to face the camera

he face planted the floor a few times trying to maintain this pose

the seated position did not work

he got very easily distracted by the moss growing in the pavement cracks

But I eventually got this shot, which I was rather pleased with, and which I felt conveyed the sense of domination, but also with the innocence of a child. (Or at least that's what I wrote in my accompanying essay!)

And below is the edited version because every photo could use a bit of Photoshop work apparently.

Here ends a long and rambling explanation of what the average photography assignment entails. I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more coming soon....


  1. Oh amazing! I loved seeing how the final image came about! Wonderful xx

  2. I loved the explanation and the final result! and Jasper is a gifted model.


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