Signs are great resource of photography inspiration. Why? Signs usually carry a clear message. Clear message is a good thing: you can echo, contradict or correspond with a clear message. If your message is clear too, you hit the jackpot.
In the following article I will discuss five ways one can interact with signs on pictures. At the end I will share a personal story showing the difficulties of shooting images with signs.
1. Relating Signs – The simplest way of using a sign in a photograph is to find a sign or a combination of signs that can convey a different message than originally indented. This is usually also very funny.
Pick Your Poison by Scott Ableman
There are several ways to do this: One way is to show two related signs in the same picture. This is what Scott did in his “Pick Your Poison” image. The road guys post up a “Dead End” sign to warn the drivers off a road condition. The fast food guys want the drivers to know that they will serve food on location. Combining the clear dead end message with a bunch of well known fast food chains create a new message: “fast food is a dead end“.