I do think the flatbed scanner is dying…but that is not what I want to blather on about right now. As a photographer of “reality” for most of my jobs, I make that reality work for my clients.
Sometimes an object or a person just makes a you want to photograph it, and the quality of that subject makes the photo. This is one of those examples. Sure, I took a bunch of shots of this. But the object was so good, that it was just a matter of finding the right approach to let the object sing its own tune. Nothing fancy. No tricks. Try a few things, and see which one best represents your vision of the object.
I LOVE reality. I love real people. And I do a good job at optimizing what they have. But boy is it easier to start with something special like this moldy citrus. That must sound funny, but I think you get it.
While I am not the world’s biggest Avedon fan, I really appreciate his conscious effort to isolate subjects against simple backgrounds with simple lighting (well, PRETTY simple). Start with a visually strong subject, and the greater challenge is to NOT screw it up. I know I have walked into situations before (not that frequently) where the options and the situation were SO good that you KNEW you were going to miss the best shots. They were camouflaged by all the good stuff.
I guess it all comes down to communicating the essence of your subject. This can be maddeningly difficult in the visual world, especially when the essence is so easily obscured.