Friday, June 27, 2008

The Mermaid Calendar

The Mermaid Calendar was not a planned purchase, and the only cues I had to help me make my decision to buy were the cover and the title. 

I like mermaids, and thought this would be a collection of mermaids from different sources. However, the calendar is actually a collection of photos by creator Jason Gold. Generally for me, mermaid photos usually lack interest, as the magic is not as present as when the mermaid is portrayed via a painting.

Jason's mermaids are nicely photographed, making them look like unobserved snapshots – the type you'd expect taken from a boat in the same way you'd take shots of dolphins. As the mermaid is treated as a real subject in these works, the shots of the mermaids are not always that attractive because they are more integrated into the shot like a wildlife photograph, without the posed glamour. This device works well to present the mermaids as real.

In the entire calendar, there is only one clear face shot of a mermaid, so the emphasis is not the mermaid's face and beauty, but more on the essence of the full mermaid form. About 50% of the mermaids presented have tails that look too PhotoShopped to be real, which I feel takes away from the mermaid/wildlife aspect of the shoots. However, when the mermaid tail is correctly realized to look real and part of the photo, then the mermaid and photo become convincing as if we are viewing a real captured sighting.

It's a lovely calendar to have, and I'm glad to have it, but it's not the calendar I thought I was purchasing from the Amazon presentation page. I love it as a reference source, but it won't be put on display or used, as I found it to be a bit too bland for my mermaid tastes.

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