Another of the NZ Games competitions this one was themed to be a song title. Consequently the photograph had to match the title or lyrics of a particular song. I am a huge Alan Parsons Project fan thanks to an old friend. Robert Bettleheim, who introduced me to the group with their wonderful first album 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination'. Now one of their later songs off the Ammonia Avenue album was called 'Prime Time'.

The idea you see below came pretty quickly to me. The song talks about it being the singers turn tonight that something in the air is going to turn him around and guide him right. So right away it had to be a twilight or early evening shot in my mind. And of course the title of song immediately suggests a timepiece. The next step is what seems to throw people the most - the clock numbers are replaced by the first twelve prime numbers.

I thought I had made this obvious enough because instead of the clock face identifying it as a 'Timex' piece it instead is a 'Primex' clock. Slightly harder to see is the line 'Made in Natural Numbers'. At the time I felt this should make it entirely obvious what is going on. It was rather entertaining having the clock with the modified faceplate sitting on my desk at work - people would wander past and take a brief cursory glance at it move on and then stop, look puzzled and have to come back to see why the clock wasn't right.

Hard to see in this shot the background are some oil storage tanks and a general industrial suburb. I wanted to work that in because the album is, after all, titled Ammonia Avenue and features on it's cover industrial piping and storage tanks. You can see these tanks featuring more in the second shot where I shut the apeture down and increased the depth of field. Because it is an album/CD cover I also chose to crop these images to a square aspect ratio. All the better to be the cover art to some CD single for the track I had in mind.

You can see the album cover thinking here. I deliberately framed this so that there was dead space above the clock face and below it to allow for the artist name and the song title to be clearly legible.

The clock here was held up on a lab stand clamp with a second lab stand clamp holding an LED torch to light the clock face. Now I am doing all this on pretty much zero budget so I have only a cheap LED torch which gives a distinctly blue tinge in what it lights. Fortunately selecting the clock face and rebalancing the colour was pretty trivial to do in Lightroom. Naturally the exposure time here meant a tripod was a must.

Philip R. Banks
Send Email

Return to the Photography Index
Return to the Fortress Entrance