After doing my research on MINI last week and seeing the Not Normal campaign they are running I was determined to have a go at submitting one myself. Other submissions seemed to be detailed MINI sandcastles, elaborately crafted MINI cakes, a MINI made out of biscuits, salad and snow. Some of the images are pure photoshop trickery but I wanted to for straight macro photography.
And I figured it would probably also have to include penguins. I already had a 1:87 scale banana coloured mini MINI and my beloved 1:87 scale tiny penguins, really it seemed to write itself.
I had this idea of the MINI, hotly pursued by the penguins over an undulating landscape of oranges. In reality the MINI just looked a little marooned on top of the orange. I needed either a much minier MINI or a much larger orange. I’d thought of using a banana as ’the road’ but hadn't been able to discover a way to keep the banana at the jaunty angle I desired. However really the answer was staying me in the face, oranges! I could carefully balance the bananas on said oranges, pad out the sides of the fruit bowl to stop them rolling and try again. The background was a problem, the wall in the office was plain, good, but just dull and with weird shadows falling across it. I was sat on one of the wheelie stools we have around the breakout table trying to get tiny penguins to stand unaided on the curve of an orange (nigh on impossible) and a banana (slightly less hopeless), which is also where we keep fruit bowl. The wheelie stools are all different colours and an idea sprung to mind. If I just balance the blue one of its side on top of table, my little tableau would have a much punchier background.
In the end I had to resort to Pritt to give the penguins a fighting chance standing on the banana. After I fired off a handful of shots I had to rush and get on a 7pm conference call, hoping I nailed the “Not Normal” brief. I left everything set up with a plan to return in an hour. After the hour of machinations on the phone I go back to tidy up and efficiently the cleaners have beaten me to it. The stool is back in its proper place, the orange restored neatly in a bowl, my penguins and MINI carefully placed on the window sill but the banana - nowhere to be seen. Now I'm not a fan of bananas, but this is my boss’s banana and I'm not entirely sure how attached to it he was. Clearly he’d been hoarding it for a while, but maybe that's he likes them.
Our cleaners are Spanish so when I asked if they knew what happened to the banana, my complete lack of suitable Spanish vocabulary meant I was met with shrugs. I then total inexplicably thought I'd mime the missing banana, as you would. They look puzzled, mildly alarmed and one them just keeps pointing at the fruit bowl saying “orange, orange, orange”, clearly I’ve gone well past the realms of “not normal” now!
But just in case I ever have issues with wayward bananas again and need to interrogate any passing Spaniard, I have been suitably armed with useful phrases “Por favor, no tocar el plátano!” or “¿Dónde está mi plátano”. Sorted!