Abandoned toys or lost toys which have some how found themselves on the urban streets is an occurrence I come across quite often. Usually they are in the most unlikely places and in various stages of decay and in awkward positions. However they are almost impossible to ignore, as they so obviously do not fit into their location.
Abandoned toys seem to have their own story to tell and by using them imaginatively in your photography you can create a whole narrative behind their current situation.
The viewer is therefore presented with an image from which they are able to conjure up many different thoughts and feelings.
Lets take a look at several images of lost and abandoned toys and see how other photographers have used them.
This first image by dev-null shows a single lonely bear sitting quite casually on a stone step. What I really like about this image is its simplicity of form and colour and how it instantly portrays the feeling of loneliness and of being lost.
The placing of the bear to one side shows the use of the rule of thirds in this shot and makes the whole composition much stronger, even though there is not much else in the picture to draw the eye.
A simple composition allowing the stark contrast of the red and white colours to form the image. A good example of how less is sometimes more.
This second image by solar-ikon is another simple composition but this time the use of texture and mono colours has been used to construct the image.
The grainy texture of the hard pavement is in contrast with the soft fluffy fabric of the abandoned toy. A good use of contrast in texture highlighting the juxtaposition of the two items.
The angle of the shot has also added interest to the image and again the toy had not been placed centrally but is off to one side, allowing the lines of the pavement to take your eye back into the image.
This third image by fotolgic has used a fairly new looking toy in a very unlikely and precarious situation, giving the image a little tension I feel.
The toy is balanced on a grate and is only millimeters away from dropping down into the murky darkness. This affect is heightened by the leaf, which is just about to drop also.
Again simple colours help make this shot and the splash of the yellow of the leaf and the red of the toy against the gray of metal grate work really well.
Also choosing to crop the image in tight helps to get rid of any unnecessary detail that could distract the focus of the viewer.
This last image by ben-borgman shows an old favorite in a very undignified and very uncomfortable position.
I like the fact that the photographer hasn't tried to pose the abandoned toy in any way but has simply shown it as it was found.
The image has been framed so that Pooh who is the main feature of the shot is only one aspect of the shot; the dark stairwell is also very much a part of this image.
This image really makes you wonder about how the toy got to be where it is and perhaps is a sort of social commentary about lost childhood and the harshness of urban living.
Using the camera to not only record the world around you but also as a story teller and commentator is what documentary photography is all about and many photographers have made this their main focus in their work.