Mannequins are creepy. This is hardly an original thought, but one that popped in my head recently as I waited for my girlfriend to finish checking out in the State Street Old Navy store. I snapped this shot during my wait:
Nikon D90 with 35mm lens, 1/500sec at f1.8, ISO400 - Copyright 2010
I just don't understand why someone, somewhere, in some marketing department, thinks it's a good idea to put these "figures" in the front of a store. Nevermind that I watch too much science fiction-- and mannequins coming to life stories (generally to subjugate the human race) are quite popular in that genre-- there's just something odd about seeing the human form clad in plastic, perpetually trying too hard to smile.
This got me thinking-- on a scale of creepiness, how do the various mannequins rate? Are the Old Navy mannequins better or worse than others? Here's what I came up with, with #1 being the most creepy:
5) Headless mannequins (creepy in the right setting but generally the least offensive):
Nikon D90 w/ 16-85mm lens, 1/160sec at f8, ISO200 - Copyright 2010
4) Mannequins with heads and smiling faces (as in the Old Navy photo)
3) Mannequins with heads but no faces or partial faces:
Canon A510, 1/40sec at f2.6, ISO Data Missing - Copyright 2005
2) Mannequins of children
1) Mannequins of children without faces:
Nikon D90 w/ 16-85mm lens, 1/160sec at f4.8, ISO400 - Copyright 2010
Have I missed any?
I should mention that much of this, from a photographic standpoint, is Eugène Atget's fault. Atget was really the master of the creepy mannequin photo:
Eugène Atget, Avenue de Gobelins, 1926