A Little Friday Still Life

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A Teapot and Two Blue Bottles

Winter is a difficult season for photography when you are a natural light photographer.  Well, I guess if you are home during the peak hours it’s a bit easier.  However, I work a full time job and when I get home, it’s almost dark.  Although, I have been noticing it is light later much than a month ago.  My studio has a south facing window, perfect for late afternoon light.  This photograph was taken at 3:42 pm.

About one year ago, I began dabbling in still life photography.  I was searching for my true passion and although I love landscape photography, I had begun to follow a few still life photographers and began to play around with it.  I was intrigued with how to place objects in just the correct place to make bottles and a robins egg look like they actually belonged together.  It’s a little more challenging than one might think.  It takes time to learn or rather, to visualize the props in the correct place so they look pleasing to the eye.

I find that for me, a grouping of three objects seems to be the most pleasing.  In this photograph I wanted the teapot to be the main focus of the grouping, so by placing it slightly in front of the blue bottles, and to the left, it appears larger and is more prominent in the photograph.  The blue bottles are in focus but if you look closely, the larger jar is slightly out of focus, but not so much that it appears to be a blue blur.  I placed the grouping against my beautiful blue door and added a string of Christmas lights just for fun and because I love bokeh.  The blue door ties the photograph together, bringing your eye from the bottles to the door and back around to the teapot.   The lavender wreath is noticeable but it’s out of focus so it doesn’t takeover the photograph.  Although you may not be a photographer, these rules in grouping objects can work in any situation.  Whether you are grouping picture frames on a table in your home or perhaps you collect vases, it’s the same principal that you would follow.  The saying seemed to verbalize what my photograph says even if the words were not there.

I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark II, I used my 50MM 1.4  Sigma Art lens (which is on my camera 98% of the time); my camera settings were: 1/13 sec; f/2.5; ISO 200.  To view more of my still life photography please visit me here.

Have a great week ahead, until next time … Debra


Lavender Still Life

Living out where the dirt is like clay, lavender is one of the main plants that grows with pretty much no care. Because of that, it has become one of my favorite flowers. The nearest flower shop is about 16 miles from me, so when I’m planning a still life and want flowers, I often head outside with my snippers to trim some of this beautiful fragrant plant.

The sunlight was pouring in through the south facing window of my studio/craft-room. One in the afternoon was the perfect time to play around with this set up. In addition to the lavender, I used this great little wooden box with a wire back and chalkboard front that my daughter gave me, along with a small piece of beige colored linen, a spool of twine and some little bonsai scissors.

After taking several shots, it seemed to be just what I was looking for. Getting the cloth and twine to lay just right can be more challenging than you think! Even the placement of the scissors has to be just right.

I shoot with a Canon 6d. Today I was using my 28-75mm 2.8 lens. Shooting at 57mm, 1/180 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400

My tips for you:

  • Find a spot with the perfect lighting and figure out what time of day you’ll get the light you’re looking for.
  • Plan your pieces ahead of time and get them laid out just the way you want them.
  • Take a few test shots even before the light is perfect.
  • Relax and have fun with it.

To see more of my work or get more tips on photography and editing click here.



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