Saturday, January 30, 2016

Still Life on the Cheap

I just started a class in Still Life and this is week two.  At first I thought I was an idiot for trying something out of my comfort zone.

I like hiking, I like nature, I like outdoors so that is usually what my subjects are. I learned something from my father, as long as you had some light coming in from the outside, you could take photos on the inside of the house.

So I decided I'd go ahead and try 'Still Life'.  What could it hurt?  I could learn something and it is never bad to learn something new.

First here is my really expensive set up for my 'table top' shot I wanted to do last week.

Please note the helper in the photo.  Hedgehogs are common missiles when I am sometimes working this close to the floor.

However it was an overcast day and I was trying to make the best use of the light. I set up a white foam board behind the basket, which Morris promptly nosed down.
But eventually we worked it out and I came up with this.

I used an old lace curtain on top of a box.  I tossed in some carnations along with a card someone had given me. I put some coffee in the coffee cup and gave Morris a very stern look.  I set the camera to manual and used a tripod and remote to get the shot.  
I did use Topaz Glow to pretty it up a bit.

Not satisfied with just that as a shot, I set some other things up.  Barbed wire, a rusted clip and some brass bells on a ribbon.

I used more of a limited color in this shot and a narrow depth of focus.

Week two asks that we shoot a photo with negative space and the rule of thirds.

Here is how I set this week's shots up.  

Yes, a dresser, a white sheet, and a white board next to a window.

And I decided to go with a Valentine's Day theme so I added candy.

Oh darn.  That funny stuffed donkey just wouldn't leave my thoughts.  So I decided to photograph it too.

However the donkey turned out okay but the photo really seemed quite lacking. I wasn't that impressed at all, even if the idea was fun.
Well, simply put.  It had too much empty space!

Exactly what it was supposed to have.
So I changed it like this:

It sort of has a vintage feel to it yet doesn't feel so empty.

I stopped right here.  Too much messing around would probably ruin this.

So you can do some pretty impressive Still Life work without a whole lot of investment.
I just did and found out that I really enjoyed it.

Just make sure your photography assistant isn't going to grab your toy Donkey and run off with it.  Or decide that tossing a hedgehog into the works would make it look so much better.

I used AfterShotPro by Corel for the RAW files, I used Topaz Adjust for making the donkey look 'vintage', and PSPX7 [PaintShopPro] for the editing. CS2 for any additional work.

Texture added to the first shot from mercurycode at deviantart.

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