Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blue Still Life

A few weeks back, I was thinking of how I could build my photography skills over the winter, since the cold makes it difficult for me to be outside for any length of time, although it isn't bitter cold, just enough to bother all of the symptoms I have. I thought about doing still lifes, but not the traditional kind with fruit, bowls and berries. Something different, something fresh, something.... hmmmmm.

I read a few things about shooting still life and realized that, according to the "experts",  trying to do a still life would be laughable, I had none of the equipment they said was required. Well! That was NOT going to stop me - I would rig something up and give it a try!

Our house faces due west, exactly, on a compass, so on the north side the light is dimmer, and on the south side, it is very bright. But I found that the cotton sheers in the windows cut the brightness just enough. I placed a small table at the end of the old iron bed and went upstairs to my studio to gather some objects together. But I needed a black backdrop. I had some black foam core board, which didn't thrill me, and then I grabbed my painter's apron. Perfect!

Back on the second floor, I tied the apron to the end of the iron bed and then started setting up the objects I had. I knew I wanted it casual, not stiff, looking like I was beginning a project. I had grabbed a couple of paint bottles in contrasting colors, and a small old French wooden child's pail with a duck on it in the same colors to bring the eye around, and then an antique English pitcher made in the late 1700's. I stuffed the pitcher with paint brushes, mostly very used paint brushes. Then a few oil pastel sticks were sprinkled about on the paper at the base and a tiny metal French gendarme was inserted in the arrangement for a touch of fun. It needed a bit of backlighting so I dug out one of those metal clip lamps people use to clamp to their car hoods if they were doing some work on the engine. It was clamped to the bed post, and tilted such a way that the light was indirect and had a gauzy piece of cloth draped over it. Then I set my camera up on the tripod and had fun shooting in different f-stops and ISOs. I moved things around, but I always like the first arrangement best.

After choosing the one I wanted from the camera upload to the computer, I put it through minimal post processing and then added it to my website. I was so tickled with it, I immediately ordered a 18 x 24 print of it on canvas and it is now hanging on one of our bedroom walls. I plan to do more still lifes soon! I have these ideas........


  1. I just love this piece Rebecca! It just all 'fits' together perfectly. You are so talented.

    1. You are a sweet person for saying so, Linda! Thank you!


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