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Thread: First Ever StillLifes

  1. #1
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    First Ever StillLifes

    Confession:

    I've never had a great deal of interest in still-life photography, but it has recently occurred to me as being a way to really learn light control, composition, light and color contrast, and edge-to edge frame responsibility. Sooo, here's my first efforts. Be kind, I havent a clue what I'm doing and have no studio lights . But I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks for viewing


    First Ever StillLifes

    First Ever StillLifes

    First Ever StillLifes

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Hey Kevin - I really like them all, but #1 stands out the most to me, #3 would be a close second. Here's the deal though... I think that #2 would have won first place in my books, but the label on the bottle just stands out a little too much for me, and distracts my eye from the simplicity of the photo. It's also like the colours don't match the rest of the flat/pastel-like colours of the rest of the photo. But that of course, is in my humble, and novice opinion.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Everything Andrew said.

    Good on you, Kevin, for pushing yourself out into new waters and testing yourself on another aspect of photography. You're braver than me.

    In terms of composition, #1 is a really nice set-up. The only thing I'd have liked is for the flower head on the right and the one at the top not to have been right against the edge of the frame. But the ligthing is really good.

  4. #4
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Thank you, Andrew

    (One novice to another). Those thoughts seem completely apt and valid. I have zero confidence in my color management, and am much more comfortable in B&W. Hence, the painful learning curve. Thanks for viewing and commenting

    Thanks, Donald. I'm encouraged

    Kevin

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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Wow!

    If this is your first efforts at this, I cant wait to see how you progress. I like the simple setting, the moods you portrayand your use of light (though I cant imagine doing that without studio lights). I looked at your album, and I think you underestimate your color talent- I think you have made lovely use of color, though I do enjoy your B&W. Looking forwared to more of you "in the studio"

    Ruby

  6. #6
    Bunty Plumchip's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    I don't know much yet about the technicalities, as a bumbling beginner, but the atmosphere you have captured with these , the colours, textures and tones are superb. They all evoke an emotional response in this viewer which goes beyond the sum of the parts, so I guess they must be art.

  7. #7
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    I commented on #3 in a past comp. It got my vote. You have a WONDERFUL setting for these types of shots.

  8. #8
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    My thanks to Ruby and Carolyn. I was a bit nervous at trying something so foreign to my experience, and you've encouraged me to keep at it for a while. Trying to control the light is a bit like playing 'WACK-A-MOLE" at the arcade. I'm hhoping that gets easier. I did so much trial and error I'm not certain I could recreate the lighting.

    Chris,
    So glad you like the setting. One of my other hobbies is wood-working, so I made the background from some scrap plywood and an old window I had salvaged. Hope you dont get tired of it. I'm gonna try and disguise it with some different stuff.

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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Great shots Kevin. I too love the setup you have for these.

    I agree with most of the comments made already, I'm also thinking I might like the first and second shots in a portrait format. The first I would like to see the whole vase and as already mentioned the tops and sides of all the flowers.

    I agree about the label in the second and again would prefer to see a bit more room at the top. There is also some kind of shadow along the front of the table that kind of spoils the mood.

    I love the lighting - very moody - Oh, and did I say I love the setting. The textured background and the old window are wonderful. I'm sure you've probably done this already, but I'd be scoping out the light at different times of day and in different types of weather. Another thing you might want to try (if you haven't already, it looks like you have I think) is to put some kind of reflector to the right to bounce some of the light from the window back onto the subject.

    I couldn't do a shot like this if my life depended on it so please consider that when reading my comments. I really look forward to seeing what you do with these still lives, because there is a lot of potential for this type of shot and you've taken giant steps already.

    If it's possible for you to post a brief description of lighting conditions and any special setup considerations, it would be very kind and helpful

    Wendy

  10. #10

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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    Chris,
    So glad you like the setting. One of my other hobbies is wood-working, so I made the background from some scrap plywood and an old window I had salvaged. Hope you dont get tired of it. I'm gonna try and disguise it with some different stuff.
    Silly me, you mean that's not a real window that can be used as a light source? What are you using for lighting

    Wendy

  11. #11
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Thanks, Wendy


    the window is coated with a translucent spray, and there is sheer curtain on the outside of it. I had a big 6400k bare bulb outside, and just hung some black cloth as a black tent around it to control light spillage. Then it's just an omni-bounce diffuser over a flash fired wirelessly- directed behind me, at me, at the ceiling and side and just about everywhere else trying to control those infernal shadows. Kinda comical sight if it werent so irritating. I've ordered some basic lighting that should help. I'm looking for a decent book for still-life photographic lighting- obviously similar enough to studio lighting that I may end up reading some of that stuff. Hoping not to buy expensive lighting that I wont use after this little project is over. Sometimes projects take on a life of their own

  12. #12
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: First Ever StillLifes

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    the window is coated with a translucent spray, and there is sheer curtain on the outside of it. I had a big 6400k bare bulb outside, and just hung some black cloth as a black tent around it to control light spillage. Then it's just an omni-bounce diffuser over a flash fired wirelessly- directed behind me, at me, at the ceiling and side and just about everywhere else trying to control those infernal shadows.

    ............

    Be kind, I haven't a clue what I'm doing
    This is going to turn into quite something once you do know what you're doing!!

    I think you're being very unfair on yourself, Kevin. What you've just described is, I think, a complex and creative set-up that could only have been made by someone with a clear vision and aim. That didn't just happen by accident. Well done.

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