Be Still 52

Boots, Part II

I had so much fun with these, I just had to post some more. Thanks, Debbie!

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Unique Vessel

When my friend, Debbie, texted me a photo of the old boots she had just bought, I knew I had to photograph them before they became part of one of her art pieces.  I had so much fun playing around with them for some still life and macro shots.  As I mentioned last week, one of our challenges for BeStill 52 was to use a unique vessel in a still life; I think the boots were up to the challenge!

20150504-MMA_4523_melinda_anderson 20150504-MMA_4547_melinda_anderson 20150504-MMA_4631_melinda_andersonThe first and third photos were edited using Kim Klassen’s darklight preset; the middle is almost straight out of camera.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday today.


The Merry Month of May!

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It’s May! When I was teaching, May was a big CRUNCH month: testing, Open House, Authors’ Party, Mother’s Day presents to make, field trip, parent helper gifts, student gifts, end of the year party, report cards, room pack-up, etc. etc.  It makes me tired just to think of it! Now, May is SPRING, for sure, and summer isn’t far behind. And in Arizona, I know monsoon season is only 6 weeks or so away!

Our latest lesson for BeStill 52 asked us to find an unique vessel for flowers or whatever to use in our stills- so I thought of this new teapot I bought this week to replace the cracked one, which didn’t make the cut when we moved.  Turquoise is becoming one of the colors I love to use in our Arizona house, although my husband thinks it doesn’t match our multicolored walls.  So far, I’ve acquired Mason jars, a bowl, a lantern, and now this teapot in shades of turquiose.  I just really love the color and am so glad that it’s popular again!

Teapot1 Teapot2In my life, a teapot isn’t an unusual vessel for flowers, but I do have an idea for another take on this challenge. Stay tuned!

Linking up with Kim’s Friday Finds today.


One Thing Again . . .

I think I might be finished with the One Thing challenge for BeStill52 and The Studio, but no promises. . .

A couple Lensbaby shots:

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Top down with my 35mm 1.8:

20150413-MMA_3216_melinda_andersonAlso with my 35mm 1.8, softened with a couple of Kim Klassen textures (linking up with Texture Tuesday today):

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One Thing

We were challenged to photograph one thing, shot different ways, different days, with different props in both BeStill and the Studio.  I decided to use my blue lantern, which my son gave me for Christmas.  I’ve done a couple different photo shoots and plan on doing more this week. All of these were taken with my Lensbaby and Sweet 35.  The top one has a couple textures added.

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Crated

One of our recent assignments in Bestill52, was to create a still life in or on a crate.  I have had two pepsi crates since our early married days.  One is for individual bottles; the other is for 6 packs, I think.  Because this was before the days of shabby chic, we stained the crates to make them darker (and to go with our antiques).  They hung on our walls in each of the places we lived, until we moved to our Arizona house. I haven’t quite decided what to do with them here, but they work well for still life props.

crateAll 3 images were taken with the Lensbaby and Edge 80 optic.


Organic

Our latest assignment in BeStill 52 was to create a side lit vignette with an organic theme- wood, twine, natural materials etc.  I confess I didn’t take a lot of time with this, because the garage was FREEZING; I didn’t even open the door, but used the little windows in the garage door for light.  And of course I was limited to my iPhone (but I’m hoping to have my camera back in a week!).  I edited the photos in Lightroom with Kim’s organic preset, and called it done.

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Here is another slightly different version of the above image- slightly different, because I edited it for Instagram in Snapseed and Stackables (my new favorite app).  I used Snapseed to selectively lighten and darken parts of the image and Stackables to add tones and texture.

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Star Bunting

starbunting-1 Photo Feb 23- 9 41 55 AM-EditThese photos were for the latest BeStill 52 assignment, where the “spark” was a bunting.  I used stars, which I clipped to twine and hung on  a beadboard background. All photos were taken with my iPhone and edited in Stackables.  This app is a lot like Mextures (which has been a favorite of mine), and I’m beginning to like it a lot. Because it is Tuesday, I brought all images into Photoshop and added some of Kim Klassen’s textures: hughes, simple, and chill (last photo only).

Linking up with Texture Tuesday today.

 


Rainy Day Play

Today is one of those days I remember from my teaching days: drizzly rain, gray skies, fog, and periods when the rain stops, but it is still misty out.  Do you send the kids out to recess? Will it start pouring as soon as you do? How many more games of seven-up can we play? How many more inside recesses before we all go crazy?

I don’t remember days like this last winter; I thought all our Arizona rain came during monsoon season.

My husband is still recuperating at home, and, since it is a rainy day, it seemed like a good day to play in my garage studio and try to catch up on some still life assignments.

Here are some photos I shot- edited with a variety of presets from Kim Klassen.  The topic was spoons, and I added loose tea from these cute little cans (bought at our local spice shop).  There was some side lighting, since the garage door was open- but very little, since it is such a gray and dismal day.

tea_spoon_diptych tea_spoon_layout2 20150130-DSC_1757_melinda_andersonBoth spoons belonged to my grandmother, Mimi.  The bottom one is engraved with a B, which I assume is for Badenoch, the family name (her maiden name also begins with B).

I’m belatedly linking up with Friday Finds, since these little cans of tea were such a find.


Citrus

I’m attempting to do a bit of catch-up on my lessons from BeStill and The Studio.  The first image is for Lesson 33 in BeStill52 (and for Texture Tuesday).  The assignment was to create a still life using lemons or other citrus fruit, create a bit of a story, and include varying heights.  Well, my story is that lemons were being sliced (you can invent the rest. . .).

20150125-DSC_1550_melinda_anderson-EditThe image below is for Texture Tuesday (no real props, no varying heights, and no story).

20150125-DSC_1566_melinda_anderson-EditBoth photos were edited with textures from Kim Klassen’s Cloth and Paper collection.


Just Hangin’ Around

The latest Be Still-52 assignment was hanging bottles. Whaaat?  In Kim Klassen’s beautiful vintage home, she hung a bottle with a rose in it from a hook on a door- and it looked perfectly natural- and beautiful. I was running around, hanging my little medicine bottle everywhere- and ended up with a serious case of the giggles. Needless to say, this one did not come naturally to me.  I, perhaps, should have interpreted the challenge more loosely and come up with something more “me”, but, oh well,  I did have some fun with it.

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I wonder what the neighbors thought of me hanging this bottle in a tree?

20150110-DSC_0872_melinda_anderson-EditIn case you are wondering, the first image was shot with the Lensbaby Edge 80; the one outside was with my 35mm lens.


Adventures in Lensbaby

20150105-DSC_0221_melinda_anderson-EditThis may look like a very simple, ordinary still life to you- but to me it represents a breakthrough!

Mastering the combination of appropriate aperture, manual focus, and correct tilt of the Lensbaby has been a challenge to say the least.  To create this still life, I had some seemingly simple goals.  I wanted window light, soft focus on the window and edges of the photo, and, most importantly, the face of the little girl figurine/vase to be in focus.  It was the last goal that was, of course, the most difficult.  Out of the 31 photos I snapped, two had good focus on the face.  This actually represents improvement to me!

I wasn’t thinking I would use the Lensbaby on still life, but now I see that I like the effect- and that, with lots of patience, I can create the correct focus and the amount of blur I want.  Yay!  In fact, still life is probably what I SHOULD be practicing on, because it is, well, STILL!

This was taken with the Sweet 35 optic at f/4.  Textured with painterly and chill by Kim Klassen.

For Be Still- 52. Week 30 (a fresh start for 2015) and Texture Tuesday

 


Reflections 2014

The beginning of the year topic for my Daily Challenge group on Flickr was to pick a favorite photo from each month of 2014. I went through my Lightroom catalog quickly, pretty much relying on gut instinct. I was surprised by a couple things when doing this exercise:

1. I didn’t expect to find so many still life photos among my favorites.  And I was surprised to find so few black and whites. There aren’t many landscapes- not really surprised by that.

2. Creativity and productivity seem to ebb and flow.  It was hard to even find a favorite for some months, and in other months I could easily find several.  I need to remember this when I’m feeling uninspired!

 

2014favorites

My BeStill 52 group’s challenge for last week was to pick my favorite still life photos of the year (no number specified).  I again chose quickly, relying on instinct, and came up with 14, which I arranged in a slideshow. You may notice that some of the images were chosen for both assignments.


Christmas Simple

20141221-DSC_7891_melinda_anderson 20141221-DSC_7882_melinda_anderson 20141221-DSC_7878_melinda_andersonI took the above photos in response to a new BeStill 52 assignment, which was a replay of the previous one- backlight, window, chair.  I went for a pretty minimal composition- and not very Christmas-y, I guess.  Sometimes, I just like things simple!

 


A Chair by the Door

The latest assignment in BeStill 52 was to shoot a backlit image of a chair in front of a window. I was stymied at first, because our windows are all tinted here to protect us from the Arizona sun, creating a difficult lighting situation for photography.  Then I remembered the frosted front door window, which has un-frosted portions, letting in a bit of natural light.

20141214-DSC_7778_melinda_anderson-Edit 20141214-DSC_7777_melinda_anderson-EditBoth images are textured with Kim Klassen’s anna texture for Texture Tuesday.