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.

December Still Life

I’m finding I feel a lot more like doing still life photography now that I have a space dedicated to it- even if it is in the cold garage! Here are some odds and ends I put together over the weekend.

20141207-DSC_7551_melinda_anderson-Edit20141207-DSC_7562_melinda_anderson-Edit20141207-DSC_7556_melinda_anderson-EditAll are textured with Kim Klassen’s reentry texture for Texture Tuesday.

Square, Top Down, 2 Sides

This was fun- and trickier than I thought! The BeStill52 challenge was to create a square, top-down composition where subjects were arranged on two sides of the square, leaving some negative space.  Now, I am a big fan of negative space- but somehow these compositions were hard for me. I struggle with top-down photography anyway. I’m short, so getting the bird’s eye view involves standing on a chair or ladder.  The second photo was easier for me, because I deliberately used small objects and shot it standing on the floor- yippee!

The photo below is of two old photo albums- my grandmother’s and my father’s.  I didn’t see either of them until after my parents were gone, so wasn’t able to ask questions about them.  I’m so curious about the open album on top- look how the photos are cut and arranged artistically! My father graduated from high school in Wolf Point, Montana about 1919 (!), and these photos appear to be of him and his high school friends.  Was my father really a scrapbooker? I wonder if one of his girlfriends put the albums together for him. Anyway- it is VERY cute! My grandmother’s album features family photos from the 1920’s, often involving camping trips and excursions to the beach. The photo of the three children is my mother (left) with her brother and sister- taken around 1915.

20141129-DSC_7307_melinda_anderson-EditAnd here is the photo of smaller objects- much easier to photograph!

20141130-DSC_7314_melinda_anderson-EditBoth photos are textured with Kim Klassen’s breakfree texture for Texture Tuesday.

Pears and a Bowl

Today I’m posting the pear still life photos I did for the latest BeStill 52 lesson.  They were especially fun to do, because, with the help of my husband, I have been setting up a little mini “studio”(also known as a craft table) in our garage for still life and macro photography.  With the garage door open, I have beautiful natural light (unlike in the rest of our house).  When it gets too cold or when it is lizard, snake, and bunny season, the garage door will be down and I will use artificial light. Right now I have a pole lamp; we’ll see  how that works out. I do have a speed light too and reflectors of course.  I was inspired by Carol Hart’s post (on openhart.com) about using her greenhouse and her video of working in her home studio.

So here they are (the top one was textured with Kim Klassen’s painterly texture for Texture Tuesday):

20141031-DSC_6309_melinda_anderson-Edit20141031-DSC_6313_melinda_anderson 20141029-DSC_6248_melinda_anderson

Apples on a Tea Towel

After doing travel photography for a couple weeks, it feels great to get back into still life photography! I’m catching up on lessons for Be Still 52 (and Texture Tuesday), and today’s photo is for the most recent assignment, where we were challenged to take a photo based on a painting. It was helpful to be provided with a link to a Pinterest board of stilllife paintings, and I chose one of three lemons on a striped tea towel.

I am currently lemon-less, so used apples from my friend, Debbie, who had to rid her kitchen of perishables in preparation for traveling to Nashville.  I do have some wonderful new tea towels, however- a gift from my daughter!


My image has darker lighting than the painting from which I drew my inspiration, but is lit from the left, as was the original image.  I textured it with Kim Klassen’s monday and chill textures.


Books and a Cup

It was a stormy monsoon of a day- a good day to practice my still-life skills.  I’d been feeling the urge to photograph old books again, so went to the bookshelves and pulled down four of my mother’s books (which I treasure) and my childhood thesaurus (the torn and tattered one).  I added my cup of coffee to the scene and went to work.  Afterward, I edited them with a matte curve in most and adjustments in white balance and/or split-toning to get the tones I was trying to create in the image.

books_and_cup_diptych books_and_cup1I took two of the images (the first and fourth) into Photoshop and added textures- Kim Klassen’s yesteryear and sweettart.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday today.