Happy Mother’s Day weekend!
I bought a bouquet of white gerberas yesterday. When I got home I discovered this bright pink one tucked away between the others. Sweet!
I had so much fun with these, I just had to post some more. Thanks, Debbie!
Monday night I was inspired by a prompt in Kim Klassen’s Studio to create a still life potting bench . . . of sorts. . . inside. . . in my entry way. I long ago let go of the idea that all still life photographers just come upon these beautiful vignettes in their houses- well, some do- but most often they are created or styled for the camera. Since I was avoiding making dinner, I quickly gathered some pots and garden-y props to create a still life. I enjoyed it so much that I kept it up and took even more the next day.
Here is my first photo. If you’ve been to my house, you might recognize the antique dental cabinet. I had to remove some of the liqueur glasses and little dishes in the cabinets, but missed a few (thank goodness for Photoshop!). I also added some texture to rough it up a bit.
And here are a few other shots from the next morning. I took more time with these, using a tripod so I could slow my shutter to add more light (it has been dismal and rainy here). I used my lensbaby for the first one and edited them all with one of Kim’s presets for a dark and earthy look.
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!
Linking up with Texture Tuesday today.
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!
Linking up with Kim’s Friday Finds today.
Here are a couple more tea time still life images from my shoot earlier in the week.
One of the new experiences we’ve had since we’ve moved to Arizona is tumbleweeds in our yard. Last week we discovered a new one, and before my husband could capture it for yard waste, I picked it up with gloved hands to take into my garage studio for some macro and still life shots.
The photos below (showing how sharp and prickly these guys are!) were taken with the Lensbaby Sweet 35 with macro converters. All have Kim’s kk_organic preset applied.
The above image is the latest of my still life photos for The Studio- a continuation of the One Thing theme. This time, my one thing is not the subject of my composition, but the background – my walls. I thought it might be interesting to explain the evolution of the idea and execution of this image. I’ve read that photographers find their inspiration everywhere- from nature, from music, from paintings, from the color palette in an advertisement- ANYWHERE.
In this case, my idea came from a movie. We went to see The Woman in Gold with our friends, Debbie and Dale the other night. The movie was a fascinating true story of a woman (played by Helen Mirren) who sued the Austrian government to have them return her family’s paintings (by Gustav Klimt!) which had been stolen by the Nazis and were now “owned” by the Austrian government. No, this photo was not inspired by the Klimt paintings.
In one scene, as I remember, there was, in the background, a painting or photograph of a still life composed of a dry arrangement (wheat?) in front of a two-tone wall. I somehow noted it and then dreamed about trying to recreate that image, using my colorful Arizona walls. That was the beginning of the photograph above. I took quite a few shots of these dried weeds and flowers in front of my bright walls, gradually moving away from the traditional still life I was envisioning to a textured black and white closeup image which is my favorite. All the photos were taken with my Lensbaby, which I’ve been practicing with every single day for the last 3 weeks.
I think I might be finished with the One Thing challenge for BeStill52 and The Studio, but no promises. . .
A couple Lensbaby shots:
Top down with my 35mm 1.8:
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.
I wasn’t too excited about the eggs theme for The Studio Online this week and felt pretty uninspired- until I cracked eggs for my scrambled eggs breakfast yesterday. Aha! A cracked egg in the composition- I haven’t done that before. And this would be a challenge for the Edge 80 optic on my Lensbaby (the optic I can never get off once I put it on- but that’s another story. . .). The weather was warm, with no cold wind knocking over my props in my garage studio. For once, things went smoothly with the set-up AND, most importantly, with the focus. In fact, I will have more eggs photos to show you- probably tomorrow.
The first photo was edited with Kim Klassen’s darklight preset (tweaked and at reduced opacity in the Fader). The other two are edited with one of my own.
Back in the studio again! Spring is really here, and it was actually pleasant to work on still life assignments in the garage. Here are my “official” light and shadow images for The Studio.
Playing with Kim Klassen presets:
top row- moody-ish, organic
bottom row: chocolate, barely color
This one is a more standard, “clean” edit.
While in La Jolla, we stayed at a tiny little rental cottage with cute things all around. I was inspired by all the great props to create a still life one morning; I hoped to get a few more done as well, but the beach was calling.
I found myself playing with my Lensbaby Mobile recently. Although it really is a cool little lens for the iPhone, I hadn’t been using it much after I got my Composer Pro and optics for my Nikon. As I’ve mentioned before, Nik Snapseed is my usual first stop when editing my iPhone photos, and this time, it was my ONLY stop. It has a cool little set of filters within the app called retrolux, which give a desaturated, vintage look (actually 12 looks) with lots of options for adding or removing scatches, light leaks, vignettes etc.
The photo on the left has been edited with Snapseed only, and the one on the right has several Kim Klassen textures added in Photoshop on top of what was done with the retrolux filter. It’s hard to spot the differences- just a little more texture, a little less haze and a slightly darker flower.
I belong to a little photo group in AAUW (Association of American University Women), which is composed of photographers of all levels. Each month, one or two members research a topic and prepare a presentation on a photography topic of interest to the group. There is also a photo sharing time, which usually relates to the presentation from the time before. This month, we are all to bring in a photo or photos of a toy or beloved object. Because I’m also doing the presentation this month (on posing groups of people), I almost forgot about photographing a beloved object. However, I’ve been intending to again photograph spoons from my grandmother’s collection of souvenir coffee spoons (which are indeed among my most beloved possessions), so I took some time to take a couple still life shots to print for our meeting.
The spoons are mostly from the 1890’s and early 1900’s, when my grandmother, Mimi, was just a girl (she was born in 1888). I believe some of the older spoons may have belonged to her mother. Mimi was born and raised in Chicago, so several of the spoons are from Chicago World Fairs.
I was in the mood to use some of Kim’s presets when editing, so here are three images, each edited with a different preset.
edited with kk_darkdays preset
It was almost a week ago when I got a text from my friend, Debbie with a picture of a cute, cute chair and the question “Do you want it?” She had found it in a shop that re-paints and finishes furniture and other items, giving them a new shabby chic look. Debbie knew I was looking for a cheap, vintage looking chair for my still life photography- and I fell in love with it immediately. Although my husband was just out of the hospital, he drove me down to the little shop, and I made my purchase. I was originally planning to put it on the front porch, but I’m enjoying having it in my living room. I’m thinking now it will winter indoors and summer on the porch.
Our assignment this week in The Studio was photographing flowers- from above. The weather was so beautiful this weekend that I took my photos out on the back patio- perfect for this assignment.