Assignment No3 | Still Life

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still” – Dorothea Lange



Our third assignment is to produce one still life image. This image can “be either natural (fruit, veg, flowers, plants, stones, rocks, shells, leaves, etc.) or manufactured objects (glasses, bottles, books, vases, jewellery, buttons, coins, keys, etc.) but not mixed. They must be photographed in the studio or a controlled artificial setting”. Therefore I will certainly need to take into consideration all that I have learnt about good composition, lighting and the basics to using and making the most out of my camera.


Unfortunately when researching artists to look for inspiration nothing or no one really came to mind. However I’d certainly had an idea which would support the theory of deja vu! :O Above are my images taken when I was doing my GCSE art course taken on my first compact camera. At the time the theme for my art work was “distressed”. Personally I’d taken these images because of the emotions they gave me. They are very creepy and sinister (to some extent linking to the theme.) I quite enjoy taking images of my ornaments and old toys in order to give them life and give emotions to those looking at them. I think I will be returning to all these ornaments and further ones since I did not have the opportunity to do so when I was in school. This time I would probably use low key lighting in order to achieve this sinister look. I’m already looking forward to the nightmares after these images are be taken… 😉

Although no artist research came to mind I couldn’t help but look at alternative ideas I on my favourite website Pinterest. Many of these ideas are very original and have a smart way of thinking. Some even remind me of previous styles I’d researched about like surrealism and too link in with my ornament idea of having things come to life. Although I like the ideas like taking images of outfits I do like the idea of being more professional and taking images in a studio. More so now I am really liking the idea of creating these pieces in low key lighting therefore finding the best objects to use in order to produce good images is key.


In addition, above is an image of my thought process. At this stage I did return to some artist I’d used in the past assignments especially Edward Weston. I could take images of “distorted” fruits and vegetables in order to give them realistic qualities. This is similar to my ornament idea because in theory I am giving a inanimate object human qualities. Lastly a lot of the things on this list I have already taken images of in my introductory subject studies module therefore it is an opportunity to take the feedback received on those images to make improvements.


07/02/2017 EXPERIMENT WITH WATER – Still Life

Above are some images taken from a workshop with Colin and Jim. We’d simply filled a bowl with water, oil and glitter. We’d set a light directing towards the bowl but we were free to explore all around at all angles to try capture the best results. We’d mixed the bowl of everything together and the results are above. The glitter had stuck to the sides to produce something unique. It was as if the glitter is already in the design of the bowl however it is not. This workshop has taught me that sometimes being quite spontaneous and experimental can produce quite good results. Although I would not choose to repeat this because I can positively say that this is not the style of image that I’m looking at submitting. It was cool to understand how things work and what unexpected results can turn up on your camera. However this is certainly directed me more into the direction of only shooting my ornaments. This experiment wasn’t difficult but for me there were no “out there” results and now I think I have the mindset that “natural” stills will produce the next image but not THE image which I am wanting to submit. Now I will be concentrating on just ornaments.

02/05/2017 – ORNAMENTS – Still Life 

Below are a selection of images of different ornaments. An audience disclaimer… they are creepy. I apologise in advanced if you get nightmares 😉

First we had the ballet girl with her bear. My intentions for this piece was to have an eerie vibe yet we still feel the innocence from the child. It is a mixture of angles of her looking at and away from the camera. (I’m saying all this as if she is alive.. that made me giggle a little 🙂 ). I wanted to really keep to the low key lighting and experiment on her before the others. I was not wanting to combine the toys like I had done in my GCSE work simply because I wanted the focus to be dramatically on one object. Overall I like these images but not enough to submit.

Next we have another ballerina. There was no real aim with this shoot except the fact that I had used a different lens to the other images. I was using a 50mm prime lens and focused a lot on depth of certain parts of the ballerina. For example last two images focus on her hands and feet. Going back to the learning about good composition module we’d learnt about negative space and rule of thirds which I believe really applies to most of the images I have taken. Overall still really like images but no final submission here!

Probably the creepiest of them all the brother and sister (dun.dun.duuuun). That was only there for dramatic effect. These images certainly send a shiver down my spine and this was my next intention. Not 100% whether it is simply the design of the ornament but my intentions were for the audience to feel a certain emotion of fear or feel a bit creeped out because by looking at it too long they might think one of them will move. The first image here is currently my favourite and it is on the shortlist for potentially being submitted. Its out of focus has a mysterious effect to it and the direction of view is right into the eyes of the brother which is very unsettling.

Moving on we now how my “favourite” childhood toy. Yes it is a clown. Yes I am terrified of clowns so this piece was certainly a little more personal to me. Following all of the same rules as the previous images these were my results. The second image is certainly my favourite. Even after taking that imagine I had to switch the lights on simply because I was afraid. Going back to my previous statement these images are very personal to me and do make me feel on edge. Weirdly those are exactly the results I aimed to get.

Last but not least was another “favourite” toy. This is of a puppet I’d received from my grandmother when she lived in Kuwait. The image is again supposed to apply all things I had spoken about previously about creating good composition in a image. Overall I really like all images produced. It was nice to return to something I remember enjoying in school and to now apply my knowledge now and compare the images to what I can produce now. In my eyes I can see an improvement. Hopefully I can continue improving and developing myself. I believe there is a final submission in the selection of images I would just like to return to post production and find it. To be continued… :)(:


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