Week 9 – Artistic: Still Life2017-08-07T23:53:36+10:00

The theme for this week is Artistic: Still Life


We’re probably all picturing a bowl of fruit but here’s the definition we are working to:

“One of the principal genres of Western art – essentially, the subject matter of a still life painting or sculpture is anything that does not move or is dead”

Simple eh?  The entire world is your canvas except for the live people & animals.  In the realms of photography check out these sites for some inspiration:

35 examples of still life photography

Still life photography: 30 beautiful examples

Here’s some tips on how to get the look:

Still Life Photography

A Complete Guide to Still Life Photography

As this week is follows the artistic theme feel free to use as many techniques or tools as you like

Send your shot to photos@iyt.org.au.  Remember to include a description which covers the subject and/or the process.


A snapshot of life


The vast majority of photos I take are action shots so this week was something new.  I had the generic still life in mind and wanted to see if I could put the elements together.  To get the shot I had to do a bit of furniture rearranging.  I pulled a painting off the wall and moved a chest of drawers so that it was under a narrow window that would give me both bright light and diffused shadows.  I took shots of different objects and different fruits before settling on this one.  Post production I boosted the clarity & saturation and added a vignette.  The hardest bit was getting the balance right so that there is enough substance in the shot but not overcrowding it.  Or maybe I mean overanalysing it.   Anyway, here’s my fruitbowl..


When I read this challenge I decided I wanted to have a metal geometrical theme. Tried a few things before taking this shot of the bin covers in JJ Holland park Kensington


Memories of my mum. Her necklace and earrings. I wanted to contrast the smoothness and reflective quality of the pearls with the dull, rough wood. Used outdoor natural light on a cloudy afternoon and looked for the angle that would give me the diagonal lines of both the subject and the joins in the timber as well as catching the light.


Bit disappointed with my submission this week, but here it is: my new baby, the Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8.


These beautiful desserts were demolished and devoured at Koi restaurant on the weekend. Don’t stare too long, it will go straight to your hips!


Thank god this is an easy week! I’m on holidays so didn’t even think of it until Sunday night! Quick snap and Insta filter. Feel a little guilty for not putting more effort in…


This week was a real challenge for me. I’ve always disliked still life, finding it boring and uninteresting to look at. But I decided to take on the challenge and started to take photos of my lunch, dinner and of course the fruit bowl. I tried a few different combinations of food, fruit,  vases and wine to get a great still life photo but there is a lot to learn about lighting and composition in order to get the perfect picture. My photo wasn’t 100% in focus but I was happy with the composition and the colours. I gave it good go and along the way gained an appreciation of Still life Photography.


Everything old is new again. This was the bedside lamp at one of our hotels. I like the shadows and contrast in the background.


Fish at Harrods


This shot – Tea for Two- was taken in a hotel room in Thun, Switzerland. While I waited for my toddler to nap I took advantage of the afternoon sun and the mini bar and learnt a little about my Sony XPeria Z3’s limited photography settings. I’ve played with the shadows and highlights to bring out the background texture and reflections.


This is mum’s coolamon from when she and Dad took a trip through the centre in their way to a friend’s wedding in Darwin in the early 90s.


Finally made use of some candles we have laying around!


“In vino veritas” is a Latin phrase that means “in wine, truth”, which means a person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires.


This surely speaks for itself.
Straight from phone.


As a collector of old wares I wanted to create a still life that included some pieces I have recently found….an old yellow double egg boiler; 2 little green egg cups made in Romania; an old painted crackled tray & a yellow “Carlton Ware” toast holder. I set the scene enhancing it with lighting & props altering the compostion many times. The result..I love the “sunny hue” I managed to create throughout, as well as, the shadowing & flickering lights that highlight the peices in the composition of my still life photo.
I took the photo with my smart phone & utilised varying effects to finally create an artistic still life that I am very pleased with


Jonquils and teacup. Favourite things.
Struggled with shadows on this shoot.
Taken with Olympus Penlite EPL5 larger lense and a tripod.


I wanted to use the fertility statue a friend gave me before we had kids as the object.I took this one as the light was fading, not thinking much about the background. But then I decided it worked – fertility statue with the consequences of fertility reflected in the background!


Inspired by the American artist Helen Searle, here is my Still Life Fruit with Champagne.
To begin with I set this up outside looking for a lighting effect but was completely defeated by Melbourne’s weather this weekend when the leaves started blowing off the table! Moved inside, opened the champagne and suddenly it was much more fun.


Grown from seed by my lovely son Finley.


Award winning.

(The beer, not the shot)


Or shallI say ‘Still Lives”…?

OK, a bit rushed this week, but I was inspired by two days at Adobe Make It in Sydney – so I created a composite and decorated my Ferrari espresso cup with some wheel bling, in photoshop.
Nikon D90, Tamron 90mm macro, Photoshop CC.



I have been really struggling with the artistic challenges – I’m much more comfortable capturing something I see than having to generate something new…. nonetheless, having missed the last couple i really wanted to get something in for this. So here’s my still life, taken on my Samsung galaxy 7 after 9pm tonight, with lighting via torch, and a little tinkering in phone – straightening and a small boost to saturation and contrast.
Looking forward to seeing how everybody interpreted!