Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Photo thoughts 5 -- still lifes

Another category I enjoy is still lifes. I love still life as an art genre, owning many of them as paintings, and I suppose it’s natural that I would enjoy composing them for photographs.

Like my nature photographs, these tend to be desperation shots.  Still lifes are for days when not only do I not have anything better but it’s too rainy or dark to go outside and shoot the garden. But sometimes I am struck by the simple beauty of a pile of apples, a tumble of fabric scraps or a pile of spools.

I think a big challenge for any photographer is how much fussing to do in staging pictures. I won’t fuss when I take pictures outside, except for maybe to kick a piece of trash out of the frame. I love serendipitous “found collages” but I won’t go piling stones into a cairn or picking flowers to strew picturesquely over a gravestone. Not that other people might not get great results this way, but it’s against the rules I have set for myself.

However, in still lifes I allow myself a little latitude to find a nice bowl for the artichokes or to shove the spools into a closer configuration. I know you can learn a lot about the technical aspects of photography from still lifes, and it would probably be time well spent to practice more with this genre. But I’m not sure how well that would fit within my self-imposed rules for the photo project.

No comments:

Post a Comment