Monday, December 22, 2014

Photo Challenge #3: Still Life

After playing along with Erin's 30 Word Thursday weekly challenge on her Treasures Found Blog for the past year I have finally taken the plunge and started taking photography more seriously.  Starting with my iPhone, I soon found that the limitations of that device were getting to me.  Upgrading to a Cannon Eos Digital Rebel SL1 camera, I have started experimenting more with technique.  I have also invested in Photoshop Elements 12 and most of my post-production on photos will be from that program.  As a way to force myself to try new things, I'm doing a weekly photo challenge--each week focusing on a different photography or editing technique.  Some of these may be simple and others more difficult.  I encourage any of my readers to take part in the challenge!  I'll try to post a link-up every Monday with the results of last week's challenge and the rules for the following week.

This week's Photo Challenge #3:  This one is a photo taking challenge, but one that can be done indoors.  The idea: take common objects from your home and do a classic still life portrait.  Looking at old paintings of fruit and flowers, this has been an age-old technique for practicing your lighting techniques in controlled circumstances.

So I had grand plans of coming up with some cool tableau for this challenge, but ran out of time.  As a "beer journalist" I figured instead of having a bottle of wine and some grapes on a table, I'd use beer instead.  Then I realized that a bottle of Surly Eight really required something more off the wall to go along with the dark and creepy bottle art.  So Max and the Wild Things decided to start their Wild Rumpus around this fine bottle of ale!  I had absolutely no light from outside so I actually had to set up my tripod for this shot...using a slower shutter speed to let more ambient light in.  I tried a few different versions (using overhead lighting in this particular shot).  I decided to add a vignette to this the focus attention on the middle of the photo.

Have I mentioned that I'm a bit of a geek before?  If not, here is your proof!  I'm a physician in real life, and have accumulated some questionable medical equipment over the years.  As a scientist and a bit of a skeptic, I love the discredited practice of Phrenology (predicting personality traits and intelligence by feeling the lumps on a person's skull) and was excited to finally get a phrenology bust for my library.  Combining this with some antique apothecary supplies that I inherited from my grandmother, I had the things I needed for this shot.  I took a bunch of pictures, adding a skull and various other items to the mix, but this was my favorite.  Again I struggled with the lack of any natural light, so added a small lamp just out of frame for some interesting shadow effect on the bust.  This worked very well on the skull as well, but none of those shots looked quite right.

So if any of my readers want to take part, please link your blog or website to the link below so we can see what you managed to accomplish with this task!  The link will be open until this time next week, so you still have time to take some pictures.

For next week Photo Challenge #4:  Since the Holidays are a busy time, I thought about skipping a week, but decided to embrace it instead.  Next week's challenge is to take at least two Holiday themed pictures.  Pictures of family, pets in funny costumes, Christmas trees, etc.  I'll post that one next Monday!

1 comment:

Todd said...

Really like both shots!! I think we're all geeks in one way or another. As for next weeks challenge, I will try to come up with something different than what I had in there this week. Thanks for hosting the challenge!!