So, in my last post I mentioned an online still life photography class I am taking at 2lilowls.com. And, as I said, there is ALWAYS something new to learn…..well, one of the things I learned is to use the inside of a crate as a background, it allows the shadows to drop off and have more depth than a traditional background. Luckily I happen to have a wonderful old crate with a full bottom. I have used it as a shelf and have placed items inside it to photograph, but never considered using it as a background. My crate is a stand size and not very large, but I found some snow drops blooming in our yard and they are such pretty petite flowers so I thought they would make the perfect test subject.
I had found these sweet little bottles last year at the Philadelphia Flower Show Marketplace - they are just the right size for the snow drops. I added a piece of cloth for some texture and the light is natural light from a south facing window. I used my 24-300mm lens and was a f/5.6, the camera was tripod mounted.
I am really loving the way the background drops off but still has some depth to it. The images were post processed in Lightroom and I used a couple of Lightroom presets provided with the course and tweaked them until I came up with an image that I was happy with. So, what do you think?
Learning new techniques is always an adventure for me and I just love being able to add new things to my bag of tricks. So, if you haven’t stretched your imagination lately, give it a try, take a new course in an old subject or read a blog, research a theme you enjoy - the point is just to keep on learning and never think we have all the knowledge we need.
Until next time……..
I recently received an email advertising an online still life photography course from 2 lil owls - a photography blog that I follow. It has been awhile since I have taken an online photography course and since still life is one of my favorite subjects to photograph I thought “why not?” I certainly don’t think I have all of the answers and there is always something new to learn. In addition the course comes with backgrounds to print, textures and lightroom presets. Her textures and presets are always so lovely so this is a nice bonus to the course. If you are not familiar with her work check out her website at 2lilowls.com.
I have just started to delve into the course and the first few lessons were on the basics so nothing new there, but it did show me that I am on the right course and not alone in my obsession for finding unique antique props……..
The last lesson I watched was a great refresher, she suggested shooting the same setup at different apertures to see what blurs and how much, I don’t usually blur much of my backgrounds, but will certainly give it a try. She also suggested using different lenses which I have done but have never thought to use my lens baby when shooting still life - so, I have found another little pearl to try out.
My studio right now is full of boxes from our recent move and not yet ready to set up but now I am itching to get in there and get it ready. The weather is finally getting warmer and the days are getting longer which means more natural light.
With our lavender farm project in full swing I will be starting to shoot our products for the website and this course is getting me back into the mindset of setups, lighting, props, backgrounds, etc.
So, stay tuned and I will let you know what new things I learn about still life and product photography, because….
There is ALWAYS something new to learn.
I just found out that my abstract image “waters edge” has been selected as one of the 43 pieces that will be exhibited at the Watchung Arts Center for the 23rd New Jersey Photography Forum Annual Juried Show. There were 160 entries and only 43 were accepted.
Photographing abstracts has been quite a journey for me. A few years ago I took a photography workshop in Cape May with Nancy Ori. The workshop was “Creative Women” and the group was all women photographers. We not only explored photography but also spent alot of time on discovering ourselves and how we relate what is happening in our lives to our photography. It was an amazing learning and growth experience for me. We were challenged to photograph a genre’ that we were not comfortable with. For me that was abstracts. I did not understand them and was unsure how to pursue this particular field of photography.
I spent alot of time on the internet researching what an abstract was, saw some abstract art exhibits and spoke to some abstract artists. Gradually I began to notice abstracts around me, mostly in nature. It seems I am drawn to organic abstracts - who knew?
Now I seen abstracts wherever I go and I enjoy photographing them as much as still life and nature. I also find that I have much more creative freedom with abstracts. I can apply the same post processing techniques that I use with my still life photography and make the abstract my own.
So, if you find that there is a particular genre’ that intimidates you I suggest you immerse yourself into it and see what happens - you just might find that you enjoy it afterall.