This week I’ve been working in the studio on a series of fine art still life photography, exploring antique oil lanterns, lemons, oranges, artichokes and grapes among other items. I find still life photography to be a interesting challenge. Unlike roaming the country side looking for compositions and interesting subjects, still life usually starts with an interesting subject and then the environment, elements and composition is created.
In still life photography, the artist is in total control of the foreground, middle ground and background. You have control of the selection and position of all of the elements in the image as well as the camera angle, focal length, aperture and lighting.
The image is built up layer by layer and along the way the artist has a multitude of small decisions to make to bring to the final image to the photographers vision. It can be frustrating when the picture in your mind fails to gel immediately but usually its the journey that ultimately brings forth a satisfactory conclusion. The elements might not always cooperate or the result might not be quite right but if you keep at it usually some idea will come about.
I’m often attracted to building layers of texture. I buy old barn wood planks, make textured backgrounds and I’m always on the look out for objects with well worn, scratch, rusty, or other wise used texture. Then comes beautiful soft lighting. Photography is the capture of light and the light is what ultimately makes or breaks the image.
I was going for an old masters look with this still life of a freshly peeled orange.
These old kerosene lanterns have been handed down the family over the years. They have seen time on the railroad as a work in a few power outrages. They are a hot blast design which draws warm air back to the flame. The result is a less bright lamp than cold blast lanterns.