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September Theme - Still Life

Discussion in 'Forum Competitions and Themes' started by Fishboy, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I've picked the theme for September as 'Still Life' in whatever form appeals to you.

    Personally, still life photography is something that I struggle with so I'll be interested to see how everybody else approaches the subject. I may ask questions!

    I see the subject as ranging from candid shots through to formally-arranged and lit ones, from the 'traditional' still life subjects to more abstract and modernistic ones and from serious, artistic endeavours through to fun and amusing ones (which, I've no doubt, will involve Lego!).

    To get the ball rolling I've had a quick trawl through my archives and here a few of my attempts:

    A candid shot of one of my favourite subjects - in this case Ringwood Brewery Boondoggle:

    [​IMG]Beer by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    My first attempt at setting up and lighting a still life to try to tell a story:

    [​IMG]Noir by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    And finally, a picture formed as a composite of four still life pictures that I had to put together after somebody decided that 'cheese' was a suitable subject for a forum competition!

    [​IMG]A Sandwich Short of a Picnic by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    I hope that everybody can find some of their archive shots to show us and create some new ones to 'wow' us with!

    Cheers, Jeff
  2. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Hmm, another theme I'm not that good at...
    [​IMG]Stuck by Steve Higgins, on Flickr

    In fact, I'm completely stuck for ideas... :rolleyes:
  3. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

  4. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I feel that I should add:

    Just because I chose the subject, it doesn't mean that every picture has to be an awful pun.

    Cheers, Jeff
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  5. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I'm going to do some new ones, but here's some I shot/found earlier. The vivid one was when I attempted to emulate the style of Marie Cosindas. Not easy to go OTT.
    Fun though.
    morning still life.jpg emulating marie cosindas.jpg in the old house.jpg
  6. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

  7. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Never had Boondoggle, in fact this may be the first I've heard of it but I do rather like Fortyniner and Badger...
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  8. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    From the archives, one of my few set up still lifes...

    A Sunny Sunday Start


    Another archive job - this time a found still life


    And even...


  9. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Here is one taken in the spring my wife - so that's at least two grounds for

    115 B 800.JPG
  10. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Another one taken this spring in Crete. Pity it's out of date as I like it

    Pottery lamps

    Pottery lamps.JPG
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple of moody foody ones from last month...

    170720-tomatoes-001.jpg 170724-lentils-001.jpg
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  12. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Ahh, the old Flat Head Rat Stoppers!!
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  13. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Here is another from Crete - it's a detail from the necklace of a fertility goddess of the Minoan era.

    I think it is time I stopped

  14. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Had me a few of them last Wednesday, in straight glasses mind you. Very nice it is too.
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  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    In the tradition of presenting ineligible old stuff.

    Not long after I first got my DSLR

    [​IMG]Trapped by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    Again, very soon after getting the camera, one of the first (and very few) attempts at prepared still life

    [​IMG]Candle by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    I soon realised I didn't enjoy sitting in the house setting up lighting

    [​IMG]Damp Basement by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    As Chairs are to Roger, Coffee Cups are to me.

    [​IMG]Caution Hot by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    I also do a good line in abandoned alcohol bottles.


  16. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    An oldie. (Not sure it qualifies as still life? It was still attached and growing). Does anyone know the definition of still life? Now there's a thread all of its own.

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  17. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I like it but, TBH, I don't think it does. Basic art definition of Still Life is that it contains dead or unmoving things, possibly man-made.. I'd say it was a Flower picture.

    Sort of like Zou's Orange. I really like the pic, but I'd say it was more Urban Landscape than Still Life.

    Problem is, definitions are difficult to come up with, can be quite wide, and tend to overlap. However, I think they are needed, otherwise you end up with the old 'it is if someone says it is' argument and anything can become anything. Which makes the idea of a theme meaningless and, therefore, this thread irrelevant.

    Hope I've not put anyone's nose out of joint (hmm, maybe i should start a nose re-jointing business, could be money in it. ;)), but you did ask...
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  18. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    For my money, a still life is one which contains 'an arrangement of objects' and the objects should not move, nor be alive. The arrangement can be a deliberate affair, or something that you notice and find pleasing in its arranging. That does leave the possibility for overlap between still life and urban landscape but so long as all elements are essentially inanimate I don't think you can disqualify.
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  19. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member


    An old one from the studio.
  20. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member


    This was an interesting project for my first week at art school four years ago. We had to bring in three objects from home. We weren't told what they were for. The next two weeks were spent making images with the three objects in as many different ways as we could imagine. It was an exercise in creative research and this was one of my latter efforts with two of the objects. It is actually a really good way of generating ideas and if you ever find yourself stuck for a photographic project, I can highly recommend picking one small random household object and just seeing how many different ways you can photograph it. I used to run that as a theme occasionally in my old photography club - give everyone the same thing - like 'forks' or 'matches' or 'pencils' and that was all they could photograph. We never got the same shot twice and it pushes your thinking.

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