1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Still Life

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Geren, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member


    Putting my money where my mouth is - I thought I'd start up a few new threads in here, each one relating to a particular genre. Obviously this one is Still LIfe. The idea is not that this is a competition or necessarily an invitation to flood the thread with shots from your archive...but if you are interested in still life, working on a still life project, have questions about how to go about lighting/arranging/getting ideas for or have found a photographer/s whose still life work you find inspiring...this is the thread for it! Feel free to make of it what you will. I've dug out an archive shot because this was a still life with a story behind it and I generally like my photography to be 'about things' rather than just 'of things'. It's not necessary for you to feel the same way - still life can be entirely about the aesthetics if that's what floats your boat. What's your take on still life?
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I don't do nearly enough of it. I am far more seeing eye than imagining eye. Love this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don't get that one ... but I'm watching to see what happens.
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I think if anything was going to happen, there'd be a triangle in the middle to click on ;)
    Zou and Geren like this.
  5. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    If I approach this image as one requiring classification, I would not say Still Life.
    Perhaps veering towards Surreal or a Contemporary Portrait, but not Still Life.

    I guess most of us see still life as bunches of flowers or fruit and veg in either a formal or casual arrangement. Relying on lighting for drama or whatever mood the photographer wants to convey.
    Now I realize we have moved on from there, although there are still some stunning ones done in that traditional style.
    Moving to contemporary work, the line becomes blurred between different genres. Some might see this as still life, I don't know. Some might see it as I do, crossing over into surreal or portrait or generally contemporary.

    Looking at some of mine which I have classified as still life, I realize I go for graphic representation. The shapes as much as the content. The light and shade or high key or low key as appropriate. Perhaps other people wouldn't see that as a still life image, but I do. Occasionally I will take a picture of a 'found' still life which attracts me, either as a memory and reminder of how things were.
    Geren likes this.
  6. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I suppose I see 'still life' as being an arrangement of objects - usually inanimate as these are. The purpose behind the arrangement might be aesthetic, graphic, autobiographical, narrative, illustrative, or even commercial.
  7. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Something that I, suffering quite badly from art failure, have never really got my head round.

    I did do this while back, though... I kind of felt that I had to when I found that whopper!

    [​IMG]A cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich by gray1720, on Flickr
    Geren and Catriona like this.
  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Or just plain amusing as per Adrian's post above!
    gray1720 likes this.
  9. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member


    I feel well instructed.
  10. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Or silly?

    ps out of respect for Geren, I think the silliness should stop now.
    Geren, Dan S and gray1720 like this.
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Erm....I'm okay with silliness to be honest. I'd rather silliness than no engagement at all!

    That wasn't my intention - I also got cut off before I could type more by family member thinking I should have better things to do than be on here. I mean, how rude can you get? What I was trying to say was that for me, the image was still life because that was the original intent. I'd taken inanimate objects, albeit ones which had some meaning to me and a story behind them, with the purpose of creating a still life that said 'something'. What is says to me of course, might be very different from what it says to you. For the record, it was about family stories and the way we use objects as a means of remembering them or the people behind them - things representing stories. Hopefully the idea of stories is evident anyway even if the exact thouights behind it aren't.
  12. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Thank you.

    Engagement? Well, I must admit I tend towards the more old-fashioned end of still lifes. As you can tell from my Flickr folder of that name, though to be honest, some of them are just record shots, or silly - I really must get round to sorting them out. I don't see it as a content thing, though I feel nothing living should really be present, more an approach. Your pic in the OP I feel is more an Abstractish Portrait.

    No doubt someone will now come along with something along the lines of 'it's a still life if someone says it is'. I beg leave to disagree.

    As an aftertthought, would be a good idea to get whoever deals with that sort of thing to set up a Genres sub-folder and move this and the Portraits thread into it?
  13. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Dan S and Geren like this.
  14. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of still life, and for it to have a purpose, to tell a story, or hold some intrigue. I did do a few a while back, not sure if I kept them though. I'll have a look.
  15. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I hope this column opens up possibilities for those who are less mobile, or who live in less photogenic areas. All good stuff.
    Geren likes this.
  16. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Geren, Catriona and Dan S like this.
  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

  18. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Inspired by Nige.

    ap old flowers 1.jpg

    ap ashtray on plate.jpg
    Dan S, Geren and dream_police like this.
  19. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Not something you hear very often!
    Catriona and Geren like this.
  20. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Believe it or not, it was a still life photograph of a banana that got me interested in photography in the first place. My grandad used to develop his own film and make prints in a darkroom that he'd constructed in the 'box room'. (Do people still have box rooms?) He died when I was only two but I remember my granny showing me his files of negatives and the photograph albums. I was fascinated by the fact that he'd photographed a banana and spent way more time than was probably reasonable pondering why you would photograph a bit of fruit like that. Of course now, I get it but at 7 it just seemed odd.

    Mind you I'm a bit cross that you made me go and read that thread and its accompanying link again.

Share This Page