Photography Challenge – Still Life

So the end of the month has arrived, and I have photographs to share.
Some I posted previously in the OWW Photography announcement, but I have also included a few new ones. Don’t laugh too hard or be too cruel with your comments please. 🙂

As always, you can get a much better view of them by clicking through to the Flickr album. And in a couple of cases, this would definitely be beneficial.

I would also like to thank those of you who kindly gave advice on the depth of field issue. I think I finally have the idea embedded. Now I need to put it into regular practice and see what transpires.



Recovered bottles

The Sspine


Cropped Sailor

The Fantasy Fanatic


And now for next month’s challenge…

Black and White Images.

7 thoughts on “Photography Challenge – Still Life

  1. Great shots! You gave me lots of ideas with these photos. I’m a newbie photographer by the way. Sorry if this has been asked before, but, what camera are you using? I’ll add you to my blogroll.


  2. Hi Mamarazzi08,

    Thanks for the nice comment.
    Most of my photographs are taken with a Canon PowerShot G2, although I am occasionally allowed borrowing rights on an Olympus 725. 🙂
    I see you are a Rebel dSLR owner, one day I may grow up and in to a dSLR, but not for the moment.
    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your photographs as you have fun with the new camera. 🙂

    Oh, and feel free to join in with my monthly challenges.


  3. It’s clear you have talent OWW; you’ve done a good job esp. with the lighting/ shadows which I always tend to muck up with close-in shots (maybe b/c it’s so damn hard to get good light in a terrace house under British skies!?). IMHO the real challenge for any photographer (at any level) is to combine technical achievement with emotion. Try asking “What story does this composition tell?”, “Does it have meaning?” “Does it give me an emotion?”. I guess this is about trying to bring the science and art of photography together.


  4. Bruce,

    I am blushing. Thank you for the kind words.
    As for lighting, it does help that we are in La Nina this year and the summer days have been bright and light. The new addition seems to let in the light, but not the shadows.
    I sympathise with the terrace housing light, but think that you are much luckier with moody outdoor lighting options by having distinct seasons.

    I also like and appreciate your questions. I can see that portraiture and landscapes would be *easier* to think of this way than perhaps still life – at least for me. I guess that’s what my challenge should be about too. Getting a prod in my mindset and not just trying to focus well, frame well, and get that darned DOF right! 😉

    BTW, do you have any still lifes you could share ? 😀


  5. It depends what you mean by “still life”; I have trouble comprehending the scope of the term. If you mean a deliberate composition involving more than one inanimate object then I have very few examples (and there are over 6200 images in my library). Wikipedia says “The still life photographer makes pictures rather than takes them”. I’m thus thinking that “artificiality” is the principle attribute i.e. a macro of a naturally-occurring flower isn’t still life, nor a close-up of a toy’s face. Maybe this is, because the objects were arranged by hand only for the purpose of photography and are thematically linked. I’ve uploaded a few more potential examples to Flickr—and posed a few questions for you to mull over!


  6. So by definition the souvenir and sheep above wouldn’t class as still life simply by the fact that they are inanimate objects. You would need to have some degree of artificiality to the photograph – like the deliberate placement of the two toys in the cropped sailor photograph. I’ve left comments in discussion on the Flickr photographs you uploaded.
    Does that count out the books photograph as well? I guess so.

    After all I did lay out the definition in the progress report.

    A still life is a work of art depicting inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, plants and natural substances like rocks) or man-made (drinking glasses, cigarettes, pipes, hotdogs and so on) in an artificial setting.

    It does then beg the question – are the sheep and the souvenir photographs now portraits by default ??


  7. I also wonder if still life as a “work of art” (e.g. painting) is any different from still life photography. As for the “portrait” of the lamb? All I can think of to say is “Don’t humanize toy sheep; they hate that”.

    Thanks for your comments on Flickr; they’ve posed more questions! As for the books, being lined up like that is their natural state right? Maybe if you made a disorderly pile where the pages were inserted into those of the neighbouring book (a study of angles), or laid them all out flat with interlocking covers (a study of cover art)?

    I think the “artificial setting” is your definition is probably what I overlooked. I was thinking about the subjects themselves. Books on a bookshelf—or 747s on an airport—aren’t artificial. A toy plane photographed at the bottom of a fish tank, or a real 747 on a red light queuing with other traffic on SH1… that could be still life.


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