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No Longer Alive

Going in Every Direction

It’s Wednesday and I usually do a still life of some sort.  I try to get my daughter to bake something and then use it in a still life of some sort, but today I thought I would try something different.

I spent the morning painting a canvas.  I use the canvas normally in its white state as a backdrop for my still life’s, but I really don’t like the stark white of the canvas.  So I took the canvas out to my studio and painted it.  I think it looks so much better and was exactly what I needed for todays subject.

I picked some flowers from the garden that are definitely past their use by dates.  Some would say past their attractiveness.  I, however, disagree with those people and think the flowers from my Bird of Paradise look even more extraordinary when they have dried out.

For you today some photos that I took with my new backdrop and my dead bird of paradise flowers.  The image above is a straight image, and one of the first I took.  I wanted to restrict the light quite a bit, so I set up the still life so the light was coming from the right and sort of from behind. I also opened up the aperture to give it a smaller depth of field.  With this first image I think the flower was too close to the backdrop and so I got too much detail from it.

I moved it further away and took several shots, I stayed with the open aperture again.  I took a series of bracketed shots so I could merge them for a HDR image.  This is the result.  I quite like these.

This image is basically the same as the one before but I zoomed in more.  You can see more detail and the flower fills the frame more.

This one is quite strange, it is like the feathers/petals have gone crazy and gone in every direction.    Very wild bird of paradise flower.  I love it.   Check out the next image.

I like this one, I like the wildness of it.  I also like the first one.  I am really happy with how my backdrop turned out as well.  I have another canvas, so I think I will paint that one as well, but in different colours for different still life paintings.

Moving the object further away from the background really worked here, and I have to keep remembering that I need to do that.  I also think I should remember to shorten my depth of field more often and really pin point what my centre of focus really is.

  1. Great use of DOF Leanne!!! What a super change in your setup!!! I love your painted canvass!!! Really bought out your subject today!!!🙂 **

    January 18, 2012
    • Thanks Zandre, I thought it was about time I started thinking more about what I was doing. I love the canvas too, I should have done it ages ago, think I will paint the other one tomorrow.

      January 18, 2012
  2. Wow- this is pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    January 18, 2012
    • No thanks necessary, but thank you for stopping by and letting me know what you think,

      January 18, 2012
  3. Truly impressive images of a simple subject. They’re all lovely!

    January 18, 2012
    • Thank you. I was quite surprised at how well they turned out.

      January 19, 2012
  4. Liz #

    Great canvas – it works really well and the flowers are fascinating. I actually really like the first one as it allows you to see the canvass as well as they flower. I think the second last is fabulous too, Very cool flower, and indeed photo.

    January 18, 2012
    • I think the canvas was a brilliant idea and can’t believe it took me that long to figure it out. I like the first image as well. I just think that Bird of Paradise flowers look so much better in this state than they do when they are alive.

      January 19, 2012
  5. These speak to me! I love the third and “wild shots”. I can see them as a series in black lacquered frames.

    January 19, 2012
    • I am the same. I look at these and all I think of is how good would they look enlarged and on a wall? I might have to see if I can get some into an exhibition somewhere.

      January 19, 2012
  6. Thanks for the info on the backdrops…that’s something I have No Clue how to create, or use. The only thing I’ve got any consistancy with is outdoor shots…

    January 19, 2012
    • I have done a fair bit of work on theatre sets and backgrounds for paintings, so it was just taking that knowledge and applying it to what I wanted for the canvas and for a backdrop. I want to work on some new things, and I need some good backdrops, so to the studio I go.

      More to follow.

      January 19, 2012
  7. tms #

    The backdrop was a brilliant idea, the result is just wonderful, Leanne!

    January 19, 2012
    • Thanks, I think you are right. Thanks for letting me know.

      January 19, 2012

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