Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Olive Cotton’

Influencing Me – Olive Cotton

Perhaps, I thought, it was time I did one of these posts on a woman.  Another Australian Photographer and one who worked about the same time as last week’s photographer, Max Dupain.  Really, it is hard to think of Max Dupain without thinking of Olive Cotton.  Indeed she worked in his studio for some time and they were married breifly.

00222443She photographed him working, and when you look at his work you will see photos of Cotton in amongst them.

tumblr_mdjn1qx2U81qiclreo1_500I have shown you this image before, and said how much I love it and what it represents to me.  The way she has lit it and the shadows are so strong.  The title always got me as well, Teacup Ballet.  It has always been something that interested me, the idea of turning inanimate objects into some more real, as though they really do have personalities and may be like humans.

tumblr_miw8lbVeLz1qe0lqqo2_r1_1280Similar to the one above.  What is the image really about, the glasses or the shadow? I would imagine both, but the way the light casts the shadow of the glasses is wonderful and I have strived to get similar results, but as yet I’ve had no luck.

Popup_800When I looked her up on Google Images, I was amazed at the variety of her work.  You tend to think a photographer will do just one type of image, which is ridiculous, but still you think that.  I had no idea that she did images like this.  Though she obviously liked still life, the previous two images are testament to that.

It is also strange looking at this images and seeing the effects that film had on them, the grain.

51uju9Me41L._SL500_SS500_The cover of a book or a poster, I don’t really know, but the image on it is stunning.  I see so many people attempting to take images of these or similar plants, and they are wonderful.  I do love her black background and the way you simply focus on the plant.  I can’t think of the name of them now.  I know you blow them in the wind.

322.1996##SThis image was a lovely surprise.  I have taken so many images like this myself, it was wonderful to see one from her.  Makes me feel not so crazy.  The mood an image like this evokes is wonderful.  The eeriness of the scene, and the way the trees in the foreground dominate the image.  I think it is just brilliant.

Teacup Ballet - OriginalOf course, I had to show you my own attempt at imitating one of her images.  I am not going to go into whether or not it works, just put in Olive Cotton in the search at the top and you can see past posts on this image.

The image of hers is what drew me to her, and it was important to me to see if I could do an image that was similar to her.  The lighting was so important and I think, in the end, it was that which lets this image down.  I don’t have the studio lighting that she would have had.  I don’t think going out to buy lighting just for an image like this is warranted.  It has made me think, and you start to realise how important lighting really is.

Scraggy, Craggy Tree - Silver Efex 1When I saw that image of the trees with the stormy sky, this image came to mind.  I think it has a similar feel.

Wasted - 3This is another one I thought of, this one more so than the other.  It is like a desolate country, with no hope of a future.  I think it conveys that, as does the one by Cotton.

Finally I have an image of her.

lg_Olive_Cotton-L_GrahamI don’t actually know who took this image, but it says L Graham, so I assume that is the photographers name.  She looks like a lovely person, and someone I wish I had known. She died in 2003 at the age of 92.   What a wonderful legacy to leave behind.

I have been doing some research on her for this post and I believe I may have to do more.  She looks like a woman photographer who I would like to know a lot more about.

Etsy Shop

I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to everyone for the support of the new Etsy Shop, if click on Etsy shop it should take you to it, I hope.  I just want to say I really appreciate it.

Teacup Ballet ReWorked

I haven’t done a rework for awhile, so I decided that it might be time to start getting back to normal and doing the posts as I used to.  I have thought about this image a lot, and one day I will redo the whole image, that means photographing it as well.  I always wished I had ironed the cloth the cups were on.

Teacup Ballet - OriginalThis is the original I did way back when, I should find the original post, I do remember the image was based on an Olive Cotton image.  You can see the Olive Cotton image in this post Teacups Following the Ballet, and  you can see the original post for the above image in this post Lighting the Ballet.

There wasn’t a lot wrong with this image, but I did wonder if I did it again, would I do it differently.

Teacup Ballet - ReworkedI think the answer is yes.  The new version is darker, though I think the cups stand out more.  I did some blurring and tried to make the highlights stand out more. I just find the wrinkled cloth a little distracting.

Both images began as HDR images that were processed in Photomatix Pro.  The Reworked image was then processed in Camera raw and a lot further processing was done in PS.  I did some further processing.

The Ballet in Silver EfexI used Silver Efex for this image.  It seems ages since I processed images with it.  It was nice to take another look at it.

Ballet with Color EfexThis one saw the Classic Soft Focus being done to it in Color Efex.  I have also missed using it.  I must get back into using the Nik Software products.  It will be nice to start experimenting again.

I love using the new 27 inch monitor to do my processing now.  I still can’t get the higher resolution, apparently a problem with my laptop, but we have ordered a new cable which might allow it.  It will be good to have it.

I am now off to do some more research for the Virtual Photography Field Trip that a client has purchased.  Off to find out about a place in the world I didn’t know about before.  Almost as good as travelling.  Almost.

Just a quick note, if you would like to find out if the notes I have written about learning your DSLR are helpful, please check out the testimonial  here.

Teacups Following the Ballet

I have been thinking of an image that I knew I had seen once before, a photograph by a well known Australian Photographer, Olive Cotton.

If you click on the image it will take you to some information about who she was and what her thoughts were behind the image, from the Art Gallery NSW.

I think this is an amazing image, very simple, but beautiful  It may be a little dark, but that could just be me.  I decided that I would attempt to repeat it.

I didn’t have the spot light like Olive did, and if I can find a stronger light I might try this again.  Still, I don’t mind this.  It is a HDR image, but I have done quite a bit of post editing, obviously, since it is black and white with some sepia toning.

I had quite a bit of trouble trying to work out the composition.  I didn’t want to put it on a table cloth, so decided to just use the top of my coffee table as if it were a dance floor or bare stage.  I tried to copy the composition exactly, but my coffee table wasn’t wide enough, so I had to bring everything in a little closer and you don’t quite get the space around them like Olive did.

I mixed them up a little more and tried not to make it so uniform.  I don’t know if it works better or not, but I do like this one and the first one I did.  There is a simplicity with the cups and saucers which is really nice.  I don’t care that some bits are bit over done.  I have to get a stronger light for doing this.  I have some flash lighting, but the lighting is too diffused, I need it to be more direct.  Perhaps, changing what the cups are sitting on as well.  I have been thinking about going to one of those places that sell old building materials and seeing what wood I can find that will be good for these sorts of photos.

I decided to try swapping the cups and saucers with some of my sugar bowls.  I don’t mind this either, but again, it would be good to have something different to put them on to take the photos.  That really is something I need to think about.

Oh well, if it was perfect from the beginning then I wouldn’t keep trying.  I do enjoy doing this kind of stuff, have I said that already?  I hope I aren’t boring you with all my still lifes.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.