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Posts tagged ‘sugar bowls’

Lighting the Ballet

Since I had bought that globe for more a spot light, I decided to have another go at the teacup ballet, that I did last week.

This is the colour that the image ended up with.  I don’t mind the yellow tinge.  I find it warm and nice.  I set the image up much the same as I did last time, but this time I put down some cloth that I was hoping would be like the original image.  I think what was used in the original image was much thicker and I found what I used a bit too flimsy.

When I was processing this image I used the new software that I have, Photomatix, to do them.  I have no real idea what I am doing with it, but I just played, so I hope you think they turned out OK.

After Photomatix I then did some post editing in Photoshop.

I converted the image to black and white and added various filters.  I’m unsure of which one I like more.  Perhaps it really is up to personal taste.  The light may have been too strong again.

While I had everything set up, I thought I might have some more fun with my dancing sugar bowls.

Again, the HDR was processed in Photomatix.  I think the images do come out well and am looking forward to doing more with it.

I like this perspective, with the long shadow.  I did change the light so it was coming more from the side.  I think the back lighting works really well, and I’m starting to realise that for me to do these images well, then I need to start having better lighting.  I do believe lighting is a very important key.

I’ve shown a similar image to this one before.  My ballet dancing sugar bowls.  I am quite pleased with this one as well.  The shadows really make it.  Again, the light was placed on the side.  It may have been interesting to have added a second light, a softer one on the other side, or to the front.  There is a lot that can be done with lighting.

These images are starting to get closer to what I’m trying to achieve with my still life images.  I am looking forward to playing with the light a lot more.

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.

Ducks and Dancing

It is a strange name for a blog post, what can I say, but you will understand soon.  When I was at art school, in my first year I started using jugs as my subject matter.  I started just drawing them, then one of my teachers, Neil, showed me some work by John Brack.  Brack used pencils in drawings and the pencils were like soldiers.  He suggested I use the jugs in a similar way.  I did many prints and drawings of jugs as soldiers.  I collected jugs and ended up with so many.  I still have lots of them.

I moved on, but I have always liked that idea of the jugs being something.  They aren’t soldiers to me anymore though.

Now I think of them as ducks.  Not all jugs are ducks, but these ones are.  Here is a still life of three jugs, but if you like they could also be “Ducks Socialising”.  Can you see them.  I really like the concept.  It has been gloomy week and my ducks are cheering me up as I look at them.

Can you see the ballerina’s from Swan Lake here.  Their arms are looped together and they are dancing across the table.

I have been collecting specific sugar bowls for this image for quite some time.  It may have worked more if they were all the same, but I don’t mind that they are all different, slightly different shapes and different patterns.  Maybe if they were all the same colour, but different shapes may work better.  That way they would be more like ballerinas, they wear the same thing, but they are all different.

I might start doing some more of these, along with the other still life’s that I want to do. I find still lifes quite a challenge, they probably appear easy, but there is a lot of planning involved.  I have to work out lighting, where I will do them.  What I want from the image, which backdrop will I use.  What camera settings to use, which lens.  It can take me a couple of days to plan it all.  Though once I make the decision that I am going to do a still life, the composition is usually something I’ve been working on in my head for a long time.

Some of the Collection and Things to Come

It has been a busy week and I’m starting to panic over how soon my exhibition is.  Just under 2 months away.  I have decided that instead of the whole exhibition being about cycling that I would also make it about coffee or tea.  I have been taking photos of coffee at home and hopefully will be going to a cafe this coming week to get some more.  I got some of the images I’ve been working on printed.

I am thinking that 3 will be good as paintings and might do more depending on time.  Thought I might try some watercolours as well.

I also wanted to show you some of my collection of ceramics.  I showed some of it the other week with a photo of the shelves in my studio, but I have so much more.  A lot is tucked away in cupboards, but when you come into my lounge room you see some book shelves.  The bookshelves are overflowing with books, but in front of the books I have, as ornaments, jugs, teapots, sugar bowls etc.  Take a look.

The ducks, that is what I think of when I see these.

The ballerina’s, they come in sorts of shapes and sizes.

The teapot has been used before in a painting, oh and the milk jug.

A little look at my collection.  To crazy, too much stuff, so my husband thinks.  I would like to do artwork with it all.  One day.