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08/11/2010 12:02:15 AM · #51
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by posthumous:

Except that a still life doesn't tell a story.


That's not strictly true; they don't *have* to tell a story anymore, but the classic still life is overtly symbolic, as indeed was all art of that period.

R.


symbolism is not the same as storytelling.
08/11/2010 12:09:37 AM · #52
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by JustCaree:

so you are saying a still life isnt supposed to "tell a story"


Correct. I have put out an APB on storytelling in this challenge.


The example Carrie had could tell a story or maybe I should say 'paint a mood'...depending on the book chosen, lighting and the backdrop....a pulp detective book say...Mickey Spilliane Mike Hammer(sp? ---hmm did he drink Jack Daniels....the point I am making is that he is a hard drinking detective so it would fit the mood better than Sherlock Holmes would). Lighting would be also key to 'painting' the mood of a "dark and stormy night" or 'film noir'....

I could further debate with you that some still life's "do" have a story/mood to them, but then it will spiral into a long debate....so let's just fall back on mood and arrangements of shapes, items and textures that are pleasing to the eye that maybe also capture the spirit or mood of a place or moment in time.

Plenty of examples in the helpful link posted by fldave

Originally posted by fldave:

Originally posted by NiallOTuama:


Does anyone have good links for what is/isn't still life?

Flickr search for still life...


An example of a pleasing arrangement from that link is this one Still Life...shapes and textures (look how many circles are in the composition...the off center triangle arrangement of the three main objects...the similiar patterns and colors of the Nautalus shell and the carved circular object on the left.

Then we go to the Camera Still Life. All the old style camera arranged on the desk - square and rectangular shapes arranged in a pleasing to the eye fashion - the cameras and the photographs (here it can tell a story of a time past "an old time feel" both by the age of the photos and the age of the cameras....even the lamp carries a feel of a 'bygone' era. And look at the shape of that big circular flash unit which is placed right next to the lamp ...not to mention all the circular lenses of the cameras that also shows a nice spread of shapes that is cohesively pulled together. Even the inclusion of the desk and the 'Return to Oz" book has the rectangular shapes ...again an arrangement of shapes that is pleasing to the eye as it strolls through the composition.

These are just two examples that are different from the typical fruit and flowers still life - but I encourage others to look through that link of examples ---look for the shapes, textures, mood and arrangement of objects - from there I think you can get some good inspirations to jump off of.
08/11/2010 12:13:37 AM · #53
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by posthumous:

Except that a still life doesn't tell a story.


That's not strictly true; they don't *have* to tell a story anymore, but the classic still life is overtly symbolic, as indeed was all art of that period.

R.


Hmmm, Bear you just reminded me of the symbolism of flowers/plants that the old painters used in their commissioned paintings of people of importance that would capture their personality or told of some traits that were/or are desired and also how sometimes the sending of flowers carried a message amoung spy networks .....hmmmm......
08/11/2010 01:09:56 AM · #54
Originally posted by bspurgeon:

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by clive_patric_nolan:

As it happens i tend to agree with ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' posthumous on this one and will automatically give a score of 1 to anything, be it digital watch, calculator or coffee maker, that has the stench of Mammon to it. Let that be a warning to you all.

Kinda limits us to flowers and fruit, then. But, I have also seen those in catalogs. So.... everything gets a 1? This shoul be interesting.


Depict the soul and substance of the object(s) and you will be on your way to a great photograph. Actually, this is why I find still life so difficult.


like Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans?
This is a special example. The Campbell's Soup Cans is a product image but not for selling the product. It is also a still life but not beautiful(actually, it looks boring). However, it depicts the soul and substance of the pop culture.(But I believe it would get hammered by DPCers.)
08/11/2010 01:29:30 AM · #55
Originally posted by posthumous:



Except that a still life doesn't tell a story.


Still lifes used to be a canvas (so to speak) for symbolism depicting social and religious commentary. So I suppose a still life could tell a story of sorts.
08/11/2010 01:34:51 AM · #56
This conversation has been taking some interesting turns. It appears to me that ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Posthumous is the one thinking inside the box this time.
08/11/2010 02:46:00 AM · #57
The classic still life is/was an opportunity for the artist to concentrate on composition, as he/she had full control of the elements that made up the picture.

Portraits were limited by expectations and 'standards', as indeed they still are, more or less. For all Capability Brown's efforts in landscape gardening, the subject remains pretty much in control of the elements within a landscape :)

This is why it is reasonable to look on the genre of still life as one in which the elements of composition are subservient to the whole, or gestalt. In a product shot they are obviously not, as the product takes precedence.

If you really want to think outside the box then first you have to think of a box, but a snapshot portrait with a landscape backdrop, possibly with some sort of mutt/bug or whatever making a random intrusion so you can say it's 'still alive', should stand out as the work of a true rebel. Full colour might be an idea as well, as it could nevertheless still be argued that it is no more than a configuration of light and shade.
08/11/2010 08:15:24 AM · #58
There's also something called "Still life landscapes"
08/11/2010 09:22:01 AM · #59
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

This conversation has been taking some interesting turns. It appears to me that ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Posthumous is the one thinking inside the box this time.


Being out of the box = BIG SCORE

Being in the wrong box = THE WRATH OF ONE
08/11/2010 09:33:39 AM · #60
Well I've entered my still life, though whether or not it truly is one is another thing altogether.

Now how about switching the debate to important stuff, like should the image be of b/w objects, but shot in colour? Or are we just going to see a ton of images that are shot in b/w and/or desatted in pp?

This was my entry for Still Life with Fruit: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1158/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_849612.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1158/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_849612.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' so if I did a similar execution, but just used desat, would it become a b/w still life?

And fwiw for this challenge, I shot items that were black and white, in colour, and did not use desat.


Message edited by author 2010-08-11 09:42:26.
08/11/2010 09:39:47 AM · #61
You can get a good composure with a single item. But from what I read here it seems folk think a still life is a composition of multiple items. Would this be a good still life?
//www.flickr.com/photos/cubagallery/4839786237/
I'm kinda excited about this topic. I failed miserably at doing a minimalism. Might use the pipe again! :)
08/11/2010 09:47:11 AM · #62
Originally posted by posthumous:

Being out of the box = BIG SCORE

Being in the wrong box = THE WRATH OF ONE

I'm frequently in the wrong box. It often gets me a positive comment from yourself.
08/11/2010 09:47:27 AM · #63
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:

Would this be a good still life?

I would think with some additional supporting items in the scene, it could work well.
08/11/2010 09:50:25 AM · #64
Sorry for all the questions. Have skulls lived? I think this is excellent:
//www.flickr.com/photos/kevsyd/3531145624/

don't forget Snaffles' question:
Originally posted by snaffles:

Now how about switching the debate to important stuff, like should the image be of b/w objects, but shot in colour? Or are we just going to see a ton of images that are shot in b/w and/or desatted in pp?

08/11/2010 09:51:52 AM · #65
Originally posted by snaffles:


Now how about switching the debate to important stuff, like should the image be of b/w objects, but shot in colour? Or are we just going to see a ton of images that are shot in b/w and/or desatted in pp?


The way I read it, both options are equally valid. If there were a special rule that no desaturation is allowed, then I think we would have to take photos of greyscale objects. But because there isn't, using desaturate on a color image should be just fine.
08/11/2010 10:00:15 AM · #66
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:

Sorry for all the questions. Have skulls lived? I think this is excellent:
//www.flickr.com/photos/kevsyd/3531145624/


You can see skulls in many classic still life images. It is a basic item like fruit and flower. Google "skull, still life", you'll find many such images.
The picture you post looks very intresting, I would give it 7.

Message edited by author 2010-08-11 10:00:42.
08/11/2010 10:41:15 AM · #67
man you guys sure know how to give a girl a headache.
08/11/2010 10:45:10 AM · #68
Originally posted by JustCaree:

man you guys sure know how to give a girl a headache.

They sure do...!
08/11/2010 11:03:20 AM · #69
Originally posted by Deen:

You can see skulls in many classic still life images. It is a basic item like fruit and flower. Google "skull, still life", you'll find many such images.


The classic still life always includes a memento mori, a reminder of our mortality.

R.

Message edited by author 2010-08-11 11:03:33.
08/11/2010 11:29:09 AM · #70
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Deen:

You can see skulls in many classic still life images. It is a basic item like fruit and flower. Google "skull, still life", you'll find many such images.


The classic still life always includes a memento mori, a reminder of our mortality.

R.

There isn't any restriction of which era of still life we use, is there? I mean. I don't see one.
08/11/2010 11:45:49 AM · #71
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:


There isn't any restriction of which era of still life we use, is there? I mean. I don't see one.


No, of course not; that was just responding to a question as to whether skulls and such are acceptable in the genre, and the answer to that is "definitely".

R.
08/11/2010 03:40:41 PM · #72
Black and white...the lighting is good but too much damn textures. Shuffle things around, remove this, move that - no longer overwhelming and the lighting - the lighting argh! *Pulls hair out and watches it fall to ground* ...Oh look! there's a simple still life :sigh: I need more dynamic tones - you know this is proving to be more challenging than I thought or maybe just out of practice.

Anyone have a good site detailing lighting for still lifes?

Message edited by author 2010-08-11 15:41:05.
08/11/2010 03:55:05 PM · #73
Originally posted by CNovack:

Black and white...the lighting is good but too much damn textures. Shuffle things around, remove this, move that - no longer overwhelming and the lighting - the lighting argh! *Pulls hair out and watches it fall to ground* ...Oh look! there's a simple still life :sigh: I need more dynamic tones - you know this is proving to be more challenging than I thought or maybe just out of practice.

Anyone have a good site detailing lighting for still lifes?


Painting with light is a good technique to use here, IMO.

ETA: Not the light trail stuff.

Message edited by author 2010-08-11 15:58:08.
08/12/2010 02:23:17 AM · #74
I like the descriptions of what constitutes a still life that I found in two separate Flickr group pages.

Here: Still Life #1

and...

Here: Still Life #2

I will be using these guide lines when voting, but if anyone thinks the descriptions are lacking please comment.

Dave
08/12/2010 02:39:24 AM · #75
Originally posted by DCNUTTER:

I like the descriptions of what constitutes a still life that I found in two separate Flickr group pages.

Here: Still Life #1

and...

Here: Still Life #2

I will be using these guide lines when voting, but if anyone thinks the descriptions are lacking please comment.

Dave


I like those definitions too. Pretty much what I think of when hearing the term still life.

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