Wednesday, January 22, 2014

still life, week 3

this week's assignment in Cheryl McCain's class Frugal Still Life Photography
was to use 3 items, modeled after the guest blogger's example. 

thank you to Barb from Keeping With The Times 
who shared her tips and techniques as the guest blogger :)

here is my final image...

 i took quite a few shots before landing on this set up.
i knew i wanted to use the old silver container with some bittersweet vines, 
but wasn't sure what to put with it that would keep it simple but add some interest.  
after some failed attempts, i ended up using some old books i had painted white 
and some antique keys.  

i added a texture from Kim Klassen.  
the texture is called To Be and it is one of my all-time favorites. 
i considered adding a quote, but since the books had words on them, 
i left the quote off the final image.

this is the pull-back image of the set up.
i tried burlap for the table cover but it added too much texture and color. 
i liked it better when i switched to an old white tea towel.
as a background, 
i used a white foam core board, folded (i scored the board so it would fold)...
i used a 40mm lens, on 2.8 fstop, 1/160 sec.  
i did not use a tripod but had some good light in the patio area.

mister, the cat, observed but did not participate :)

sharing with cheryl's group, and also Texture Tuesday
cheryl mccain link -
barb's link -

Saturday, January 18, 2014


week 2 assignment for Frugal Still Life Photography with Cheryl McCain 

i had a busy week so it took til friday to work on this one.
this week, the objective was to play with cropping, filling the frame versus leaving negative space.
this is only the second week but i am going to bet that this one ends up being my favorite.

i wasn't sure what to use for a prop. 
i wanted something really simple so i could stay focused on the cropping. 
so i went with 5 pieces of antique child-size silverware that i bought at garage sales over the years.

here is my set-up...
the best light was coming in the back sliding doors, shining on our beat-up dining room table. 
i took my mother's antique silverware box to use as a background and stuck it on the table. 
the light was too harsh so i filtered it with a reflector/filter, making the set up really easy.


then i took a bunch of pictures, trying different cropping as i went. 
i did not stay methodical, like i had hoped to, so i can't put these in any order that makes sense.

i started with a 50mm lens but switched to a 40mm macro lens within a few images...
i had the camera in automatic, on sports mode, so i could determine the focus point for each image individually.
the settings were ranging from
- F-stop of 4 to 5,
- ISO of 450,
- exposure times of 1/1000sec to 1/1250 sec

these are straight out of the camera, and they include lots of dents/scratches and some cat hair...

these next three images seemed to go together well so i played with them in photoshop elements, 
adding a texture layer (texvol2 #3) of from Cheryl's textures.  
i am so in love with them, 
i am going to print them and put them up on my dining room wall. 
i am loving this class, thank you Cheryl!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

frozen in time...

the polar vortex...
here in united states,
our world was frozen for a few days.

it left it's mark.
waves at the ocean were stopped, mid wave...

bubbles froze as they landed...

i am grateful it has warmed up.
but i will miss the frozen beauty...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

still life...

this is my first assignment with the Frugal Still Life Photography course with Cheryl McCain (who can be found HERE).

i was struggling with what to photograph for this but finally decided to use some shells.  this shell in the foreground was $1.25 at a shell store, and the ones in the background I found on the beach.

i used a curtain panel for a background. i picked it up at a garage sale last summer for ten cents.  there is no hem, and it is worn in spots but i love it for still life backgrounds.  i clipped a pant-hanger to the top and hung it off my front door.  for lighting, i used the available light coming thru the door.

i added a texture from Cheryl (i think the name texvol7 #2)
and i love how it gave the image a wash of colors.

here is a pull-back image of the set up.

looking forward to seeing everyone else's images!
thank you, cheryl!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

the colors of winter...

i am not a fan of being cold but i absolutely love the beauty of winter...
the world changes from one day to the next.
and instead of just the winter whites (which i LOVE), 
there are 50 shades of gray...
soft muted greens...
pastel sunrises...
browns and blues and 
feathers and seed pods...
there isn't enough time in a day to see it all.
and tomorrow,
it's going to be different :)

 it truly is a winter wonderland out there