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!!


  1. I think this is a great photo essay of your work! I must admit that I do love the sepia-toned images; framing them for your house is a wonderful idea. (I'm also reminded AGAIN that I need to invest in a true macro lens for my DSLR....when I chose a prime lens, I went with the 85mm, and I rarely use it.)

    1. thanks so much Evelyn!
      i got a 40mm macro lens and just LOVE it. i also have the 50mm but i rarely use that one. the macro, however, fascinates me.
      it changes the way i see things and sees much more than i do with my eyes.
      again, thanks!

  2. Interesting re. the macro lens: I just went to look at some last week. I have Canon Rebel EOST3. Right now, I only use my 50 mm but really want the 100mm macro. Oh the possibilities! I love love those last few shots and filters: really nice!

    1. thank you! I would love a 100mm macro, that would be heavenly. mine are all Nikon, I don't know canon at all but hear great things... I would highly recommend ANY macro, they open up a world of fun!

  3. I love the simple, near b/w quality the lighting and subject gives to these images. I would definitely consider one or more of them for framing.

  4. These are lovely - I really like the sepia tone and the inspiration to use the reflector as a filter for the bright sunlight.

  5. No. 17 with textures is my fave, would hang that on a wall myself. Love the timeline you have shown as you progress through the style.

  6. What a great variety of lovely shots. I love the sepia ones, too, but my favorite is the eighth one down from the top. I love the arrangement and the depth of field.

  7. I love your series, especially the three at the end ! They will look wonderful printed and framed , this is something I should do. I never seem to get around to printing any !

  8. i love these and YES to hanging them on your dining room wall !!!

  9. Hanging the prints on your dining room wall. What a wonderful way to enjoy them. I think my favorite print is the one where you captured the silverware diagonally across the frame (5th from the bottom). Lovely.

  10. What a great addition to your dining room Marie, wonderful idea! This entire set of images is superb in my book! I'm happy you chose to use one of my textures, aren't they just too much fun?! I just had to scroll through these images at LEAST a half dozen times! Quite Lovely!