Sunday, January 19, 2014

Frugal Still LIfe

Where I felt very uncomfortable and pushed into imaginary boundaries with last week's Frugal Still Life assignment I am feeling more open and relaxed about it this week.  I'm realizing that I've done a teeny tiny bit of still life photography in the past I just didn't realize it and now I have this gracious opportunity to learn.  I can surrender myself to change and growth and have joy in it.

So that is what I did this week.

I pulled out my nail polish and enjoyed seeing the bottles full  of color all clustered in one spot.
At first I used the surroundings and light I had from the large sliding door to the right of me and the nail polish.

I think I tend to gravitate to white space.  I like the calm it can give to a picture or the drama it adds to the subject being photographed.

Of these two photos I can't choose which I like best.  I enjoy looking at them both for different reasons.  The idea that there must be at least one more bottle of nail polish in the group leaves me wondering.  The way the black cap contrasts with the white cupboard in the background and the red polish color against the black counter create a natural boundary for the eye moving my gaze back and forth.  Almost like reading a book. 

Although, I really like the reflection that shows up in the group photograph.  It was hard to get the writing on the bottles to be clear with the way the light glared on them and the thickness of the glass. If I had a longer depth of field to get the writing to come out clear for all the bottles the background would not be as unobtrusive.  Any suggestions on what I might have done differently?  

I tried it again almost taking the same pictures only this time I placed a piece of white cardboard behind the bar counter in an attempt to block the refrigerator, the cupboards, and the dining room door in the background.

I think I like the second photo of the fewer bottles and white space better than the first photo.  I think it's because the angle of the bottles seems more pleasing to the eye and they fill the space a little better.

But I not quite as happy with this photo of the complete group as well as the first one that has all the background in a shallow depth of field. In the second photo of all the nail polish the white background seems so stark.

What do you think?


  1. I like the second, too, because I like symmetry. Lively colours too!

  2. Usually I'd choose the one with negative space, but this time I prefer the second one. I love the reflections of the bottles on the counter.

  3. What was your f stop? You might try the deeper/longer depth of field, as you suggested (I am NO expert, but I guess I would try that)! I love photographing nail polish: the colors and shapes make for wonderful images; these are really nice!

  4. Oh! Love the group photo with the reflection. I can see your light is coming in brightly through the sliding glass doors. You might try a light colored curtain, something to soften/filter the light and the print on the bottles may show up more clearly.
    Wonderful share!

  5. Hi, I like the second pic the reflections are good off the countertop. I also like the little one, seems to be hiding in the crowd. My OH is often saying another varnish will never go amiss.

  6. Great job playing around with these shots - I like the idea of using nail polish. I like the first photo of the whole group - the reflections on the countertop are great!

  7. I too usually like the negative space and side grouping shots the best but that reflection in the second shot is just lovely.

  8. I love the redo of the white space one and the first group photo best.
    I've been having trouble commenting, but I'm glad to see you've joined in. I love your four goals for January and the photo you created last week.
    I'm really enjoying creating a still life scene.