Be Still Homework – 3 Things


Taken w/ 35mm @ f/4.0 ISO 800 @ 1/10 second.

This last week I was blessed with some quiet time. Brian was out of town on business for several days and I took advantage of the stillness to play with my camera. Before my brother passed on Thursday, I had been working on this week’s Be Still assignment – 3 things: a chair with or without a subject, next to a window, backlit. At first I was like “I don’t really have a window available that is big enough to accommodate a chair, it’s winter and there’s not enough daylight for a backlit shot, and my favorite – I don’t have a cool white chair like Kim!” But then I realized the studio has a sliding glass door which would certainly be big enough so I headed out there. Looking around I spotted an old wooden folding chair that I had completely forgotten I had so out it came. I started setting things up and then I saw it – beautiful natural light – even on this gray day. To capture it I did have to bump up my ISO and reduce my shutter speed, but there it was! I took lots of pictures, changing perspective and moving things around.


Taken w/ 35mm @ f/4.0, ISO 800 @ 1/13 second.

But before I had a chance to process the images, news of my brother came through and I needed time to simply sit, eyes closed, and reflect on him and family. So, yesterday afternoon I decided to open Lightroom and see what I had done in the studio. I must say I’m pretty darn pleased and believe it or not these images didn’t need much processing at all, just a little white balance adjustment. I did try some presets on some of the images, but in the end I appreciated the natural look.


Taken w/ 35mm @ f/4.0, ISO 800 @ 1/20 second.

So, the lesson I learned is the one I seem to need to learn over and over again – appreciate what I have. We in the Pacific Northwest are often complaining about the darkness of winter, but as you can see, we do have beautiful light, even in December. I’ve also complained about not having a big window, but, turns out I do. I just had to look at things differently – in this case a door is my window! And I may not have a cool white chair, I do have this old beat-up wooden folding chair that worked just fine. Appreciate what we have. I think I need to post that quote on my bathroom mirror!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a beautiful weekend.


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About Carol

Thank you in advance for respecting my art. All the images and text posted to this blog are owned my me and protected by copyright law. Copying any of the content here without permission is against the law and you know, not cool. Many thanks again.
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16 Responses to Be Still Homework – 3 Things

  1. Julia says:

    Beautiful images! You are so right about appreciating what you have – we only need eyes to see it!

  2. Beautiful lessons you learned this week, and I need to put that quote up also. It seems we are always searching or at least I am shamefully……for more and more. If I look around my house I have a ton of things to use, I think we both really need to challenge ourselves to use what we already have next year.

    Your images are just delightful for the assignment, love that last one really a lot. I felt I was right there with you on this which is almost as good as having you right next to me….ok I lie not as good.

    Continue to think of you and your family in the lost of your brother. Have a good weekend.

    Yea we are getting rain. 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    Carol, I so sorry to learn of your brother’s passing . . . and you certainly honor his memory with the photos your make. Your post proves that photography is about so much more than simply the press of the shutter. It’s about the appreciation of light and circumstance and the beauty in every thing, even those things we may take for granted. I have had the experience you describe, where it seems there is not enough light, but when the shutter is open long enough, the most beautiful light seeps in – much softer and more glowing than the harsh light of the day. Love all your photos but that last one is truly serene and my very favorite.

  4. sally calligan` says:

    Great images. I too am sorry about your brother’s passing. As you may remember I lived on Camano and have just moved to Palm Coast, Florida. You can laugh, but the day we moved in there was 5 inches of rain. Dark days in Florida are the same as in the Pacific Northwest. Happy Holidays.

  5. Roxi says:

    And these turned out absolutely fabulous. Peace to you.

  6. Nancy says:

    Learning to use what one has is a very important lesson and one I needed to hear this morning. Very timely post for me. As I browse other’s blogs and see the beautiful still life photos, I think I need to collect more items or I don’t have what I need but in reality it’s more fun to be creative and use what I have which in reality is a better reflection of me…Have a great weekend…

  7. Siobhan Wolf says:

    Such beautiful images, Carol. I appreciate your sharing your process ad well. Sending hugs and love in your time of loss.

  8. Dotti says:

    So very sorry about your brother, Carol.

    These are lovely photos and you’ve inspired me to get busy and work on this week’s lesson. So often I find that I like the ‘natural’ look best.

    And I love the real life lesson you learned, one we all need to remember.

    Thinking of you …

  9. Cheryl M says:

    I think we can all use the lesson from you today……learn to appreciate what we have and not envy what others have. I’m sure there are plenty of things in my home if I but look around me. I ended up using a 3 tier stand that actually reached the window height…instead of a stool or chair.
    LOVELY images Carol!

  10. seabluelee says:

    I’m struggling with the light for this assignment also. It was dark and rainy for days on end this week, and this apartment is not blessed with an abundance of windows. Today the sun is out…harsh light, but worth trying to do this shoot again. It is amazing what we find we already have if we look around, isn’t it? Thanks for the inspiration. I especially like your last image. That peeled fruit is such a classic ingredient in old painted still lifes.

  11. I can appreciate your challenge with the light – same here! but I LOVE your chair! and I wanted to see more it! I love the elements you brought together – I love it when there’s something unexpected – like that peeled orange…

  12. pat says:

    the orange pops off the page – looks luscious too!

  13. Gail O says:

    Oh Carol! I am so sorry for the loss of your brother! It does put everything else in a new light…. Hugs

  14. Carol says:

    So sorry for your loss. The chair, the light and images you created with them are so good.

  15. Diana Foster says:

    Your images are always stunning. Beautiful, beautiful.

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