Be Still Homework – Background Study

_DSC8182One of our recent assignments was to explore different backdrops for a particular still life. Since I have been dreaming about my garden, I chose to arrange the books and seed catalogs that I have been pouring over recently. I went for white as my first backdrop.

_DSC8188-EditI rarely go vertical with my compositions but in some cases it can provide room for a quote. However, I was not excited about the white for this composition. So

_DSC8192-EditI went black. I rather like the drama this gives to the image and feels more like the weather we have been having lately. Also added one of Kim’s textures to this, I think it was ‘magic0916’.

_DSC8194This horizontal crop was more to my liking, though I probably should have retouched out the squarish reflection in the cup. The things you see later!

_DSC8196Moving around to take pictures at different angles, I realized that shooting down allows the table top to be a backdrop.

_DSC8198My final backdrop try was a rough linen curtain. Not sure how I’m feeling about this one.

_DSC8203For my final image I cropped in tighter. I do like the intimate feel of this one.

This was a great exercise demonstrating how a backdrop, even one out of focus, can dramatically alter the mood of the overall image.

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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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10 Responses to Be Still Homework – Background Study

  1. Julia says:

    Thank you for showing us the different backdrops and angles! A lesson in itself!

  2. Sarah C says:

    I really love what you did. I am a gardener too and can’t wait for Spring. Loved the dark background.

  3. Oh goodness love that cup Carol, so much texture in one cup. I also really liked this lesson of backdrops. Love the top down, and I can understand you are thinking of your garden this time of year. It want be long now when you will be out there for hours in this beautiful space.

  4. Susan W says:

    All photos are lovely but my personal favorite is the portrait orientation with the dark background giving enough room for the plant.

  5. seabluelee says:

    I agree with Susan. I love the way the books, catalogs, and especially the bulb growing in the jar just glow against that dark background. Definitely my favorite. I also like the “looking down” one – I hadn’t thought of the tabletop serving as a background, but of course you’re right. Again, I like the colors against the darkness. And that cup is just wonderful!

  6. Dotti says:

    I like all of these, Carol, but like you, I find the black background much more dramatic, at least for these particular props. I must say, though, I do like the ‘garden dreams’ word art on the second photo.

  7. Cheryl says:

    I have to say that I just love your mug here and it goes so nicely with the black background photo…I also enjoyed playing with different backgrounds and I don’t think it’s something that I normally would have tried…
    All your backgrounds work lovely with your props…

  8. Beverly says:

    The exercise was a good one for me too Carol, and one I enjoyed taking time to set up the pieces, and only change the background. The white background image has a happy feeling – like spring is right around the corner, lots of light. The black background is dramatic and the quote is perfect with the gardening books. They all say “I’m dreaming of spring and gardening” and that is a good thing!

  9. Kelly says:

    Think you did an amazing job Carol. I’m loving the dark tones. Something I like more and more these days.

  10. Mary Datum says:

    Since finding my painting ‘Pumpkins’ referenced on your blog for October 2014 I have been looking at all of your photography. Very nice. I really like your still life compositions and was wondering if it would be possible to use one or some of your ideas in a painting. Please let me know.

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