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My first attempt at still life - a few pieces from a pot pourri bag set out on a window sill.
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For this kind of image, a reflector in front to bounce some light back in to the subject would have made it more delicate and lightened the shadows. Good first try though, in what is a very hard discipline.
Thanks Sooty, I can see the benefit of the reflector and will try that next time
Still life is definitely more tricky than most people realise. This is much better than my first atempts - actually beter than most of my recent attempts also.
As Nick says, a reflector bouncing back some light would have helped lift the shadows.
There are some nice textures and shapes here and the colours fit together well. But the composition looks a bit static and "ordered" in that there are two rows and no one object is the focal point for the shot.
It is awfully difficult to give advice remotely on how to improve the composition. I would just play around with the objects until they looked right. What would be going through my mind is which is the main object? Can I form a general shape eg triangle (without it being too obvious). Can I partially overlap the objects or put one on top of the other. Try lots of options and see which looks the best.
You could try using a large aperture/low f-stop in order to get shallow dof, focusing on one attractive piece and rendering the rest blurred. We are quite used to seeing pot pourri bunched together, so separating it like this looks a bit strange, although I understand that you were trying to accentuate the shapes. The composition does, however, look very contrived. How about dropping a handful on your nice white surface and then looking for one very attractive piece and using that as your focal point? An alternative would be to fill the whole frame with the pot pourri, which would be very attractive, but probably doesn't fit in with your still life idea. You could still introduce some extra light to avoid deep shadowed areas, or use a reflector as suggested above.
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