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Still Life with Flowers

By patri
Tried to create a composition with some vases (they are identical but changes the colour) but different flowers and some differences in hight too. The colour is pale like old postcards.

Tags: Flowers Still life

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4097 Canada
9 Oct 2019 9:03PM
Im not sure I understand the look you were trying to achieve?

The arrangement seems a bit cluttered, - theres a lot to look at with no real point of focus.

It looks cool overall to me, and some deep shadows might benefit with a little more detail.

I tried a mod, - it may not be at all what you intended.



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9 Oct 2019 9:41PM
For me, the problem here is that there's just far too much of everything, and there's no compositional structure to guide me through it... my eye can't decide what to settle on. There is virtue in simplicity.

I'll upload a mod with a suggested crop. I also changed the background colour and added a touch of soft focus.

dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1606 England
9 Oct 2019 9:50PM
I think Alan's got to the heart of this - he tends to single out a few really important details, and exclude everything else.

There's a real art to arranging still life, and it needs as much practice as the technical side - possibly more.

You need, simultaneously, an interesting and relevant relationship between all the elements, and apparently random placement.

Not too much regularity (as in three vases in a straight line).

Light that plays up the emotional feel that you want - usually fairly soft (as you have here).

The technical side looks all fine - sensible smaller aperture (for depth of field), and a long lens (50mm is a short telephoto on the 6300).

Keep playing, keep shifting elements of the composition around.

Chase (Janet) is a superb still ife photographer - she'll be along soon, I expect.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.5k 639 England
9 Oct 2019 10:58PM
The first thing that I noticed here was the cold coloiur balance.
If that's part of what you intended,then that's ok, but you can have pale colour with a warmer look. Reducing Vibrance is more subtle thn Saturation and is worth looking at. You can also try iusing a mono conversion layer with different blending modes and opacities.

Looking for a bit longer I have to agree with the others that there's too much going on. Keeping things simple is often the best pproach.
Take images as you add each element, that way you can study the results at your leisure, and siode by side. If you've gone 'too far' by the end of the session, somewhere you should have a few shots that are 'just right'.

Three vases in a row could work, but they'd need to be equally spaced, more formally, and with few or no flowers, perhaps just one, on the deck to make a mark.
Or perhaps two vases and one saiuces with some flowers, so yopu have that 'odd number' of elements.

Just a few of my suggestions and I'd be interested in Janet's ideas too.

chase Plus
14 1.5k 330 England
9 Oct 2019 11:28PM
There are some pretty things here but, as others have mentioned, far ,far too much in the frame and arranged all in a muddled line, compositionally not the best way forward.
There are many beautiful still life images to be seen, Google would really help you find some. Many have full frames of subjects, some only one or two.
The art is in the arranging of your subjects, telling a story, making a connection and the lighting,it's really difficult to get it right every time.
The flowers are pretty as are the three vases, the China ware looks odd mixed up with the vases and all the flowers......and there you go, the result is mixed up.

Try with a very simple subject, for instance,that teapot is lovely and you have the lid too. So here is a challenge for you......
Teapot and 3 flowers, keep it simple. Think about your lighting, here it seems quite flat, side light from a north facing window can be very effective. I don't mind if you don't want to, that's fine.

I like the table you have used it makes a good base to arrange your subjects on, try just using a corner for your arrangement.

Alan's mod is really nice but consider how much he has cropped from the frame ...lots, effective though I reckon, well done Alan.

Your exposure looks OK to me and you seem to have avoided the dreaded highlights on the glass vases too so well done there.

My advice, sit down, take a deep breath and look for the light, think about your background,arrange your subjects one by one, take your time, as I have said before, still life is just that....still.

I hope our comments and mods help you along the way, please let us know.
Janet. aka 'chase'
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4097 Canada
9 Oct 2019 11:58PM
Nice mod Alan
patri 16 3 Italy
10 Oct 2019 8:34AM
Thank you everyone for your advice, it means a lot to me. I'm starting with still life photography, I'm a beginner, I like it very much and I will consider all that you told me. Thanks also for the mods they look nicer than my photo. I'll try harder next time!

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2172 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2019 3:00PM
Various thoughts...

The idea of three identical pots with arrangements of different heights, it sounds good in principle but I don't think it works in practice. Inevitably one arrangement looks more appropriate to the pot, so the other two look wrong...

Avoid mixing warm and cold colours in the flowers.

Avoid the coloured background wall, look for neutral.

Light from the left side not in front of the arrangement.

And cut right down on content. One arrangement in a pot, a few artfully arranged 'fallen' flowers. Anything more is over-egging the pudding as we say.
pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2117 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2019 4:54PM
I see that you had some good advice from Janet on your previous still life, Patrizia, and she has also commented here with her knowledge of this subject.

Just a few extra comments from me.

Have an idea in your mind to start with, perhaps a story, but definitely a theme, then gather your props together and start to arrange them. As a for instance, an open book with a pair of specs upon it suggests to the viewer that the reader has gone off somewhere for a brief moment.

Start by looking on the internet for pictures of still life masterpieces of the past, and you could well get some inspiration about lighting, composition and structuring of your shots. A lot of these old paintings used a single candle for lighting, which is beautifully subtle and of course is also included in the composition. A search for some Renaissance still life images is a good place to start.

When gathering your components, think about contrasts in size, shape, form, texture, colour, etc. Look for contrasts like dark and light, rough and smooth, hard and soft, reflective or matt. It doesn't have to be fruit, vases and flowers - think outside of the box.
When you're starting out, you might want to avoid anything shiny or reflective because of the hot spots that lighting will create on them. Don't make things difficult for yourself.

As has been said, simplicity is the key. It's so tempting to keep adding another and another element. Start, leave it, go back to it, add something else, try out the lighting, see how it falls, add a single flower.....etc. Try using odd numbers of items rather than even numbers.

Still Life is a fascinating genre and one where you can learn a lot about lighting and composition. Have fun with your new venture.


patri 16 3 Italy
11 Oct 2019 8:12AM
Thanks a lot Moira anḍ Pamela for your addice and your time.

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