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Window life

By landscapepics  
My first attempt at still life - a few pieces from a pot pourri bag set out on a window sill.

Tags: Still life Close-up and macro still life natural light

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2010 8:49AM
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.


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landscapepics 7 15 3 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2010 9:37AM
Thanks Sooty, I can see the benefit of the reflector and will try that next time
John_Frid 12 514 57 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2010 1:19PM
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.
CathR 11 151 564 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2010 3:26PM
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.

Best wishes

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2022 United Kingdom
9 Jul 2010 8:07PM
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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