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Travel writter

By Nick_w      
Over the last year, I've tried to concentrate on images i'm 100% happy I depart from that. The reason I'm trying to develop a series of images that are different from most still lifes. I'm trying to link the items - tell a story. To some (Dave Wink ) I over complicate things. And probably I do a little, but what I'm wanting is images that I can enter in Salon competitions that stand out.

This is an image very much WIP. There are 3 elements I'm not happy with, and one compositional one but I'm wanting to learn and you dont always learn from putting up the images your happy with. When I watched a recent series on TV about artists and how they worked, they frequently had working copies that lead to the finished article.

As a result there are two new items winging there way to me as we speak via eBay, and when I revisit this will hopefully be a much "fuller image" with a more direct message. I know I'm opening myself up (again) for a lot of critique - but that is honestly what I want.

At this stage I won't mention what bits I'm not happy with...

Tags: Still life General Specialist and abstract Close-up and macro Story telling Still no still life tag

Voters: TrevBatWCC, fazzer, andyf3050 and 30 more

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fazzer 8 54 7 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 2:29PM
I think its superb, I think the pipe may be better in an ashtray on top of the case to clear up the fg a little and give it tad more depth to the interest

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andyf3050 4 11 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 2:41PM
I agree with fazzer... this is excellent! I understand you're striving for perfection but I can safely say this is pretty damn close... for me anyway. I find it inspirational as I like a lot of still life photography myself and would like to branch into the more 'olden days' approach so this is just brilliant! I like the backdrop and platform... looks very well matched to the subject and the composition is great. Is that real pipe smoke or digitally added? Well done on such a wonderful image and I can't wait to see the 'perfected' one!

derekhansen Plus
9 210 24 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 3:25PM
I really like the objects you do have but I think the composition needs some height variation. Perhaps something tall at the point where the suitcase and typewriter converge.
The arrangement does look a little contrived. I know very little about the art of still life but I think when you are trying to tell a story with objects they should look as if they were placed naturally and just happen to be compositionally pleasing. The pipe is a good example. It just looks odd where it is. As Jeremy says it would look much better in an ashtray.
I think the lighting and processing are superb creating real mood.
Hope some of that is helpful Nick.
mistere Plus
4 4 3 England
23 Feb 2014 3:30PM
A lovely image, I would be happy with it but if i had to alter it at all i would change the glass, one with straight sides perhaps.
And move the glasses so the curved wire is facing down.
Interested to see what elements of the image you are not happy with.

dudler Plus
14 690 1317 England
23 Feb 2014 3:45PM
I agree that height variation would be good (though I'd not spotted the issue). There's a band that's effectively blank at the top.

I reckon the pipe is a problem: resting too neatly on the camera, so the suggestion of an ashtray is good. Also, the amount of smoke seems excessive for a pipe put down. Do pipe smokers ever let go of a pipe that's still alight?

Having written that, and looking back at the shot, is there too much alignment between the camera and the top of the case, and between the bottom of the camera and the book? Breaking the continuity of hte lines might be a plus.

Ever so evocative, and the styling and processing suit it pefectly. And the typewriter reminds me of my Dad's: a different model, but an Imperial with similar keys and flipper thing to move the carriage back across. It folds down to allow a slimmer case, as I recall...
23 Feb 2014 4:15PM
I love each item in this. It absolutely represents the title, I can see Ernest Hemingway walk in at any moment now.
Great background as well.

Maybe the camera on top of the suitcase to give the high variation and then the pipe in an ashtray as suggested. I'm not too bothered about the glass but I guess a straight one could make it even better.
dark_lord Plus
14 2.1k 531 England
23 Feb 2014 5:04PM
The camera on top of the case sounds better, it rather blends into the case where it is, and th epipe blends into the camera.
Still, a great effort.
It's all about arranging the elements into a pleasing composition, and you can spend ages on that.
I too want to do some more still life set-ups and have got a few ideas. Looking at your image and the feedback given should hopefully help.
Look forward to the next instalment.

Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
23 Feb 2014 5:30PM
Thanks everyone there are some superb points made. I'm fortunate I can leave my still life's set up, and in the last hour or so I've been tinkering.

I won't say the elements just yet that I wasn't happy with, some have been touched on.

I will pick up on a couple of points. The glasses, can only be placed that way, the old wire frames make it either too unstable and or just look wrong (even with blue tac) the ashtray works, it's something I've just tried. The height, I've not tried the camera on top (yet) but it works either with the glasses, or cropping down to a pano format. Whether I will process the new version, I don't know yet, or whether to wait until the other elements arrive, but I do know there is a good image in there somewhere.

Edit: a bit remiss of me, thank you Christine for the user award Smile
SueEley 11 279 96 Wales
23 Feb 2014 6:09PM
The smoke is the icing on the cake (mixed up metaphor, but I hope you know what I mean! Grin )
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.0k 58 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 7:52PM
Excellent collection.
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
23 Feb 2014 9:46PM
Brilliant comments everyone. Right the bits I wasn't happy with were.

1. The size of the glass - not bothered with the design, its type were around in the 40's. When Ive played today, the problem was not the glass but the use of 28mm setting.

2. The smoke - doesnt appear right (I used smoke from a candle and added later) as this is an 8 second exposure it would be difficult to get in camera.

3.Composition - the pipe (already picked up above)

The height, I'm not sure, I think a slightly lower angle and a crop, to pano format would resolve this. Anyway a learning curve.
dudler Plus
14 690 1317 England
23 Feb 2014 10:14PM
Panoramic could work...

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