Nature Mort

November 28, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I've been reading "Still Life Photography" by Kevin Best the last couple of days.  It's a good intro into the history and art of shooting/painting still life images, or as the French would say, "Nature Mort", or "dead nature".

One of the subjects covered is the symbolism of much of the classical still life paintings - a lot dwelled a great deal on the futility of materialism since we all die anyway.  Much of today's still life photography is not so morbid, instead using a variety of techniques to pique the viewer's interest. 

The use of what Kevin calls "Polar opposites" is one such example - combinations of opposing design elements (hard & soft, natural & manmade, old & new, smooth & rough) to give an image a little dynamicism  (is that a word?) and  tension.

That brings me to the still life I've used here - Clementines.  As you can see I've used a combination of straight lines and diagonals to create tension and just to contribute a bit more tension to the scene, a wire basket.  I could have let it go with just those elements to bludgeon you with the sample, but instead, I wanted to give the eye something to anchor itself that's soft, natural and calming.  Hence the three Clementines.  Sort of the eye of the storm.

If you think about it, the Clementines also give you another opposite - natural and manmade.   

I'm planning another "Wine bottle" image for Wednesday that's a little different in execution than my first three images.  Please check back.

Thanks!


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