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01-29-2019, 08:45 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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My First Attempt With Still Life.
Lens: Pentax 55~300mm Lens Camera: Pentax k-50 Photo Location: San Juan ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/60s Aperture: F4.5 



Focal Length 55mm, Manual Exposure Mode, used Built-In Flash with CWA Metering.

Thanks for viewing.

TT

01-30-2019, 01:29 PM   #2
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Hi Tony... this is a nice, colourful photo of a well-arranged still life subject, accurately focused on the bottle labels (before you opened and drank one of them )...

Since you've posted in the critique section, I'll make a couple of constructive comments, if I may?

Firstly, given the subject arrangement, I'd probably have looked to achieve acceptable sharpness across a greater depth, by using a narrower aperture - perhaps f/8 or f/11?

Secondly, whilst the on-camera flash has lit the scene evenly, the direction of the light (straight on) results in quite a two dimensional representation of the scene, since there are few shadow areas to provide definition. One way to address this would be to use an off-camera flash (maybe a softbox or other diffuser too) to one side and perhaps pointing slightly down towards the subject. Alternatively, moving the arrangement near to a windows so that it receives soft natural light in a sideways or sideways and down direction, could work nicely. I'm no lighting expert, so others here will undoubtedly have better suggestions for artifical and natural light, but I'm offering my gut feel
01-30-2019, 02:23 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Hi Tony... this is a nice, colourful photo of a well-arranged still life subject, accurately focused on the bottle labels (before you opened and drank one of them )...

Since you've posted in the critique section, I'll make a couple of constructive comments, if I may?

Firstly, given the subject arrangement, I'd probably have looked to achieve acceptable sharpness across a greater depth, by using a narrower aperture - perhaps f/8 or f/11?

Secondly, whilst the on-camera flash has lit the scene evenly, the direction of the light (straight on) results in quite a two dimensional representation of the scene, since there are few shadow areas to provide definition. One way to address this would be to use an off-camera flash (maybe a softbox or other diffuser too) to one side and perhaps pointing slightly down towards the subject. Alternatively, moving the arrangement near to a windows so that it receives soft natural light in a sideways or sideways and down direction, could work nicely. I'm no lighting expert, so others here will undoubtedly have better suggestions for artifical and natural light, but I'm offering my gut feel

Well thank you very much for your feedback. I agree with everything you mentioned. Of course right after I uploaded the image, I noticed that the lighting was a bit uneven going from left to right. This could be a result of the bottle on the left being darker than the others and thereby absorbing more light. Also, it would present a better view I think by placing the larger bottle on the right, in between the other two as the other two are the same brand. I see what you are saying about better sharpness across the spectrum, but it seems to me that by stopping down to f/8 or f/11 would mean I would have to either increase ISO or decrease shutter speed. I suppose I could try shooting without any flash units and just go with the available room light. Two things that concern me is one; That the image looked absolutely wonderful in the camera's monitor, but was so flat when uploaded that I had to do an inordinate amount of PPE in software. (. The other being that my EXIF data may be a little inaccurate as it clearly indicates a focal length of 55mm. The image appears to be a lot closer than 55mm, but anyway these are areas that are very good to review and do some experimentation. Once again, many thanks for your insightful feedback. I also believe a neutral gray backdrop would really enhance the entire photo as opposed to a dull, pastel colored wall.

Best,

Tony

Last edited by Tonytee; 01-30-2019 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Additional Information.
04-14-2019, 12:37 PM   #4
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Hi Tony!

Nice one, given it is a first try. I have two comments though, but please, bear in mind that it is a matter, as always, depends on what you want to convey. But if I make a still life, and I do once in a while, I see it as a exercise in light and composition. And the first - light - has to augment the composition, and vise versa. And then, a still life becomes a study in forms....
My two comments are about these two: light and composition, and I will start with the second.

Composition: yours is nice arranged, or better: sorted. Bottles by bottles, fruits together, as are the cheeses. And there are many of most. I would say: skip at least half of the items, maybe 75%, and try to arrange them in amore interesting way, as if they were left without purpose...
Light: it's harsh! If you want your light to enhance your composition, you should go for a low-key soft light solution. Place a table near a window, best exposed to the north (given you're somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere ) to ensure soft, blue light, and let it light your composition from aside. Make it a play of lights and shadows... You will see that light and shadows enhance the composition, and your photo will be a study in forms.... Underexpose a tad, and work the lights in PP.

There are many good examples on flickr, you could look there to understand what I mean. But still: this is of course only if you want to have a more classic still life. It's all about what you want to convey...

Good luck!

04-14-2019, 05:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rense Quote
Hi Tony!

Nice one, given it is a first try. I have two comments though, but please, bear in mind that it is a matter, as always, depends on what you want to convey. But if I make a still life, and I do once in a while, I see it as a exercise in light and composition. And the first - light - has to augment the composition, and vise versa. And then, a still life becomes a study in forms....
My two comments are about these two: light and composition, and I will start with the second.

Composition: yours is nice arranged, or better: sorted. Bottles by bottles, fruits together, as are the cheeses. And there are many of most. I would say: skip at least half of the items, maybe 75%, and try to arrange them in amore interesting way, as if they were left without purpose...
Light: it's harsh! If you want your light to enhance your composition, you should go for a low-key soft light solution. Place a table near a window, best exposed to the north (given you're somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere ) to ensure soft, blue light, and let it light your composition from aside. Make it a play of lights and shadows... You will see that light and shadows enhance the composition, and your photo will be a study in forms.... Underexpose a tad, and work the lights in PP.

There are many good examples on flickr, you could look there to understand what I mean. But still: this is of course only if you want to have a more classic still life. It's all about what you want to convey...

Good luck!

Hey Rense, thanks very much for your assistance. I agree with your whole critique and certainly will take it very seriously.

Tony
04-15-2019, 01:00 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I always thought still life's were done with empty bottles, but of course that does affect the focus somewhat.
04-15-2019, 01:37 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PenPusher Quote
I always thought still life's were done with empty bottles, but of course that does affect the focus somewhat.

I'm thinking, corpse or cadaver. Not much chance of motion blur.

TT
04-15-2019, 03:49 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Take a look at how this guy handles the lighting:

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-b6lXVIR28L8/Uji8OtXtdsI/AAAAAAAABaw/H6i7faPzYOA/w...ith_a+Crab.jpg

I would also point out that this picture doesn't look "posed". I realize yours is a "test" in effect, and the positioning of the subject matter isn't really important for that purpose, but the apparent spontaneity of the shot can affect how the picture is perceived.

04-15-2019, 04:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
Take a look at how this guy handles the lighting:

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-b6lXVIR28L8/Uji8OtXtdsI/AAAAAAAABaw/H6i7faPzYOA/w...ith_a+Crab.jpg

I would also point out that this picture doesn't look "posed". I realize yours is a "test" in effect, and the positioning of the subject matter isn't really important for that purpose, but the apparent spontaneity of the shot can affect how the picture is perceived.

Wonderful and thank you very much for sharing.

TT
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