Monday, January 13, 2014

Still Life Photography #2: My Mom's Lladros

Today, I put away the last of my Christmas decorations (the multi-piece Nativity which my mother-in-law made for me and a few random items which I hadn't noticed before).  After putting those things away, I took out a box of Lladro figurines which I inherited from my mother. I've been toying with the idea of displaying these for a while. As I took them out of their box and examined them, they seemed like a good subject for Still Life Photography. 
This week's lesson in Frugal Still Life Photography was about filling the frame with an object or objects vs. leaving white space. I really like the contrast between these two photographs as still lifes. I took both of these with my fixed 85 mm lens (which requires manual focusing on my D5100) in aperture priority mode. The first one is shot at f 4.8, 1/13, ISO 100. The second one is shot at f 2.2, 1/100, ISO 100. I probably should have used a tripod, but I didn't.  The Spanish Lady (that's how I think of her) shines on her own in the first photograph and stands out from the crowd in the second. I think the second one is my favorite. What about you? 
I had originally planned to take my soft light box outside and photograph the figurines there, to see how natural light worked with the box. But there was a howling wind going on, despite the bright sunshine. In the next pair, I just used my living room wall as a backdrop.
There was a lot of light coming in from the window (to the right), and I battled highlights and glare. Eventually I came up with these two shots which I like. Again, shot with 85 mm fixed lens, manual focus in aperture priority mode on my Nikon D5100. Both were taken at f 3.2, 1/50, 100 ISO. The first one is definitely my favorite. I just have trouble learning to love white space; I guess I have, in Cheryl McCain's words, "horror vacui" or "cenophobia."  
So, I took care of the problem by going over to PicMonkey and adding a quote to the second photograph. One very appropriate, given how I was feeling as I worked with these gifts from my mother:
Thanks for looking and commenting today. All feedback welcome!

25 comments:

Amy said...

Well, it just proves the point that art is subjective! I prefer the one with the white space ... the original of the one you used the quote on.

helena said...

what I like about the filled frame is that the background figures are identifiable but in soft focus so my eye still concentrates on the Spanish lady.

scrappyjacky said...

I'm not a great lover of white space myself....I love how you've added the quote....that would make a great postcard.

Sarah Carletti said...

Great job! Lovely captures!

Abi said...

They are beautiful. My grandma has a lot of these but I can imagine how difficult they are to photograph owing to the glare. I agree with Amy. I really like the one with the white space. It gives a feeling of movement, like the mother is walking towards the edge of the picture.

Cheri said...

It's funny but with the second figurine, when I saw the shot with the white space, I immediately thought that it was perfect for adding a quote! I often purposefully leave space in my flower photos so I can add quotes!

Gail said...

What a lovely collection! In the first two I prefer the second one while in the other two I really like the one with the white space.

Cheryl M said...

Definitely great subjects for your Still Life! I like the 2nd one and as Helena said, the outer objects are in soft focus while your Spanish lady draws the eye directly to her.
I really like the images you shot against your wall with no distractions. I'd love to see your 2nd image shot the same way.
SUPER job!

Jo Murray said...

I like to see a little space. Great subjects for your photos.

Ladkyis said...

and you really know what all that technical shi..... stuff is about don't you?
My eyesight is such that I can no longer see if the camera is focussing so I guess my phtography days are nearly done. Good job I didn't learn all that techie s...stuff eh?

Sian said...

That last one? The figure reminds me so strongly of an illustration in a very old "Sunday School Prize" book of my Grandpa's. I love it.

Anonymous said...

i'm not good with white space, either... but i LOVE the quote you added!

Mariana

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Like Amy said, I prefer the shot with all that white space. I think it's just a nice balance. Really nice shots, Rinda. I have been so busy that I haven't made time for the class assignments...need to catch up this weekend!

alexa said...

As you might expect, I am a fan of the white space photo too - though your quote is very inspiring :). You've captured the detail really clearly ...

Miriam said...

And white space for me too. I think it makes the subject perfectly framed. I like the quote though and it's perfect for your thoughts.

sky-blu-pink said...

A beautiful quotationint eh last one, which so suits the figure. Great photos, love the sheen.

The Mann Fam said...

Beautiful photographs.

I love the group of the Lladro with the focal point being your little Spanish girl. Having all the other out of focus draws your attention to the center.

Of the second group I love the one with all the white space. There is so much beautiful detail to take in that the white space offers some rest.

marie grady palcic said...

oooh I love the second image with all the statues, it really catches my attention and draws me in. and I love the white space on the single statue. I feel I can breathe into the space or something, the other image feels claustrophobic to me. I wonder what the word is for fear of no space :)

Tammy said...

You did a beautiful job!!! What a pretty collection.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I'm fond of white space myself but I like how you sort of created it in the second photo by having all the other figures out of focus.

Karen said...

I'm another fan of white space, but I do like the inclusion of the quote, which I almost never think to do. I also like the first photo of the first pair the best.

Missus Wookie said...

I like the single figure photos - especially the close cropped second figure as I like the emptiness surrounding them. But the wider crop with or without the quote is also lovely.

Melissa said...

The first shot in each set would be my pick, but I think adding the quote really makes that last one special. Great job playing with filling the frame & white space.

Chipper Newman said...

I love the second shot in the first set. I think it makes her beauty shine. I like the first photo in the second set. It is a beautiful figurine.

Sharon Padilla said...

I am with you, Maria. I like the mother and child in the first photo, but I think it is more because of the perspective that you took the photo from rather than all the white space in the next photo. Great job! Beautiful figurines!