Still Life In Class

This past week in my advertising class we were told that we would each be getting an hour alone in the studio with an unknown subject which we were free to shoot in any manner we saw fit. Of the three people in my group, myself included, I was the first to go into the studio, the requirements were relatively simple: all we needed to do was include all four of the pieces (the pasta, colander, spoon, and jar) in whatever final photos we would be submitting for grading but as far as approach would go, we were left to our own devices.

It was sort of foreign to me to be shooting in the studio so non-objectively; ordinarily when I’m in there it is to perform fairly specific things, and while freedom in this regard can be liberating, it can also be the impetus for creative block. Unfortunately, the first 45 minutes were relatively blasé. I could do nearly anything, and that was the problem. Did I want to use a soft light? Or something harsher? Certainly if I pursued the latter then the highlights would present somewhat of a problem if not handled properly, considering the chrome surface of the colander. But my early test shots with a more diffused light didn’t really lead to anything too memorable, I thought; and there was also the problem of drastically longer exposures under the softer, dimmer light.

Ultimately, after a few arrangements with the soft light that I didn’t like very much, I switched to a harsher light with the intention of hopefully getting some hardly defined shadows. Going against the clock, I composed the components in any way I could conceive fit, and shot away for most of the duration of my hour. Once my time had dwindled down to ten minutes or so, I figured I’d best insert as much diversity as I still had time for, so I took the camera off of the tripod and played around with some different angles and arrangements, and oddly enough ended up with two of the three images I ended up using as finals.

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