Sunday, 14 September 2014

September Beauties

Just a couple of pretty sights you can see in nature in September. Wish I had some scissors with me to cut and take a few thistle stems home. They would look lovely in an autumn theme still life. And I love sedum. It starts changing its green colour about this time of year and ends up being any of the most gorgeous deep pink and red colours later on in autumn. The first image I processed with a couple of textures and actions and the second one is more or less straight out of camera apart from one or two basic tweaks.





Friday, 12 September 2014

Still Life Background

I finally have solved the issue of backgrounds for my still life work. I could not find anything small enough that would be suitable for my tabletop work to buy. All photographic backdrops seem to be designed for portraiture work and are much too big for still life. It took me years to come up with a solution. I bought a cheap curtain pole at work, removed the rings and ask G to fit it above the chest of drawers I use as my tabletop. I also bought a white and a grey bed sheet that I can easily and quickly throw over the pole to create a backdrop. They are long enough to cover the top of the chest of drawers too if I want the background and tabletop to merge into one in the image. And when the pole is not in use I simply wrap a silky scarf around it to make a feature of it. Quite pleased about it all. Just need to buy a black sheet too and my makeshift bakcground collection will be complete.





Thursday, 4 September 2014

Apricots and Snapdragon

I like to regularly create still life images but I must admit I have really struggled recently. I would prepare and set up a combination of elements, shoot a few frames, look at the result and then discarded it all as I just would not like it. And time after time I would dejectedly put everything away and tidy up without having a decent image in hand. I looked on internet for inspiration. I sort of lean towards classic still lifes consisting of more than two elements and that is the main reason why often it is not easy. It can be difficult to achieve a happy set up where the elements work well together. Then it occurred to me I can also get that vintage and rustic look by shooting just one or two objects at most. I started looking at simple, even minimalist still life images, primarily those by Jill Ferry whom I always admired very much, and slowly I could feel my mojo coming back to me. All of a sudden ideas started filling my head and I felt a rush of excitement as I usually do when I have a picture in my mind that I want to realize.

For the image below I simply took my small vintage bowl and put in it some supermarket bought seasonal fruit and flowers. I used my new laminate floor remnant as the tabletop which I blurred in post processing. I also used a stepladder to get an elevated view point, something I have never done before but like it so much I will use it freely from now on.



Saturday, 23 August 2014

Time for a Rest

I had this image in mind for quite some time and finally got to create it. I love antique chairs in photographs so I decided to use my bedroom chair. I took it to the small  bedroom because  the light there was better with the window facing the spot I could place the chair in. I thought my military boots and grey hat would make a good composition placed under the chair and hung off the chair back respectively. The boots look old but they are not really - they were made to look like that. I was not sure about the light to start with, I was hoping for some soft sunlight maybe, but when I took a first couple of shots I quite liked the lighting with the shadow on the wall framing the chair. I processed the image with two of the new Flypaper Pastel Painterly Textures I bought the other day. They are beautiful, subtle textures and I am very excited at the prospect of using them on my images.



Thursday, 21 August 2014

Lavender Bag

I love lavender. This year you could  buy it for a first time in bunches at the local supermarket for a £1 each and of course I could not resist. I had a rather big embroidered cotton lavender bag that I bought at work so I decided to dry the lavender and fill the bag with it. And, as usual, a picture had to be taken. The bag is now hanging off the headboard of my bed and it smells lovely!



Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Escape to the Country

Just as we thought we had a proper summer here in Yorkshire this year the weather changed for worse and all of the August has been rather rainy, windy and chilly, and all the summer feeling completely gone. The images below are memories of those beautiful July days. Glorious days followed one another so one afternoon I made a quick and unplanned trip to the country just to capture those lovely summer moments.












Monday, 18 August 2014

500px

I have recently joined 500px - a photo sharing site. I know it is another social network site and I firmly promised myself this is the last one I will open an account with. I thought Flickr was the best site to share photos but when I looked around 500px I was amazed at how many fabulous photographers use it. The quality of images overall appears to be much higher than that on Flickr. What's more, unlike Flickr, 500px features a store where photographers have an option to submit their work for licensing. That was the main reason I joined. I don't expect to make much money out of my photography but I do feel I ought to try since they are there. 500px is an opportunity for me to offer for potential licensing those images that are not on Getty or Trevillion. I have also lately become a bit fed up with Flickr. I have been on there for six years now and I needed something fresh which I have certainly found in 500px. I will now be spending less time on Flickr but will always find time to go and check what my favourite contacts are uploading.

The image below is one of the first ones I uploaded to 500px.  I have shared it here on my blog before http://vesnaarmstrong.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/tower-bank-arms-and-hill-top-sawrey.html,  it is one of my personal favourites. It is my tribute to Beatrix Potter, the woman who has inspired me greatly for the past few years both as a person and as an artist. The rabbit is a stock image I found on internet. I spent a lot of time getting its size and positioning right. The rest of the image shows the window of Beatrix's Hill Top farm cottage and the bench outside it. I like how the bench appears to be "shining" thus focusing the attention on the rabbit. I also softened the image considerably to give even more emphasis to the rabbit.





12/09/2014 Update 

After having uploaded 24 images and a brief experience of the site I have decided to delete my 500 px account. I somehow felt it is not the right place for me and that after all I do not need to share my images on another site.