Our assignment this week was to make a still life. I thought I had this in the bag, seeing as how that’s primarily what I have done here on the blog when I post about a recipe.
As I would soon find out, it’s not as easy as it looks.
In class, we were shown some lighting techniques and the instructor talked about visual flow and focal points. And until you really start looking at other photographs and try to figure out why you like them, these terms seem elusive and arbitrary.
I had some ideas about making my still life with games and snacks. I set up my dinning room table to shoot various games in-play with snacks nearby. We had also just learned how to tether our camera to our laptop, so I played around with that a bit too (it’s very cool by the way!).
I took copious amounts of pictures of various types of games and snacks. Then I posted my photos to our class’s private group on Flickr and waited for the class to critique them. The instructor had some very constructive criticisms that actually made me understand what he wanted and how the photos could be better.
This instructor is a little tougher than previous instructors, yet he makes it feel informative rather than a rejection of your work. His critiques make me want to do better and to try something different to make the photo the best it can be. And when he says that he likes what I’ve done, I know it’s sincerely something he likes. Which makes the compliment even better.
So, I set up another photo shoot and tried to make sure there was more visual flow. And was really happy with two of the photos from that shoot. I posted them for the class to critique. And waited for the responses.
Success! I got an even better response from one of those photos. Woohoo!
The thing I’m really learning in these classes is that it is all about iteration. Try, try again. Move this object over here, aim this way instead, change the point of view, move the lights around. It really is improving my skill and I’m much happier with my photos after the effort.
Along those lines, I came across something this week that really resonated with me…
I think this holds true for anything you do that requires some skill and technique, not just artistic endeavors. For years, I’ve struggled with not being as good at something as I’d like to be. And this quote just puts it all into perspective for me. Try, try again.
By the time my class rolled around, I was down to two photos for the live critique. I thought I’d share them with you here.
Dungeons & Dragons…
I chose the Dungeons & Dragons photo for the live critique and I received rave reviews.
I felt like a star. 🙂
Until next time…