Autumn in crate

Another assignment from the Be still 52 course was to find a crate or a box and experiment with things put on top of it or inside it, play with the light and shadow, try and turn the crate this way or that way… Kim even started in-crate and on-crate series and I find it to be a great idea. There truly are so many possibilities, in fact quite simple but appealing possibilities, and I find it mind-blowing just to think about them.


As you can see in the image above, I started with “in crate” composition and because my shooting was inspired by cleaning that I was doing in the garden that afternoon, I chose gardening gloves, fallen leaves from our cherry tree, dried bladder cherries I keep in a jar and of course a crate as my props. Don’t they make a beautiful group?

The following photo is the same photo as the one above, only cropped to get square format. Isn’t it interesting to see how removing the wall on the right side and part of the reflection in the jar changed the atmosphere of the image?


When you start an assignment like this, there might be some obstacles to overcome at first, like finding a suitable crate, a crate that would look nice in your images. I only found a wooden crate in our barn that wasn’t as nice and interesting as I’d like. It’s old and broken but not in that charmingly looking antique way. I decided to use it anyway and tried to hide its flaws because if I postponed the shooting, the drive to fulfil the assignment would fade and I didn’t want that. I’m definitely going to get a much better crate which could actually be part of the scene and then get back to this challenge, it’s so interesting.

For the next photo I added Aster flowers from my garden on top of the crate. The photo gets quite busy but I like the addition of the contrasting colour.


For processing our in/on crate photos, Kim provided her “shadows” Lightroom preset for accentuating shadows in the crate and generally in the whole image. I wanted to give it a try and use it but unfortunately I found out that the preset didn’t suit my photos and didn’t make them any nicer or more interesting. I went through the other presets I have to see whether some of them would enhance the photos instead. I didn’t like any of their effects either so finally, just for fun and without expecting any good result, I tried to combine a few of the presets and wow, with a slight tweak of that combination I got a moody image which I really like:


The photos I’ve shared today were taken outside in late afternoon. I was facing the wall of our barn which shadowed the crate from behind and the light was coming from the right side of the image which means from our garden. It was that beautiful soft light only autumn can master, you know what I mean? I used my 50 mm lens and promised myself to buy a lens hood for it, it could be really useful for side-lit scenes like this.

Next time I will show you another (and very different) set of images from that day with the same crate but different props sitting inside and in front of it – my dried hydrangea, vase and burlap.



    1. Linda, thank you for your feedback. I’m pleased you like the composition with the flowers, I was quite hesitant about it at first. I didn’t take the photo in the horizontal format so I can’t show you what it would look like, I liked it much more in that vertical format.

  1. A difficult assignment. Personally, I prefer the 1 : 1 version since it makes the photo simpler and makes the viewer concentrate on the contrast between the glass and the gloves. The post-treatment feels about right. IMHO, the other photos contain too many details that have a tendency to distract the attention of the viewer.

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