• still-life
    Reflections

    Some things are simply meant to be

    The other day my husband and I were shopping in a Tesco hypermarket in Pilsen. Inside the building, there were presented several large boards promoting books to be published, each side of the boards was devoted to a single book. There was always a paragraph or two presenting the book and its author but what especially attracted my attention were images of the book’s covers along with their drafts and other versions, it’s something one rarely has the opportunity to see. Who could resist having a look behind the scene? Several of the promoted books were written by Franz Kafka, a writer coming from a Jewish family who was writing…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    Colours and shapes

    The first month of Kim’s new Be Still course is focused on still life images shot top down. Top-down, looking-down, from-above, flat-lay, they have many names but just one perspective. They may look easy but they are not that easy. Firstly it’s the thing with arranging the right props in the right way with the right background but that’s nothing new in still life imaginary. Secondly, there are a few technical problems. The height from which you can shoot is usually limited, so you need to use such a lens that will include the whole arrangement into your image. The bigger your props the wider angle of the lens needed.…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    My birthday flowers

    I have birthday at the beginning of January and I always get some flower(s) from my colleagues when we get back to work after Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Two years ago I used the flower in my 52-week photo project, then last year I used it at the beginning of my still life project. Have you seen (and remembered) those photos? It started to feel like tradition and I didn’t want to make this year any exception. The thing is though that as I get the flower usually on Monday and can’t shoot it until weekend, the shooting is quite a difficult job because the flower gradually fades and…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    Evaluation of my be-still experience

    At the end of 2014 I announced my intended participation in Kim Klassen’s year-long course “Be still 52”, a course that was focused on creating still life images. As I told you at that time, after experiencing my 52-week photo project in 2014 I wanted to improve in planning, arranging, working with light, working with the depth of field, working with textures, I wanted to open my imagination more. Have I met those expectations? Have I improved those skills? Here is my evaluation. I haven’t fulfilled all of the assignments that we got in the course but for a change, I don’t feel guilty about it. I started the course…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    Getting messy

    In the last assignment that we got in the Be-still-52 course, Kim asked us to get messy… The idea was to use whatever we found appropriate to create a scene that doesn’t look neat but makes an interesting image and take a top-down photo. I had some plants at home that I needed to replant and decided to shoot the replanting which I supposed would be messy enough. Yeah, it was… The first plant is a succulent that was very small when I bought it but it grows really fast. I thought I would separate the offshoots but the root system was not easy to divide so eventually I ended…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    Coffee and change

    Take some change, coffee or tea and shoot top-down or any other way that suits you, that was another assignment from the Be-still-52 course I’ve been following this year. I gave it a try and found out that there are so many possibilities how to fulfil this assignment. I agree with Kim who mentioned that it could be quite an interesting series. We still have Czech crowns in the Czech Republic so you can see a few pieces of our Czech change in the images. I have two favourite photos from this shooting, both in two versions. All images have been processed in Lightroom. Photo No. 1 was shot top-down…

  • still-life
    Reflections

    Gratitude

    Amid these Christmas preparations I wanted to tell you that the other day, when I was coming home from work and was driving through a wood near our village, it struck me how much my life has changed recently. Partly from the outside and more importantly from the inside, but it’s all intertwined and interlinked, isn’t it? I wanted to add that there were times in my life a few years ago when crashing my car head-on into a tree seemed like a good solution to all the bad feelings and thoughts I had. I never tried, just let the idea in and out, but the depressive thought was there.…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    Beauty of the withered

    When I was preparing props for my in-crate assignment about which you could read in my previous posts Autumn in the crate and Inspiring hydrangea, I gathered also some withered flowers from my garden and tried to set a few compositions with them. They might have not made it into the group of my favourite shots of that day but they made me think. About fading beauty, about a circle of life, about having (or not) a character. Withered doesn’t have to mean ugly, does it? In the course of this almost year long still-life experimenting, I’ve learnt that some photos carry a plain message but other can wear different coats and arise…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    Inspiring hydrangea

    As I promised in the previous “Autumn in the crate” post, I’m going to present a different set of in-crate images today, this time with hydrangea. Even more different than I imagined because when I wanted to create a square-formatted image from my hydrangea-in-crate shots, I found out that all those shots were captured in too tight composition to do that successfully so I tried and set a similar scene for another shooting a week later. Well, as it happens, the newer photos do not look the same… Not only the sky was overcast that day and the light was very different, also perspective changed. But it was an interesting comparison for…

  • still-life
    Focused on photography

    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…