The most recent still life assignments were to collaborate with a design student to create a magazine cover or two-page spread. One of my designers wanted to do something with Valentine’s Day and cupcakes, and, as you’ll see, I’m on something of a monochromatic kick at the moment, so I wanted to paint everything red. Oooh… next shoot: Paint it Black.
Anyhow, most of these were shot with my Canon 5D Mark II, but a few – such as the photo above – were photographed with my Arca Swiss 4×5 view camera and a Leaf Aptus 65 medium format digital back.
At some point I got it into my head that I wanted to paint a bunch of stuff all one color and make some (hopefully) cool surreal photos playing with shapes and shadows. The first try was with a jewelry shoot. First lesson: get good paint, preferably with a matte finish.
I had liked Tiffany & Co.’s sea foam green/blue color, and tried to work with that and some white pearls. Somehow I doubt Tiffany gets their paint from the spray paint section at Lowe’s, though, and by the end of the project I was fairly well sick of looking at it. The paint was tacky (physically, if not also visually) and held fingerprints easily. The gloss surface had glare that, yes, I could control, but still… wasn’t the feel I was going for. And, mainly, it wasn’t the right color.
The first assignment in this quarter’s still life class was to “photograph aluminum foil”. I tried a variety of concepts, including punching out little foil snowflakes and photographing various things reflected in a sheet of foil.
I also tried to freeze a sheet of foil in a block of ice – I figured “it’s -8F outside, might as well capitalize on it” – but since the ice was so clouded with bubbles and stuff it was hard to figure out what was inside. It was fun to experiment at least.
Did a self-portrait, too. With the digital camera it wasn’t too hard, but when I tried to shoot it with 4×5 film… less easy.
“Still life, again?” you may be thinking. Yes, I had a still life class winter quarter last year. This class now is theoretically different – I’m working more with designers and we have to create a business plan – but basically… I’m a little curious about the program I’m in. My peers in the photojournalism track are currently spread across the US – and, for one, Guatemala – doing their major Magazine class shoot… and I’m sitting in my living room photographing cupcakes. Again. Hmm.