Tiffany’s pearls, Cupid’s cupcakes, Tinfoil portraits

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Aunt Diane

    This untrained eye likes what it sees!!!

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