This exercise was all about creating a still life image with a series of objects forming points in the image, all contributing to the success of the overall image.
Still life images are something that I’ve not really attempted before, so choosing a subject was a bit of a struggle but in the end I decided to try and tell the story of card making.
To set the scene, I decided it would make sense to have a cutting board as a background and have the first object as a knife.
Before settling on the position of the knife, I went through a few different combinations. Be putting it right into the corner, I felt it worked best as a lead in line taking the eye into the picture.
The next item chosen was a glue stick. The intention here was to provide more of a point in the image than an item creating a solid line:
Positioning here only really seemed to work in one place, in the opposite corner to the knife. With the object in the opposite corner, it felt like the positioning of the knife was less contrived.
As I was trying to tell the story of card making, it felt like the addition of a card was becoming important. However, playing with the position of the card didn’t really seem to be working particularly well.In the end, it was placed in the top right hand corner to form a triangle.
The image was now feeling unbalanced, so it seemed to make sense to add the next object into the bottom right corner of the image to bring a sense of balance back:
Here, the group of stars were used as a single point but them selves needed to be arranged. A number of different arrangements were tried so that they wouldn’t look intentionally positioned but contributed positively toward the overall feel. By placing them in a slight curve, I felt like they balanced well with the knife and helped bring the eye upwards and inwards in the image.
The image was now feeling quite static and composed, for the next image, I needed to slightly re-arrange:
There was a lot of focus towards the centre of the image so it seemed to make sense for the main subject to be centred. Also, as the knife and the arrangement of the stars were taking the eye upwards, positioning the ruler at the top of the image felt like it was creating a boundary for the subjects and the eye.
The image now has a strong focus towards its centre and I felt that this composition worked. Adding the final item, I wanted to support the composition and not detract from it.
The position of the ink and stamp helped complete two triangles both of which pointed towards the centre of the image.
It’s often said that images with there subject in the centre can be flat and boring. Before coming up with the final sequence, I had played with a number of different positions and felt that a centre subject could work in this situation but it needed to be supported by all the other objects in the image.
The image has ended up with lines from each corner leading the eye towards the centred main subject of the shot. As each line is coming in from the corner of the image, there are also triangle shapes that also point towards the centre.