Sea Blue Lens

In the Background


I hope you can stand one more Be Still – 52 lesson in a row. This one will bring me up to date with my class.

This assignment was to photograph a still life with different backgrounds. I tried to use my tripod as Kim suggested, so that every photo would be the same except for the background, but found that didn’t work very well for me. In this apartment, it’s more about bringing the still life to the background than vice versa. But I kept my subject very simple and tried to frame the images as identically as possible.

DSC_8158Antique desk against ‘landlord-neutral’ painted wall

DSC_8159-2Black foam core leaning against wall (processed with Kim’s ‘moodswing’ LR preset)

DSC_8166-2Setup moved in front of window — lace curtain background

DSC_8169-2Subject moved to dining table — linen curtain background

After downloading and processing these, I felt like there must be something more I could do. I knew I had other things that would make nice backgrounds, if I could only figure out how to actually get them to go (and stay) behind my still life. So I went back upstairs and recreated my original setup with the little desk in front of the wall. Then I tried wrapping and draping fabric over the piece of foam core.

DSC_8175-2Foam core with tablecloth drape (with Kim’s ‘darklight’ preset)

DSC_8182Lace curtain added

DSC_8189Black foam core with lace curtain drape (with Kim’s ‘litely’ preset)

Thanks to this assignment, I’ve realized I have more background options than I thought I did. It’s funny how the less I expect to get from any particular lesson, the more I seem to learn from it.

And now I’m caught up at last. Bring on the next challenge, Kim!

24 thoughts on “In the Background

  1. I love it! Glad I found your blog. 🙂

  2. the third one down is my favourite,,,so soft and elegant,,,,, beautiful work!!

  3. They’re all quite beautiful, but my favorite is on the wood table, in front of the window with the lace curtain. Next favorite is on the tablecloth with the white lace added. All lovely.

  4. The second and third one are my favorites. I had a hard time with the tripod too. It proved to me by pushing the button, you move the camera. Those tulips are arranged so perfectly random. Love it!

  5. Again, I so love watching your process! My favorite is also the one on the wood table by the window with the lace curtain. I also love the rich burgundy of the table cloth with the lace layered over it. I do love tulips ~ especially during a Maine winter!

  6. There are all lovely, but I think my favorite is the black foam core with the lace curtains…love that one!

  7. These are beautiful! I love them all, but the one in front of the window with lace curtain is my favorite. Followed closely by black foam core and lace! Flowers and lace just go so perfectly together…romantic! Congrats on catching up. I still need to do last weeks, but I did pick out some props today!

  8. They all look great to me!! Nice job!

  9. Looks like you had a lot of fun with this assignment! They are lovely!

  10. Great job, Leon! I think my favorite is the first backlit shot with the lace curtain. The light is particularly interesting in that one with nice highlights on the pitcher and a sense of translucence of some of the tulip petals. I also like the composition of that one.

  11. I am so very much enjoying traveling along with your Still Life journey – seeing all the difference choices that you make. Watching you being pushed creatively. Isn’t it amazing how different the same subject looks with different backgrounds? Love them all – my favorite it the high-key shot on the dining room table – such dream-like light.

  12. Oh these are all just beautiful…I’m a lover of whites and am in love with the white backgrounds and curtains!! Stunning work!!

  13. Lovely, lovely, love the last one and the foam with the lace drape.

  14. Good for you to be caught up. I often place objects on a stool or bench in front of our bed and draped the back drop (if fabric) over the end of the bed. The bed is by north facing windows so it works out pretty good.

  15. What a beautiful series, I can’t choose my favorite background. I love that pitcher, and the tulip are graceful in it. Thanks so sharing all these, I am in awe of your work.

  16. So beautiful – my fav is the one on the dinning room table – such lovely light.

  17. I am not sure which I would choose as my favorite as they are so lovely. I continue to be amazed at how a different background can change the feeling and look of an image…

  18. Lee, these are just beautiful!
    It’s so difficult to choose a favorite, but I think it might be the last one, for me. xo.

  19. Different backgrounds can add a completely different mood to a photo. Your images here confirm that. I love the red drape and the lace very much, but the lace with the black background is quite dramatic as well. The softness in front of the window is very different, but so gentle and beautiful.

  20. These are lovely – the backlit one is my favourite – the colour of the tulips really pops. Love the dark and lace in the last one too. I must try and catch up – well done for being up to date!

  21. They are all so lovely. I love dark, rich images and I love light, soft images. So I won’t even try to pick a favorite. Wonderful photo session you had!

  22. A wonderful exercise in the value of backgrounds. I think all photos are great, but I really love the ones in the window post with the light coming in from behind (yes, I know it’s an old post, but while waiting for a new one…).

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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