Sea Blue Lens

A Natural Spark


This week’s still life exercise was a continuation of last week’s, another “spark” from that same catalog spread. Assignment: to create a vignette and hang or attach pompoms or bunting or something to the background. Well, I’m in full rebellion mode now. I don’t have any bunting, I’m not interested in pompoms, and besides, I draped a necklace over a flowerpot last week. Doesn’t that count?

Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyway . . . .

I collected a few goodies from my bookshelves and carried them up to the spare bedroom my Studio, where I arranged them on my little antique maple writing desk.

DSC_8714What This Country Needs

DSC_8712 Chickadee and Field Guides

DSC_8725Goldfinch & Grapevine

DSC_8729First Draft

Then I started playing with the pieces, trying different setups. After a few tries, I decided the Goldfinch was too much. That bright spot of color didn’t seem to fit with all the other muted tones, so I eliminated him from my next compositions. (Processed with Kim Klassen’s Lightroom preset kk_summersun)

DSC_8719Revision I

I tried a dark background, and I did find something to hang up that made sense to me.
(Processed with kk_darklight preset)

DSC_8722Revision II

With light background (the bare wall) and kk_truegrit preset.

DSC_8709-2Final Version 

(kk_darklight with some adjustments of my own)

If I had to turn in homework, this would be the one. As I look at it now, I can see things I’d like to change up a bit — maybe the placement of that little hanging ornament, for one — but overall I’m pleased with the way it turned out. And I enjoyed spending some time “in nature” even though it was again too cold (minus 15, brrrr) to go outside.

20 thoughts on “A Natural Spark

  1. All I can say is… if I ever have the chance to visit your home, you will need to lock this stuff away because it might all just mysteriously disappear. !

    Your still life projects have really inspired me. You put so much time and thought into each project and the results are simply wonderful.

  2. These are such beautiful images. The little birds are wonderful and everything just goes together perfectly…I am inspired! : )

  3. I love to see the progression of this in images, good storytelling. I also really like your final result and especially the large feather and that you are a rebellion.

  4. Oh gosh. I was laughing out loud at your first paragraph as I read it last night, because I can hear you saying that 🙂 Still you managed to pull off another great still life set up. Tough to say which is my favorite, but I am such a sucker for bird nests. Well done my friend. I don’t think you are the only one who struggled with the bunting, pom pom prop.

  5. Lovely! And I’m pretty sure that chickadee is glad he lives indoors, too. 🙂

  6. Love seeing the variations in your composition and your final result! And I love the first paragraph–you made me chuckle, especially the comment about the necklace.

  7. I love your bird nest and the little birds, they make wonderful still life props. Your last image is wonderful. I tend to keep finding things to change in my images too. I think we are our own worst critics. I wouldn’t change a thing in your image, it is beautiful the way you have it.

  8. Loved that first paragraph also. The thought process is so “You.” Love the visual process ~ I can’t tell you how much I learn just from watching you struggle through these visual challenges each time. Being a part of your process and not just your end result is a treat, thank you!

  9. Personally, I think the best creativity is born from a rebellious streak :). And can I tell ya I am in love with those Field Guides!

  10. I like reading about and seeing your compositions. I like the little Pippins box – it adds such charm.

  11. I love your take on this prompt! The wreath alone was a nice addition to the background as well as that sweet ornament. Love all your props in this still life!

  12. I’m still giggling over your first paragraph!! I know you weren’t thrilled with the exercise, but you did so very well! I think more than anything this class has taught me to gather what I love and be creative. I love your field guides! I love so many of the things you gathered; the birds, the jar of pine cones, the huge feather and the lovely ornament! Well done, my friend!! Love that we both brought nature into our shots!

  13. Being somewhat of a rebel myself, I can so relate to your rebellion. I’m just not into pompoms or bunting! Having said that, I love your compositions here. I think I like the next-last-one best. The lighter background fits nicely with the earth-tones of the rest of the piece and my eye flows easily and naturally from the foreground up to that bit of green ribbon. I’m still contemplating taking Be Still – 52. It’s just that I’m so busy, I don’t know whether I could do it justice!

  14. I like the dark background, and I use it a lot myself. It changes the image completely, I really like the effect.
    Good that you didn’t use the bunting – I thought I couldn’t see anymore. I love that you put your own “stamp” on it, and I truly love your compositions.

  15. Oh, I loved that you fed your rebellious side with this exercise – that made me smile. As always, I enjoyed following along with your creative process and the thinking that went in to each setup. You have such interesting and photogenic items. I think my favorite is Revision II – I like the monochrome sepia tones of the image against the light background.

  16. What a great series of images this is, Lee, and it sounds like you worked really hard on it.
    I don’t have a bunting either, and I’m good without it! 🙂
    My favorite is a tie…Revision II, and the last one.

    You have a wonderful weekend!

  17. nice process. I always like a birds nest in a photo and all of these are lovely

  18. I find all of this very interesting…Im like you…I don’t have buntings or pompons. I have never taken a class and I wonder if I would like it. When I look at what you are doing here it makes me want to challenge myself to create things or look at things differently. I need a challenge during these last bitter cold weeks of winter. I might have to go to my studio ( aka, sunroom) and try something…thanks for the inspiration. I liked Revision II the best. (0:

  19. I enjoyed following your thought process (and admire your patience) on your way to the finished product. You have such beautiful and unique things and a real talent for putting them together.

  20. It’s really fun to see how you are able to create life out of just a few objects. I like you starting point, the tight framing, the limited depth of field, the feeling of time gone by and the limited colour palette. But I think you arrived at the final version, with a very string photo. 🙂

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