Posted: December 15, 2013 in photography

shell madonna72I guess I disappeared for a little while there. Lots of various stuff to get done last week. I’ve begun working with my foam stamp making and I’ll share some of those images when I can figure out how to get a better print.

Yesterday I set up this shot. I found both these items at thrift shops. I have no idea what the original shell container was for, except perhaps as a candle holder. The Madonna is a Lefton in remarkably good shape for a thrift find. She is missing small pieces from two fingers, otherwise she’s relatively mark free and of high quality. I put these two together and have them sitting on my dresser. I’ve always meant to shoot them but never got around to it.

I positioned them on my kitchen counter by the window, experimenting with angles for light and orientation. I am not able to get very close up in camera, so most of the original shots are of the full length with a good bit of background stuff. As usual, I cropped mercilessly. When I say that, I mean that I wanted to put the scallops of the shell container in the top of the image, but that desire didn’t serve best design. So I had to give up my idea of the outcome in favor of what worked best. The result is a much better image and usually that is the case. Less is more.

After that, I used Topaz Lab filters, one was the Split Tone option and I can’t remember the other one. I saturated the color a bit and called it finished.madonnashellorig72Play around with things you love in your own house, and the light you have naturally coming into different windows at different times of the day. There is something about shooting everyday items that you might not give much attention to that ends up elevating their interest level and importance. Use the set up as a mini meditation. Combine items for likeness or difference, harmony or conflict.  Take your time with the shapes and colors, even though you can change the colors in your photo editor. The set up is not simply a means to the end image, just as retail window dressing is not merely to sell clothing.

Have fun!


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