Next week will be still life photography. But his week had me wondering about the term still life. Life in the mountains of New Mexico seems quite still in the golden hours surrounding sunup. Nothing much is moving except maybe the clouds and a bird here on there. And the colder the winter morning the more still it is.
So I looked up the term still life: A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, dead animals, plants, pocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on), per Wiki.
So it would seem the fence posts with morning frost apply in Day Eight. Other definitions I found imply an arrangement over which the artist or photographer has some control and can rearrange. That would definitely apply to the photographs I will be presenting each day on Binford-Bell Studio this week. And showcasing on a blog next week.
I wanted to inject the consideration of still life into today's blog because it was with me the week I took these photos; the lingering question of is this still enough. And so it had an effect even though I was out and about with the camera instead of in a studio out of the wind and cold arranging things.
But doesn't the photographer arrange things even if they are not movable. We walk back and forth sighting through the view finder. We stand taller or squat down or zoom in and out. And even with clouds (which are animate) we wait for the right moment when the sun is illuminating the edges or a whiter puff drifts across a darker cloud. Though if the temps are in the single digits we wait less.
But if photographs with clouds are not still lifes the photograph below of the Crown of Thorns blooms in my studio is a still life. I had dropped my camera off the desk moments before I took Day Nine. It was a test to see if the lens (less the shattered filter), and camera still functioned. And it is always good to do such tests on still (or inanimate) objects. Lens and camera passed though it took more than one test to assure me of that.
Clouds are definitely animate especially with a weather system moving in. The photo of dawn below I got to stand in the doorway of my studio on the heated door mat, so I got to wait a bit more for just the right degree of sunlight illuminating the clouds.
And on Day 12 I was waiting for the rapidly moving clouds to expose more of the top of Touch Me Not. But I ended up settling for a clouded top because the clouds behind me let the sun peak through and highlight spots on the mountain. So sunlight is animate.
Which means that shadows are also animate. And I found that sunlight in the studio and shadows which were cast by it played a huge part in my still life creations. Raising the question of just how still is life ever?
BTW Touch Me Not is inanimate. Unless there is an earthquake.