Still Life Research

Even though I have had some practice with still life photography and I have taken quite a few photographs up to this point, I still decided to do some more research to help me think of ideas for my final still life assessment, but also with the ideas I already have, I can look at photographers work that have used similar concepts to what I would like to use and think about how I could position the objects I will be including in my photographs and what type of lighting I should be using. My initial idea for my still life assessment is to use some sort of flowers and then additional elements that relate to the flowers – for example, perfume as it can relate to what the smell of the flowers are like. Moreover, I am thinking of using dark lighting and a dark background as I would like all of the attention to be on the objects and by using this type of lighting and backdrop, it will ensure that the elements in the photograph will stand out more so the audience will easily be able to see the objects and will pay more attention to them. As this is my initial idea, I decided to do some research in relation to photographers that have taken still life photographs of flowers and general cosmetics as these are the objects I will most likely use in my final photograph. Below you will be able to see the different photographers I have done some research on to help me with my final still life piece.

Paulette Tavormina

When looking at still life photography in relation to flowers I saw that Tavormina’s work looked really interesting and I decided to look at her work in more detail to see if anything that she had previously taken photographs of would inspire or influence me when it comes to constructing my own still life photograph. I mainly liked the look of Tavormina’s work due to the fact that I feel as if it has a very natural look because of all of the natural imagery that she uses in her photographs, but at the same time she also includes other imagery – such as fruits and wildlife – including: birds and butterflies, which again gives her photographs a very natural feel to them – which I think is appealing for audiences to look at. Below is one of Tavormina’s photographs that I think will inspire me when it comes to my own work:


Paulette Tavormina – Flowers and Butterfly, 2013

I mainly like the image I have selected from Tavormina due to the fact that again it has a very natural feel to it, which is represented through the use of the flowers, the butterfly and even the sea shells that have been placed beside the flowers. Furthermore, the use of colour that has been used is really intriguing as it is simple – however, it is eye catching for the audience and they will want to look at the photograph and take it all in. The lighting that has been used in the image has been thought out well as all of the objects that have been placed on the table are lit and can be seen clearly, but the background is dark and this makes the objects in the foreground stand out more due to the fact that nothing in the background can be seen. When it comes to my initial idea for my still life photograph, I am thinking of using lighting which perhaps may be darker than what Tavormina has used in this photograph as I would like the flowers to appear darker – however, this does depend on the type of flowers I will be using for my still life photograph because if I decide to use a light coloured flower (eg. white) I think I would like to use more light and include a lighter background – however, if I use a darker coloured flower (eg. red) I think I would prefer to use darker lighting to make the colour of the flower stand out more and appeal to the audience. On top of that, Tavormina has included other elements as well as the flowers, which again is something I would like to do in my own still life photograph to just make the composition of the overall image better, but when doing this I will have to ensure that all of the elements that are use will come together to make the image have a specific meaning which the audience will be able to understand. Overall, I really do like Tavormina’s work and think that it is going to be helpful to me when I finally start to take the photographs for my final still life assessment.

Image sourced from: 


Josh Caudwell

As I knew I wanted to include some type of cosmetics in my final still life photograph, I decided to do some research in relation to photographers who do still life photography with cosmetics and one of the first photographers that I found was Josh Caudwell. I decided to look at his work in more detail and although he is more extreme and intense with the photography he does with cosmetics, I still like the work he has constructed and believe that it could possibly give me some ideas for how I will want the cosmetics in my photograph to appear on the image overall. A lot of the photographs he has taken have been heavily edited and are not the type of thing I am looking at doing – however, I do find it interesting and I believe I will use some of the elements he has used in my own final still life photograph. Underneath you will see one of Caudwell’s photographs that I think will be inspirational to my own still life photograph:


Josh Caudwell

If I were to include perfume in my own still life photograph, then I believe that I would present it in a similar way to how Caudwell has demonstrated it here – however, I will most likely not have it being sprayed as I believe this would be unnecessary for my photograph as I will hopefully also be including flowers in it and I believe that the spray of the perfume will not be needed. I like this photograph for many reasons and one of them is that I like how simple it is, which is demonstrated through the use of lighting and composition. In relation to composition, there is not too much or too little occurring in the photograph – meaning, the audience will know exactly what to be looking at in the photograph and will not get distracted by anything else. Moreover, the lighting that has been used is good as you are able to see that it is darker at the top of the photograph than it is at the bottom – which presents the contrast towards the audience, but also you are able to see a slight shadow of the perfume bottle which presents that the bottom is actually near a flat surface and is not just floating in the air. The overall lighting that has been used in the image is intriguing and appealing to look at as the audience is clearly able to see everything in the photograph that needs to be seen and also the label on the perfume bottle stands out clearly, so the viewer will know which perfume is being advertised and will then hopefully purchase it. Overall, as I said before, I do like all of the work Caudwell has done – however, I do not feel like all of the photographs he has taken would influence me, but there are some that will (the image above for example) and because of this I feel like if I ever have any issues with composition or lighting when it comes to the cosmetics I will be including in my final still life photograph, then I will look at Caudwell’s work.

Image sourced from:


Natalia Drepina

Drepina is another photographer that likes to take images of flowers and other nature related elements – however, she does also take photographs of other features – such as: people and landscapes, so this means that she works with different genres of photography, but I will mainly be looking at the still life work she has done which will hopefully inspire me for my final still life photograph. What I really like about Drepina’s work is how she uses a lot of dark lighting to get a deeper meaning across to the audience, but also to ensure that the subject in the photographs stand out and will be noticed by the audience. A lot of photographs tend to keep the background really dark and then ensure that the foreground is lighter, but Drepina likes to keep both the background and foreground dark and will then light certain parts of the foreground to ensure that the subject can be seen and I think this is really alluring due to the fact that it essentially shows the darker side of objects and what emotional impact they may have on the audience. Below you will be able to see one of Drepina’s photographs I chose that I believe is going to be influential to me and my work:


Natalia Drepina – The Whisper of Dying Flowers In My Dark Room

I really like all of the different elements that have been used in this photograph – including the subject that has been used, the lighting and even the composition. If you look at the photograph very quickly then you will realize that is is quite dark – however, I believe that this has a powerful effect as it ensures that the flowers themselves stand out to the audience more, but even the flowers have been lit with dark lighting, so this may express that Drepina’s intentions was for the audience to interpret this photograph with a dark meaning in mind as the flowers themselves could potentially represent life and death as one of the flowers is positioned upwards and the other is laying on the floor, so the use of the dark lighting emphasizes this idea. Moreover, as a dark background has been used, it makes sense that there are no objects positioned on the left or right of the photograph as this would make the photograph look too busy – meaning, individuals would not want to look at is as there would be too much going on, so overall, the composition of the photograph is good. As I have said previously, my initial concept for my final still life photograph is to use dark lighting on my subject to express a dark feeling towards the audience – however, I do not think I will use lighting as dark as what Drepina has used as I would not like my photograph to be as gloomy and obscure as the Drepina’s photograph that I have presented above. Nonetheless, I would like to use dark lighting, but will need to ensure that the subject in the foreground will be correctly lit and that the audience will actually be able to see it. Overall, I think that Drepina’s work will be really influential to me and will help me in ensuring that I present the objects in my photograph in the correct way and that the overall image will be appealing to look at from the audiences point of view.

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