capture | reveal i

capture-challenge-1-still-life-vanities-of-blogging-life So here is my capture challenge project!

The inspiration was this

vanities-of-human-life It is a still life by Harmen Steenwyck called “Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life” and can be seen in person in the National Gallery in London.

What was great about this challenge is that it made me dig deeper to learn a bit more about Dutch still life painting.  This type of still life is known as a ‘vanitas’ which is a religious painting which warns the viewer against putting too much weight in the fleeting possessions and desires of human life which will prevent their ‘salvation’.  Each of the pieces in the painting is symbolic, with obviously a high element of death and passing time (the skull, the time-device next to the skull and the lamp), books represent knowledge, exotic elements etc.  You can read more about it from Arty Factory if you are interested.

The composition of the painting is also very interesting with it being laid along two diagonal lines.  The side that is empty represents the spiritual space and the line of objects in the bottom quadrant represents death and time.

I thought I would go for something a bit more light hearted and am calling mine “The Vanities of Blogging Life”; a few of the fancies of bloggers, which might be fleeting but should be celebrated for sure.  I did try to follow the example of the diagonal lines and thought I got it pretty spot on.  I like to think the blank space I have left open is for ‘creative thinking’.  Of course I included the bloggers delights of peonies, macarons, cake stands (symbolic of baking), vintage jug and glass, vintage fabric, vintage camera (pattern forming?), Kinfolk magazine and of course washi tape.  The pink glass in the background might seem random but if it wasn’t so hot it might have been filled with ice-cream (but I think it would have melted rather quickly and made a mess). The cherries to me symbolise the joy I get out of blogging (the cherry on top of my life as it were).

capture-challenge-1-explained Some things which could have been worked on is the angle, I only really looked afterwards and noticed that I should have been at a lower height to the table.  Also the light in the painting is more light and warm but I didn’t think the colours I used worked better with a cyan filter and darker mood.

I did attempt to get a beam of light with all the items on the other side but my table lamp with energy saving lightbulb was unfortunately not up to the job so I had to change it all around and the skylight was only giving a lump of light rather than a beam. C’est la vie.  Most traditionally Dutch still lifes are lit from the left.  Can’t remember why but this one was being different.

If you are interested in the camera settings I used a tripod and had ISO 100, f/13.0 and shutter speed was 0.3s.

Righty, now on to the others who took part.  It was great to see what people came up with and what they were inspired by.  Glad that I could help inspire some left brain thinking and creative fun.


Read more about the inspiration behind the photos on photographers sites:

  1. Cape Town Waterfront at Twighlight by Creatography Labs
  2. French Peonies Outdoors by La Vie en DIY
  3. Rothko Monet Landscape by Randomly Happy
  4. Posé zeste d’orange by Kelly Young (no relation though I have known her for over half my life)
  5. Rothko by Emma Davies (with instruction!)
  6. Warhol Soup by Katie Morwenna

2 thoughts on “capture | reveal i

Leave a Reply