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Posts from the ‘still life’ Category

A new window brings new light

I’ve been inspired by may things to create new work. This time, it’s a new window, that I have access to whenever I want it, in all manner of weather and times of day.

Old objects take on new life (yes, I have a cabinet full of rocks and boxes and bowls and…  ahem), and new finds offer their history. Here are a few images made in this new light.

 

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Still Life #9521

 

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Still Life #9533

 

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Still Life #0904

 

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Still Life #0941

 

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Still Life #0947

 

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Still Life #0954

 

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Still Life #0955

 

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Still Life #0960

 

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Still Life #1160

 

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Still Life #1187

 

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Still Life #1224

 

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Still Life #4805

 

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Still Life #4900

 

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Still Life #4914

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Still Life #5076

Lately it has struck me that all my images seem to be about sex, or death, or sex and death and this is both metaphorical and literal.

Perhaps that’s in hindsight, or it’s a subconscious predilection. Probably both.

 

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Tis the Season (sigh) for some low key capitalism (yay!)

Christmas time is here by golly, disapproval would be folly, deck the halls with hunks of holly, fill the cup and don’t say “when!”…

In the spirit of a childhood musical hero (hit that link for the best ever music to shop by), I present this blatantly capitalistic effort.

All images in my Etsy store are (for a special, limited time offer!) available with the holiday greeting of your choice inscribed in the margin (by the artist’s own hand, no less!)… and there is no extra charge not to so inscribe. You’re welcome.

Herewith are some examples for you to consider (in the words of the modern electronic component manual) before you begin.

I thank you… t

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Working fast and light in a small factory

I have been photographing for this client for so many years, they are now way into the good friend category.This winter they asked me to start making some portraits of a documentary nature, featuring their production staff and customer service.

Here’s what I did a couple of days into the new year of 2012. This is their fabrication crew. They didn’t slow down a bit for me.

I was working two little lights with color correcting gels on them. Sometimes I had the D700 on a tripod, sometimes not… all were made with my old 28-70 2.8 Nikon. The ambient light was pretty typical overhead warehouse lighting, and some high and very yellow translucent panels the length of one wall, about 20 feet off the ground. You can see some of that in a few of these out takes. I like this gritty duotone treatment, but they will probably want color, which is why I use the color correction on the flashes to get them as close as I could to the vague, rambling Kelvin of the insanely mixed temperature light sources.  Plus the sun was in and out all afternoon, pushing EVs, color temperatures and the relative lighting ratios all over the place.

Before and while I worked, no one came in to clean up the shop, no suits from corporate appeared to affect attitude, no art director stopped production to rearrange the work space, no make up was applied.  I moved a few trash cans and a broom, mostly to remove an errant highlight and keep the compositions as I wanted them. I loved it, and worked alone (without an assistant) for about three hours.

Here’s a sample… my quick edit.

Shop Forman

performance art

springs, ready for assembly

at the lathe

the lathe that is older yet more precise than me

sanding the edges of a plywood armature

an anthropomorphic plywood form, glued and clamped, dries overnight in the empty warehouse

assemblyman

drill press

my kind of color palette, in the high window's light, end of day

still life, masquerading as portraits – October 14, 2011

The benefits derived from turnip husbandry are of great magnitude; light soils are cultivated with profit and facility; abundance of food is provided for man and beast; the earth is turned to the uses for which it is physically calculated, and by being suitably cleaned with this preparatory crop, a bed is provided for grass seeds, wherein they flourish and prosper with greater vigor than after any other preparation.

Brassica rapa #1 copyright T.W. Meyer 2011

Brassica rapa #1

The first ploughing is given immediately after harvest, or as soon as the wheat seed is finished, either in length or across the field, as circumstances may seem to require. In this state the ground remains till the oat seed is finished, when a second ploughing is given to it, usually in a contrary direction to the first. It is then repeatedly harrowed, often rolled between the harrowings and every particle of root-weeds carefully picked off with the hand; a third ploughing is then bestowed, and the other operations are repeated. In this stage, if the ground has not been very foul, the seed process.

Brassica rapa #2 copyright T.W. Meyer 2011

Brassica rapa #2

The next part of the process is the sowing of the seed; this may be performed by drilling machines of different sizes and constructions, through all acting on the same principle. A machine drawn by a horse in a pair of shafts, sows two drills at a time and answers extremely well, where the ground is flat, and the drills properly made up. The weight of the machine ensures a regularity of sowing hardly to be gained by those of a different size and construction. From two to three pounds of seed are sown upon the acre (2 to 3 kg/hectare), though the smallest of these quantities will give many more plants in ordinary seasons than are necessary; but as the seed is not an expensive article the greater part of farmers incline to sow thick, which both provides against the danger of part of the seed perishing, and gives the young plants an advantage at the outset.

Brassica rapa #3

Brassica rapa #3

Turnips are sown from the beginning to the end of June, but the second and third weeks of the month are, by judicious farmers, accounted the most proper time. Some people have sown as early as May, and with advantage, but these early fields are apt to run to seed before winter, especially if the autumn be favorable to vegetation. As a general rule it may be laid down that the earliest sowings should be on the latest soils; plants on such soils are often long before they make any great progress, and, in the end, may be far behind those in other situations, which were much later sown. The hot turnip plant, indeed, does not thrive rapidly till its roots reach the dung, and the previous nourishment afforded them is often so scanty as to stunt them altogether before they get so far.

Brassica rapa #4

Brassica rapa #4 copyright T.W. Meyer 2011

The first thing to be done in this process is to run a horse-hoe, called a scraper, along the intervals, keeping at such a distance from the young plants that they shall not be injured; this operation destroys all the annual weeds which have sprung up, and leaves the plants standing in regular stripes or rows. The hand hoeing then commences, by which the turnips are all singled out at a distance of from 8–12 inches, and the redundant ones drawn into the spaces between the rows. The singling out of the young plants is an operation of great importance, for an error committed in this process can hardly be afterward rectified. Boys and girls are always employed as hoers; but a steady and trusty man-servant is usually set over them to see that the work is properly executed.

Brassica rapa #5 copyright T.W. Meyer 2011

Brassica rapa #5

In eight or ten days, or such a length of time as circumstances may require, a horse-hoe of a different construction from the scraper is used. This, in fact, is generally a small plough, of the same kind with that commonly wrought, but of smaller dimensions. By this implement, the earth is pared away from the sides of the drills, and a sort of new ridge formed in the middle of the former interval. The hand-hoers are again set to work, and every weed and superfluous turnip is cut up; afterward the horse-hoe is employed to separate the earth, which it formerly threw into the furrows, and lay it back to the sides of the drills. On dry lands this is done by the scraper, but where the least tendency to moisture prevails, the small plough is used, in order that the furrows may be perfectly cleaned out. This latter mode, indeed, is very generally practiced.

from the Instructions for Field Cultivation of Turnips, in the 1881 Household Cyclopedia

portraits masquerading as still life

Photographing food that is as fresh and beautiful and delicious as what we’ve been getting from Turtle Bend Farms, is quite similar to cooking it.

Just don’t mess it up. Keep it simple. Show some respect for the subject.. and the artistry of the farmer. Growing this stuff, organically, is quite a feat.

I’ve been photographing fresh vegetables and fruits for a few years now, and have sort of cooled from that pursuit. But occasionally something presents itself and I make images like this, that are less Still Life-ish and more like a portrait. I keep it simple for a few reasons, but primarily out of respect for the forces in play.

This is actually a pretty heavy handed treatment for me, but there’s something almost comical in this set: watermelon, cucumber and peach (an exotic strain from China, according to Adam at Turtle Bend), so I’m ok with it.

Watermelon on a refrigerator dish lid, 2011 07 07

Watermelon on a refrigerator dish lid, 2011 07 07

Cucumber in a blue refrigerator dish. 2001 07 07

Cucumber in a blue refrigerator dish. 2001 07 07

Peaches, 2011 07 07 © T.W. Meyer

Peaches in a tart pan, 2011 07 07