A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was working on an ‘assignment‘ posted on the Art of Photography’s YouTube Channel. The assignment was variations on a scene – ten images of a particular subject. In that previous post, I sort of cheated. In this post, I take the assignment a bit more seriously. Here we have photo variations of a fountain pen still life.
It didn’t take long after watching the video for me to come up with an idea for this challenge. I would do a night time still life featuring one of my fountain pens, a photography-related quote that I would write out with the pen, and one of my old cameras. I would play with my new-ish headlamp for lighting.
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
― Susan Sontag
It sums up a lot about my relationship with photography.
I wrote the quote out last night. This morning I was at the drug store and, while I waited in line, I saw a display of Christmas lights. I don’t actually own any Christmas lights but they had a small, cheap battery-operated set and I thought… that will be perfect for my photo! So I went ahead and picked that up.
Finally, it got dark and I set to work. My couch seems to be a popular place to set up shop for these things. I got a box to set the scene on and originally covered it, and the back of the couch, in a white shawl. This shawl is also a regular in these experiments. It’s pretty thin, though, and I thought the colours of the box and the blanket on the back of the couch might show through so I found this grey and white blanket to put under the shawl. Next I turned on the Christmas lights and put those under the shawl, too, along the back. Then it was time to set up the notepad, pen, and camera and get shooting!
Pen: Pilot Plumix (Funny that I chose one of my cheapest pens to showcase in this still life. Really, it was just the one I had inked up at the time!)
Camera: 1951 Kodak Signet 35
Photo Variations – Fountain Pen Still Life
The assignment was for ten different images. I actually took about 60 photos of 13 or 14 different compositions. Here are 11 of the best compositions.
So, what do you think? Successful? Not successful? Let me know! Do you have any similar projects to share?