Still Life Research on Irving Penn.

I have decided against using a model in my work as they can be unreliable and sometimes hard to organise at such short notice. I want to limit potential problems in this assignment early on, so because this is a short assignment, I plan to produce still life images only. I have therefore, only looked into still life photography for my artist research; my first section explores still life work by Irving Penn.

Placement & Shape.
Irving Penn shows a good understanding of placement within his images and I would like mine to do the same. It is essential that the subjects within a photograph are arranged correctly, otherwise your image may not give the right feel you're aiming for, or could come across as bland and uninteresting. The positioning of different shaped objects, heights or width can also help the eye flow across the image in a variety of different ways to direct the eye to the desired content. Below are some examples of Penn's work which shows the aspects discussed above. I personally really like the placement in these images, especially the ones involving the chess piece, and the image with the spoons. I think they work because of the variety of visual textures, shapes and the overall arrangement of the individual props within the shots. Each prop adds to the shot because of their careful positioning rather than cluttering the shot up. I would like to do the same with my images. I have noticed that in Irving Penns work, he often leaves a 'margin' around his subjects; maybe this adds to his images in some way - possibly this use of space prevents any feelings of a cluttered image. When I carry out my shoot I will consider the use of space within my images to avoid producing over-busy photographs.

Colour Placement.
Penn also uses good colour placement within his work. When colours become concentrated in one area, or there is a lack or clash of other colours featured in your image, it can become distracting for the viewer; sometimes, however, you may want this effect. In general it is something to either be avoided or, occassionally something to be harnessed to force focus onto a specific subject. I like these examples because of the placement of the colour red in each example. The dynamics of the bright, red colouring against the less vibrant and blander accompanying colours, make the red subjects the focus of each piece and enhances the colour contrasts. My products aren't as bright as the ones used in Penn's work, but I can consider this in my own work, or I can encourage this effect in Photoshop by subtly adjusting the vibrancy of different aspects of the images.

Misc/Extra Thoughts.
I found this image when gathering research images for Irving Penn and it didn't fall under the above catagories, but it gave me a new idea; I saw it and thought I could look at the recyling aspect of the cups, I would have to work on the concept if I chose to take it further, but I could replicate a simular image with the given products. The problem with this would be that I couldn't re-use the cups if I thought of an improved idea afterwards. I would also have to use some other props to make the concept clear.

The aspects explored in this section, is essential within still life photography. When I do my own shoot, I must carefully set up my shots to make the products look as interesting as possible. I must consider the visual textures and colours involved in the image, along with different shapes, sizes and spacing. These must be arranged to best compliment each other, and I will do my best to consider this when producing my own work.

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