Bobbins

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Gary
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I found these bobbins in a skip where I was working (Plasterer). Course I picked them out as I to me they looked cool photography wise.

They have been kicking about the van since then.

I had a clean out and thought I would try and take a photo of them.

The other bit's in the photo are from Jan's Uncle whom passed away a while back.

The base I made some time ago from wooden pallet wood.

I made the back board with some roll on vinyl from Wilko stuck onto 5mm mdf.

Just thought I wouldmention how the photo was made up as I like that type of info myself.

Any help on how this can be improved in any way eg: composition, p&p, lighting, would be great.


Gaz

 
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TheBigYin

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I really do like this one Gary - good strong use of colours, nice arrangement, sensible use of additional "props" to help to tell the story. Maybe it's me getting old, and aware of my failing close-work eyesight, but I'd have probably had to drop my old "pince-nez" on the table, mainly as I sort of associate every time I have to thread a needle with having to search for my reading glasses...

Liked the details about the table and backdrop - it really does pay off to spend a bit of time and make a shooting stage like this if you're going to work with this style of imagery.

Composition wise, nothing major to report - I even like the reel off lurking in the background - though, and this is a minor tweak only, Id have been tempted to place it slightly more side on, so that the end of the reel echoed the oval of the blue bobbins cardboard former, if that makes sense... Oh and the buttons - with small scattered props like that, often they work better in odd numbered groups - 3 or 5... i'm not sure why, I think it's just the human brain expects a regular pattern with even numbers, but accepts flowing shapes with odd numbers. I picked that one up from (of all things) a gardening program - but when I've thought about it and looked at classical paintings/art it comes through there as well...

All considered, a very accomplished and enjoyable image. Thanks for sharing it with us
 
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@The Big Yin

Wow Mark !

Thanks for the very imformative critique, it is just what I need. You see things that I would never notice. My first image was just of the 3 main bobbins (if thats what they are called).

Which I did like and have kept. However the background was just black and I thought I should try and learn to include a background and some other elements.

I was going to upload the first image too but didnt as I wanted to know if I were on the right track with the above image.



Thanks again.

Gaz
 

TheBigYin

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Thanks for the very imformative critique, it is just what I need.
You're more than welcome - I'm a bit of a sucker for a well crafted still life, so it was a pleasure to sit and look at it with a slightly more analytical eye...

You see things that I would never notice.
That's partly through spending hours (who am I kidding, I mean days...) looking at the compositions of my own stuff, and months of researching and reading up on the original artworks that inspired them - basically giving myself a bit of a "top up" of Art History and Theory that my more science orientated education kind of missed out on...

My first image was just of the 3 main bobbins (if thats what they are called).

Which I did like and have kept. However the background was just black and I thought I should try and learn to include a background and some other elements.

I was going to upload the first image too but didnt as I wanted to know if I were on the right track with the above image.
I'm glad you stuck with this one instead, I think the thing that really "lifts" an image like this is if it's "tied to reality" a little more - so you see the wall behind, and feel that it's a real corner of the world. Which brings me to my next point - for me the really successful images of this genre aren't just a bunch of photogenic articles plonked on a table and lit well - they're more than that - perfection for me, is if the image looks like it tells a story of some sort - almost as if the frame is the "key frame" (the one in the storyboard) from a short film...

So often, particularly with food still lifes, I look at the image of a pile of veg from the garden (or Asda;) ) and think "Hmm, why are they all on the worktop together, there's no way on earth I can think of a recipe that uses all those together..." - and that's the key, everything on the table to be shot should have a reason to be there - or at least a greater reason than "I needed something red for the contrast, so I plonked a Tomato in there"... in the case of your image, other "props" to explore using might be a thimble, dressmakers straight pins, even something as esoteric as "tailors chalk"....
 
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Really good looking still life.
The light looks well controlled, especially on the white (pale) bobbin. I like the subtle background, I'm not a great fan of pure black backgrounds (even though I do use them myself sometimes), but that little bit of grey/white on yours works well and that bobbin in the back right is well placed.
I like that you've built most or all of the props yourself (minus the bobbins of course), that's all part of the attraction for me. I try to make, scavenge most of my props, backgrounds etc.
 
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perfection for me, is if the image looks like it tells a story of some sort - almost as if the frame is the "key frame" (the one in the storyboard) from a short film...
Totally agree. Mind you I probably couldnt have put it into words quite as well as you have.
in the case of your image, other "props" to explore using might be a thimble, dressmakers straight pins, even something as esoteric as "tailors chalk"....
As it happens we have all those items you mention as Ray used to be a Taylor many many years ago.
It is so difficult "I find" to place objects into a scene and make them look interesting and to know what to leave in or out as it can soon become a jumble of things that just don't work for some reason.
Really good looking still life.
The light looks well controlled, especially on the white (pale) bobbin. I like the subtle background, I'm not a great fan of pure black backgrounds (even though I do use them myself sometimes), but that little bit of grey/white on yours works well and that bobbin in the back left is well placed.
I like that you've built most or all of the props yourself (minus the bobbins of course), that's all part of the attraction for me. I try to make, scavenge most of my props, backgrounds etc.
Hiya. Thanks for stopping by and giving me some feedback.
I don't mind the black background as at one time I had no idea how to achieve that look. That said including a background is another challenge. Eg: You want to see it but not too much to distract. So lighting the scene seems to take much more thinking about. I know we can darken and lighten here and there in post but you have to get it as close as possible at the time.

I agree there is a lot of satisfaction to be had from finding/scavaging your own props and making little set up's.

Gaz
 
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( now where is the nearest skip?)
:) Thanks Les. Yes it is becoming a bit of an habbit.

At the weekend I went to to the local tip. Threw my waste over and seen a sheet of 3x2 thin perspex. Couldnt help myself. I chanced reaching over to help myself to it.

Tricky these days, the staff seem to be keener than most prisom wardens by all accounts !

Course Mrs cargo was in the car too :-(

Anyways it came home to the shed, far cheaper than the mistake I made last year buying a thicker sheet for £35 only to find that the reflections are supposed to be better on the thinner sheets.

Gaz
 
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A nicely thought out and shot still life.

PS a minor nit ~ the scissors appear to have slightly curved blades.....seeing those does not make me think of the contents of the sewing box but more the bathroom cabinet, as such curved scissors were AFAIK nail scissors ;). Though does not detract from the "presence" of the imagery :)
 
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@Box Brownie

Hiya. Thanks for the feedback. I apprecite it very much.

Funnily enough I had that very same conversation with my Wife the other night. In the box there were maybe three pairs of scissors and tbh I just randomly chose those.
I am pretty sure they had not been in Uncle Rays bathroom :-(

To be honest I could see they may come in handy for cutting the thread whilst keeping you hands away from the fabric but who knows.

Great that you spotted it though. It may make me think harder on my next photo atempt.

Gaz
 
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Very painterly. You have a very good eye indeed.

Of course plasterers need a good eye - have you ever tried Venetian stuff or other oddities? I love plastering - I sculpt and kinda got into it as an amateur - have even run some cornice in situ for a friend. Messy. Which it probably shouldn't be if you know what you are doing!
 
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@dweeble

Hiya. Thanks for stopping by. "Painterly" I'm happy to hear that.

Re: Plastering

No I have not done any Venetian plastering. It does look great though.

You must be quite acomplished to run some cornice in-situ.

I have not done any cornice work since the day I left college and that was many many years ago ! I'm 55 now and been a Plasterer since leaving school at 16.

Sculpt. Is that your proffession ?

Gaz
 
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Venetian is fun, almost more like painting with a very thick medium than plastering as such. Amazing pigments to choose from.

Accomplished? I'd call it beginners luck!

No, I do it strictly for fun - I did make bespoke firebacks at one point but the clients were ghastly and the margins rubbish so gave up.

Now, I do a bit of consultancy and take horse photos!
 
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Now, I do a bit of consultancy and take horse photos!
You make that sound like you have life sussed out and all is well :)

"Hope so"

Horse photos I would imagine they make great subjects to photograph.

Gaz
 
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