Friday, March 7, 2014

Beautiful Background

I make many of my pictures in and around my home.  On the positive side, I don’t have to dress up to go to work. My commute is short. I can work around daily routines like picking up my son from school or tossing a load of laundry in the washer. On the down side, there are always issues of space and backgrounds. My home is more house than studio, and there are always projects in the works and the clutter of a family on the go. I often feel as though I am making pictures in a shoe box, as I rearrange my dining room and squeeze into a small corner with camera and tripod to get the best angle and cleanest scene. 

I love to use Thrift Shop finds as props in my pictures, and backdrops might be anything from a paper towel or baking sheet to a wooden table or remnant of fabric.  Interesting backgrounds with rich colors and textures often make the difference between a mediocre snapshot and an artful photograph. I am always on the lookout for creative backdrops that don’t take up too much room but still allow ample space to style a still life picture. 

On a recent trip to a local antique mall, I spied a large cutting board from an old farmhouse.  I spun the little white price tag around and around, debating the purchase.  The price was outside of my budget, but I knew this was a good wood find. The board, rich with layers of teal, blue and black paint, was soft and worn. The surface was gently and naturally distressed by years of household use.  I walked away and then walked back.  Sold.


Trying out the new backdrop with some of my kitchen favorites . . .


I’m linking up today with Kim Klassen and my Friday Find is a beautiful background, worth every penny.

12 comments:

  1. GASP..... what i wouldn't give for this.... Donna!!!
    so glad you turned around and went back!!!!!
    phew.... you had me worried...

    drooling over your photos as well..... Oh my... makes me wanna run to the antique store immediately.

    as soon as the weather turns I have plans for painting and distressings some new boards.....
    all chippy and weathered.....
    but nothing beats the real deal......

    LOVE...

    have a beautiful weekend... xo, Kim

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    1. Kim, I always love the photos you take in your "white room," or those on your front porch. One of my recent favorites, the spoon with a few blueberries and cereal crumbs on the linen tea towel - gorgeous!

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  2. Awesome find! Love your photos!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. The Friday Finds group is such a friendly and encouraging group. I'll stop by to visit you, too.

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  3. Oh, this is perfect! I'm just now beginning to look for background material. I'm usually outside with my camera, but have begun to enjoy making little vignettes. I love you vintage kitchen items against the wood!

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    1. Cathy, I hope you find some backgrounds you like. I like to carry my camera around and just look through it - helps to see what the background will look like a picture. Many times I am surprised by what makes a great backdrop - even an old beat up, burned cookie sheet. Good luck.

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  4. I'm amazed by what you use for background--material, a shirt, scrapbooking paper, your lazy Susan, things I'd never dream of using for a background. And I learned a lot at our joint photo session last Friday, how *tight* you position objects to get those wonderful effects. I'd love to find something like that cutting board--beats using the floor or the dining room table all the time! That tiny little red sifter is so sweet!

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    1. You don't need backgrounds. Your photos of old homes and the remnants of lives well-spent don't require a background. The details in your pictures are rich and essential to the scene.

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  5. what a great find! and love those "kitchen favorites" !! always such beautiful images.

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    1. Cathy, we make a complimentary pair. You take gorgeous photos of exotic and faraway places and I take most of my photos near home - often in and around my house. We are blessed to have this passion that allows us to see and create art wherever we are. Thanks so much for visiting!

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  6. Lovely photos and I hear you about space and the hunt for helpful treasures.

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  7. Too good to pass up for sure! I just finished making something like it out of old fence boards. I had to saw the ends off tho so I won't be getting many side shots with it.

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