Thursday, March 12, 2015

STILL–like

My husband is resourceful. His mother taught him well. He can sew on a lost button or repair a torn seam. But he complains he can never find the proper sewing tools in the midst of my creative chaos.


And so, I've made him a little sewing jar with thread, needle, scissors, snaps and such. 

By any measure, he is a good man!



I'm playing around today with a style of still life photography inspired by Mary Jo Hoffman and her blog STILL.

Still blog is a place to stop. A place to look at one thing at a time. A place to be still.

I owe a huge thank you to my friend Barb of keeping with the times for sending me down this path. 

Two words. Amazing. Inspiring, Thank you, Barb!

It's actually very difficult to make something both simple and good.  – Paul Simon

On her blog, Mary Jo shares her technique for creating STILL-like projects. First, I had to figure out how to make the background of  the image the same shade of white as the blog page - so the image would appear to float on the page.  Then I had to do a little search to find the HTML code to make the borders disappear from around my pictures (a default feature of blogger).    

Worth the effort!

I'm linking up with Kim Klassen today and my Friday Find is a new view of still life photography - clean and crisp, simple and good.

38 comments:

  1. So awesome, Donna! I love to see that you created this work of art - isn't it so fun to try different styles and techniques? Even if it doesn't become a preferred style we can all "still" learn from other amazing creatives. You have so inspired me - with your snow white page and no borders - bravo!

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    1. Barb, I'm having so much fun trading ideas back and forth with you!

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  2. I meant to ask if you've removed the photo borders from all your posts ... I can't remember what they looked like before, and if so, are you pleased about that? Learning and trying something new leads to amazing things ...

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    1. Barb, Funny you should ask. I started out wanting to remove the borders for only the photos on today's post. When I did my search, this sentence or something similar kept coming up . . . "want to get rid of those annoying shadows and borders around blogger images, follow these steps." Well, I didn't really think of the borders as annoying, but I followed the steps anyway. The added code removed the borders from all of the pictures on my blog. I did search further and find a way to remove the borders from only certain images, but figured they looked okay without the borders and let it go. Honestly, I'm learning something new every day!

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  3. Wonderful!!! I've been following Mary Jo for some time...she is fabulous...I follow both her and her husband, Steve, who is a renown food writer in the Minneapolis area on Instagram - together with their dog and chicken (named Glimmer) they have quite the life! Your compositions here are stellar - I especially like the jar lid with the 65cents stamped on it...all the essence of simplicity and stillness...

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    1. Amy, Thanks for the heads up about Mary Jo's husband and the Instagram connection, as well. I'll certainly check it out. Thanks for your praise - and yes, I do love that jar lid. It's hard to believe how much the methods of pricing items have changed over the years! I just spent 30 minutes trying to peel off the ugly sticky price tags on my terracotta pots!

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  4. These are great! I would love to know where you found that code. I was wondering why mine always had shadows. I had been tinting about changing to Wordpress just to get rid of them.

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    1. Hi Roxi, Thank you for visiting. I'll head your way next to see what you are up to. If you'll read my reply to Barb above, you'll see that I wasn't too sure about the aesthetics of the borders - accent or annoyance? Anyway, it wasn't very hard to remove them. I followed the steps on this blog -
      http://helplogger.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-remove-blogger-pictureimage.html

      Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

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  5. It's always a pleasure to read your posts Donna! I love your short though powerful introduction which is a not-so-disguised declaration of love to your husband in a very unusual and funny manner....
    I've visited STILL blog as you've already mentionned it, it seems that you've been really and deeply inspired by Mary Jo's clean and outline style of photography and I admire your dynamism and passion at trying another style of photography which isn't so easy or natural thing to do and very different from your own style... and achieve so brillantly such a challenge! I love the very graphic and modern style of your stills today, they could be published inside a design magazine...

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    1. Odile, Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. I do enjoy a challenge and love to learn new things, but I find that some things I'd like to do or make are quite challenging. When I looked back over the tremendous variety of your photographs, I can see that you are very talented and can make most anything! I do sew, but not nearly as well as you! It's good the camera is my friend!

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  6. What great images, Donna. You're an inspiration, and it's always interesting to learn what inspires you. I think this new style is fun. It's certainly different from what I've come to recognise as your signature style, and it's good to play around and push the envelope a little bit to help with artistic development. I'm also in awe of your husband. Mr B is hopeless at sewing. He is an expert at puppy dog eyes and beseeching assistance, however, so his wardrobe survives nicely regardless of his skill deficit. All the best for a lovely weekend, Bonny

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    1. Mr. B more than makes up for his lack of sewing skills with superior garden work! Love your post today with so many slices of your life served up like a delicious pie! I do enjoy your storytelling - and though I am usually a very visual person, I savor your words. You writing is funny, vividly picturesque, and sincere. You have a gift.

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  7. I love the minimalist look Donna . I must check out the blog I'm always looking for inspiration...

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    1. I found my inspiration today in your sunflower photograph!

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  8. Great work here Donna! Those snaps scattered about are so much fun. Happy Friday!

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    1. Carol, I had almost forgotten . . . the scatter snaps were fun . . . but the snaps lined up in the little grid were a total pain to maneuver! I finally used the sharp end of my seam ripper to slide them about! What we won't do for our art!

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  9. I love the way the elements of these shots stand out so beautifully on the white background! And I enjoyed looking at the Still blog--very inspiring!

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    1. Roxanne, This circle of photo friends gives me an unlimited supply of inspiration - and I thank you for sharing and visiting.

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  10. These are so special, Donna, thanks for sharing ... lots of inspiration on Mary Jo's blog !
    Your images are wonderful ... love how you arranged those pretty sewing things !
    Have a nice weekend,
    Sylvia

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    1. Sylvia, It is kind that you commented on the my arrangement of the sewing things. This is actually an area where I struggle. I can see when it looks "right" but often cannot figure out what to change when the scene is not pleasing to my eye. I often use your photos as my inspiration, not so much for content, but for placement of the subjects - and so I am learning from you. Thank you!

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  11. Lovely. I love those old fold up measuring tapes. My dad always had one on his work bench in the basement when I was young. I have been eyeing one of those for a while I may need to add on to my prop collection.

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    1. Sarah, My dad had one of the folding rulers, too. I remember he used it to measure and build my science fair backboard, made from plywood. Now, of course, you can buy tri-fold backboards at Michael's made of sturdy cardboard. I have a steadfast love for tools of any kind - the artist's paintbrush, the needle of the seamstress, the rolling pin of the chef . . . and the ruler of the carpenter. I think you can still find these fairly easily at antique malls (or the garage of most grandfathers) for a reasonable price. Add one to your collection!

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    1. And I love that little camera-shaped flash drive that you present to your clients!

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  13. I love an adventurous friend who inspires us to try new things. I found Mary Jo's blog sometime back but thought I can't do that...then Barb....now you...I think I am going to try. Your shots are awesome and what a great idea to make your hubby a sewing jar. I think I might do that as well.....

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    1. Nancy, You absolutely can do this! The white foam board that you used in your most recent post - the one with the floral bouquet on the floor - would work perfectly as a backdrop. Find something to arrange and shoot from above. The key is pick something with a little depth - not perfectly flat - to give a dimensional effect. And if you need any help, just email and I'd be glad to share more.

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  14. Fabulous take on STILL, Donna! I love how even when we try the same techniques, our unique qualities still shine through. Thanks for the tip/link on the borders. I've been wanting to remove mine for sometime and have just not taken the time to do the research :) thanks, friend!

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    1. Oh June, I just loved your rain images today. I have a portfolio of thousands of images and very few of rain. I'm studying your pictures and trying to see the ways that I might make an image that does justice to the blessing of rain. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  15. I enjoy Mary Jo's blog also, so simple and beautiful. She makes shooting on white seem easy. Your images are wonderful and I know they took a lot of work. It is hard to match white. I love your compositions too. My husband knows how to sew, but he says I do it better. That phrase gets him out of a lot. :)

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    1. Michelle, Your coffee images for today's post were stunning! It's wildly amazing how much variety there is in our photography. Did you use Kim's idea of the black canvas from Michael's as your backdrop for your coffee shots? I did find the dark background to be a little easier to manage than the white for these pictures - but the challenge was good!

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  16. Wow, Donna, your images jumped out at me today ! I love the simplicity of them with the white background and no border ! I love that you are always learning new things and sharing them with us !

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    1. Caz, I feel the same about you! I can't get that image of the shadow of the lamp and flower arrangement out of my mind. I keep looking for a scene like that in my world - but it requires a different way of looking. I'm learning from your vision.

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  17. Love all the bits and pieces of your still life and you made me laugh about your hubby. A good man indeed.

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    1. Barb, He makes me laugh every day! I love the heart of pussy willow branches you made as pictured on your most recent post! Such a talented woman!

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  18. What beautiful art Donna! Wow...always blown away when I drop in... It's been forever since I visited STILL. I almost enjoy her writing more than her photography. She has such a great sense of humor! Love it! You have inspired me to try something like this with a couple of feathers I collected in Nicaragua. So thanks for that! Always beautiful here...

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    1. Robin, I agree with you about Mary Jo's writing. At first, I almost didn't discover her words as they are hidden beneath a little clickable area labeled "details." I love that she ties in her words to her pictures in a tangential sort of way - and admire her creative and humorous way with words. This is a skill I'd like to cultivate - I only seem to be able to say or write the obvious - "Look here, a picture of a feather." I have much to learn!

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  19. What a fabulous take on still life images, Donna! You truly have such an amazing artistic eye. You are much more than a photographer. You are an Artist. :)
    I had a lovely time today, looking back at the posts I had missed while in Italy (I just got back to Scotland). Thank you for everything you share! xo

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  20. Hey Donna. I just wanted to say thank you for this moving and thoughtful take on STILL blog. I appreciate it so much! Your photography is beautiful!

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