Assignment 5: Still Life


Michael Santos: Death of a Tyrant


This fulfills Requirement 4: A Themed Collection. The theme in this case is mortality. The Ace of Spades is occasionally recognized as the Death Card, and here death is casting a shadow over the king. (Not coincidentally, this king is the one that is stabbing himself in the head).

The symbolism is a bit clunky in this photograph. Adding to the clunkiness is the reflection in the tilted up piano panel, which possibly depicts memories of the king's victims (women and peasants).

This picture is actually a combination of two photos, one with the circle of cards (to include the reflection up above, which Picasa seems to have compressed horribly) and one without (the clean surface below). I also used Photoshop to edit out some text on the Ace of Spades.

Because I wanted a strong shadow cast on the King, but was having all sorts of reflection issues on the piano, I had to place my desk lamp far away. Due to this, the scene was rather poorly lit, leading me to use a 30 second exposure for this photo. Contributing to the need for a long exposure was my use of an f number of 14, which allowed me to have the reflected cards be within the field of view (and therefore legible).

As a fun fact, one of the King of Hearts's victims was his Queen! Gasp!

The object that I really wanted to depict this week was an Ouroboros. Sadly, the broken circle in this photo is the closest I will get.

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