Assignment 5: Still Life


Christine Khademi: Mortality


I liked the themed collection idea and decided to take another themed photograph representing mortality.

Background: For the background I used a black jacket, which I spread over a table. I spread the arm of the jacket across the wall on the side; actually, the reason why this photo is taken from a strange angle is because I didn’t have enough black material and wanted to avoid capturing the white wall in the photograph.

Arrangement of objects in scene: I collected objects that I thought could represent the fleeting nature of time and mortality. I found some old clocks and worn down books I bought at a garage sale, dried flowers that died long ago, a necklace with a cross on it, dominos and an hour glass. These objects also give the photo an antique feel, but it was the closest I could come to symbolizing death and transience.

I decided to center the photo around the clocks and the hour glass to represent the importance of time in influencing one’s demise. The hour glass was originally upright in the photograph, but it kept falling over so I decided to keep it that way since it fit better with the theme of one’s time finally running out. I let the books and flowers emphasize this theme peripherally and added dominos slipping off one of the books to represent the role of chance in determining how one’s life and death will unfold.

Lighting: The photo is lit directly from above. There was a light above the table, which I dimmed. I also let the shadow of me taking the picture become a part of the photo. It was supposed to represent death’s looming shadow. I wanted to take the photo angled from above to give the slightly eerie feel of someone looking down on the scene. I like the slight taint on the objects from the dim light.

Camera settings and Post-processing: Taken with a 1/4 second exposure and f/3.5, ISO 400, 18mm focal length. I did not use the flash. I cropped off some of the white wall that was showing, added a vignette and boosted the color.

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