Dutch still life painting as photograph: lighting used?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Holly, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Holly

    Holly Member

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    Hi all
    Take a look at the attached and give me your best guess as to what lighting was used. I've seen a lot of
    photographers attempt this Dutch still life/vanitas appropriation, but this artist is the master in my opinion and in a
    class entirely of her own. I'd be interested to hear what lighting recipes you all think she may've used?
    I am wondering if some of them were shot with natural light through a window with diffusion material over it?
    Her images are labelled as Type C prints - but I wonder how much of the look of these images were created in digital,
    and how much of it is down to the analogue process and lighting technique.
    More images here:
    http://http://lightjourneys.net.au/artists/robyn-stacey/
     

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  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I'd vote for tons of skillful post-processing akin to fashion retouching.
     
  3. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Looks very ugly and unsuccessful , if you take the image with ordinary camera and portra , you would get a more naturalistic result. Dutch painting is for me , creating something close to the best lighting , smooth rendering , low noise and close to nature thing.

    Attached picture looks like a 1MP cheap digital image , neither rendition , nor colors nor texture nor lines are averagel. One of the worst pictures I have ever seen in this forum.

    Umut
     
  4. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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  5. MDR

    MDR Member

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    I agree with E von Hoegh take a look at Christopher Broadbent's work his light comes closer to Dutch paintings he should drop the use of Soft focus filters though

    Some other images by Robyn Stacey some of them aren't bad at all and are quiet good at imitating Dutch Trompe l'oiels http://www.stillsgallery.com.au/artists/stacey/index.php?obj_id=folio&image=1&nav=1
    Something I find immensely funny. Photography and trompe L oiels

    Dominik
     
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    It seems to have been lit with a hard light. You can tell by the relatively sharp shadows. The light is overhead and central, maybe just a tad bit to the left of center. It could be a bare flash or an incandescent in a small reflector. It is a very simple lighting, there is nothing directly over the top of the table so there is no extra edge light on the flowers at top. It is on a black background probably a piece of black velvet, so there is no chance of shadow on the background. The light somewhat mimics direct sun coming through a sky light.
    Dennis
     
  7. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I would say a flash with some sort of diffuser placed between camera and vertical of the scene, to the left at the height of the insect. The insect on the left projects clear single definite shadows of its legs on the book where it rests. One of the two white flowers with the inverted corolla projects a clear shadow on the other such flower, giving a clear indication about the light source.

    The entire image seems out of focus but it might be that the image is actually an embroidery work, one of those wool embroideries made over a printed tissue. Or maybe the image was excessively resized so that it lost every detail.

    Not an expert of Dutch painting but generally I would say for a still life light source is either rather lateral, or bi-lateral. The black background and the relatively sharp shadows of the insect legs suggest one flash, from above the camera, with a "flag" to avoid light projection on the back, which would probably be more a photographic technique than a pictorial one. The insect looks suspicious to me (what's that? It's too big) like a fake/plastic one.

    The general idea can have been taken by a natura morta suggesting prosperity, good luck, but the execution fails in rendering the general atmosphera of a typical painting (not surprising considering Dutch painters, just like any painter, didn't use flashes :wink: ). The insect is an unlikely visitor of a domestic table, and such an insect would make anybody scream in the house disturbing the painter...

    EDIT: I suspect the Dutch painter wouldn't have placed an avocado on the table either :wink:

    2nd EDIT: I edited the URL and visited the other works. That's Australian stuff so the monstruous insect is probably Australian. The photographer seems to like the same light scheme, with one flash above - left probably with some diffuser. I personally don't like the work much for the lack of sense. Parrots are colourful but are not edible and don't make sense on the table. Coffee cups, some reversed, some on their side, and clean/unused, don't suggest anything. Light is for my taste too harsh and too "evidently flash". I'm not impressed but it's just my personal taste.

    Shouldn't be too difficult to replicate at all. You can use some black cardboard as a "flag" to block unwanted light on the background. With that kind of light I personally would avoid shiny objects (like that teapot, or the bottles) which would reflect the flash light in a IMO a bit clumsy way. YMMV.
     
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  8. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I'd go for the clue in the headline: Painting....

    And painters doing paintings doesn't have the challenges we usually have with shadows ...

    So I'd - of course - paint with light!
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I've tinkered with still lifes, and using one light mounted high over the right or left shoulder, combined with some diffuse light to fill the shadows a bit is a good start for this type of scene. I never thought of painting with light.:smile:
     
  10. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    [​IMG]

    Interesting that people have mentioned painting with light, because when I saw the initial image it made me think of the work of Marian Drew, who funnily enough is also an Australian photographer. The image above is from her Still Life/Australiana series where she arranged native roadkill in the manner of traditional still life and illuminated the scene by painting with light. As far as I'm aware she used a torch.
     
  11. amilne

    amilne Member

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    I think the real skill here is being able to arrange the fruit this way.