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  1. #1

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    Still Life Books

    I'm looking for the names of any books that address still lifes. Not just the photos but composition, arrangement etc. I have, "Pure Invention: The tabletop Still Life" by Jan Groover. Most of those photographs I find jumbed and confusing. I'm sure that a MFA would say they are complex and sophisticated. I'm looking for something simple and pedestrian.

  2. #2

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    Try Rotovision, 'Still Life' 1996, ISBN 2-88046-272-X

    Modesty forbids me to say who wrote it, but it was flat fee so there's no extra money in selling more copies.

    I should add that the premise was showing lots of international photographers' work, with descriptions and lighting diagrams to show how they did it.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
    Last edited by Roger Hicks; 09-01-2006 at 10:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Photobum, I see you're in NNJ, if you are seriously interested in learning still life photography you might want to consider assisting or interning with still life photographers in Manhattan, who on average are probably the best in the world. Besides learning composition, which you can also learn from any art book, it doesn't have to be photographic, you would also learn lighting and some of the countless tricks that you're not going to learn in books.

    If you're really only interested in the book approach try picking up Irving Penn's Still Life book. While it's not a how to there's no better way to learn, especially composition, besides assisting than by viewing great still lifes.

  4. #4
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photobum
    I'm looking for the names of any books that address still lifes. Not just the photos but composition, arrangement etc. I have, "Pure Invention: The tabletop Still Life" by Jan Groover. Most of those photographs I find jumbed and confusing. I'm sure that a MFA would say they are complex and sophisticated. I'm looking for something simple and pedestrian.
    Look for this book, 'Lighting For Still Life' by Steve Bavister. Very elegant.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Still...e=UTF8&s=books
    Don Bryant

  5. #5

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    Though not in the title nor main focus, John Blakemore's Black & White Photography Workshop is excellent on still life compositions.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  6. #6

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    Having not seen Roger and Frances book I can't comment but rotovision also did this one
    http://www.rotovision.com/descriptio...=2-88046-549-4
    which I can recommend, it has some of my work in it among many others with descriptions on how the images were both photographed and subsequently printed, if that had a major impact on the finished print. Like Roger I got a flat fee so nothing to be gained by me in recommending it, just hope you find it inspirational, shame I didn't get anything for the 3 foreign language editions they also produced.

    I'm pleased to see that you are interested in keeping things simple which is exactly how I work, 99.9% of my images are produced using soft window light with either a black card or white card as background with or without a card on the side to bounce back some fill light. the only exceptions to this are the images shot on the Polaroid 20x24 inch camera which by necessity required HUGE amounts of flash to go along with the HUGE amounts of bellows extension we were using.

    Something I do make money from is my own book "Involuntary Sculptures", see here http://tinyurl.com/llyhv for it's listing on Amazon, or check out my website www.seamusryan.com, I am currently offering copies of the book with a free 10x8 inch silver gelatin print from the book.

    if you have any specific questions about how I did any of my images please do not hesitate to PM me and I will try to help

    Enjoy

    Seamus
    www.seamusryan.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    Though not in the title nor main focus, John Blakemore's Black & White Photography Workshop is excellent on still life compositions.
    His very rare nine year study on Tulips is a spectacular example if you can find it. When trying to locate it through the University Akron Library's International Loan system, there were twelve floating around the world.

    John Powers

  8. #8
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    Another personal favorite artist who considers her still lifes to be her trademark is Linda Butler. Her books are available from her http://www.lindabutlerphoto.com/otherbooksbylind.html
    and often show up on web close out sites or eBay.

    Her still life images appear very simple, but it is because she has the vision to make the complex and symbolic just seem beautifully simple.

    If you are coming to Cleveland soon she has one exhibit at Cleveland MOCA that is just finishing and another quite different one opening at the Heights Arts Gallery. The later is currated by Tom Hinson, Curator of Photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

    John Powers

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeamusARyan
    .. shame I didn't get anything for the 3 foreign language editions they also produced.
    Same here. Nor did Rotovision bother to tell me that the German edition (Stillleben) won the Kodak Fotobook Prize. The German publishers could't believe it either but kindly sent me a copy. I was quite pleased that they had dropped Rotovision's choice for the cover and used one of my shots...

    Cheers,

    Roger

  10. #10
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    I'd suggest that you look at any still life book by Eleanor Parker. They are not simple arrangemets but I find them very stimulating as I know that the previously mentioned John Blakemore did. In your post you mentioned that you found Jan Grover's work jumbled and confusing, might I suggest that you consider this a challenge and work with an open mind for as long as it takes until you begin to find some logic and reason in the images. I'm sure that you can learn much from what you first considered to be jumbled and confusing.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

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