Week 4: Still Life text

What does a still life mean to you?

Using the texts below, information from the lecture and your research, write 250 to 300 words to explain how and why you have approached the still life part of the brief in your chosen manner. This must be fully Harvard referenced.



Still life is ‘a painting or drawing of inanimate objects, such as fruit, flowers, etc’ (Collins, 2016)

‘I realized that socks are not just socks but can also be viewed as ‘significant’ things.’ (Wolfgang, T, 2011) Still life photography is of an object we as humans may see pass in our everyday lives. The genre and the practitioners within it, bring to these inanimate objects, a significant amount of importance. The photographers bring objects to our eyes in a new perspective. For the majority, it is not the importance of the object, but the importance of the perspective.

My approach to the still life aspect of the brief is going to be observational. Simply placing what I find of importance to an everyday object that simultaneously fits into the landscape and portrait scenes I am going to photograph. The picture will be carefully positioned and not just merely glanced at and then recorded. The construction will prompt questions around the sentimental value the owner holds over the everyday object, that will ultimately increase its value and importance to the sequence. Instead of the audience asking ‘Why am I looking at this?’. It will prompt ‘I wonder when the owner first got this?’ ‘I wonder how many times it’s been used, is it special?’ The take I want to play may also be around superstition and how this alone holds such a supernatural belief and strength to an everyday object I may photograph. Putting the two together with text will place another level of importance to an otherwise forgotten object we see past every day.

In regards to Tillmans, I also want my still life pictures to be as they were, how they were found and how they look, notice all plauses be in the past tense as a ‘recording’. Authenticity in my imagery and stories is key therefore I don’t want complicated studio lighting, backdrops or post production to play a part in my imagery. To explain, I refer to Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi visual elements to best match my approach in contrast to a studio lit product shot in Alexander Kent’s Heinz bottle.



  • Bright, S. (2011) Art Photography Now, Rev edn, London: Thames and Hudson



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s