Monday, September 29, 2008

EMPS #5: Focusing on Fruit

For this week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, Carly is asking for still life photography featuring fruit. Now, except for some past-their-prime organic grapes (they were pretty much inedible the night I bought them), I had no fruit in the house; and being on an austerity budget until I'm employed again, I couldn't exactly go out and buy a lot of produce. Not at today's prices. I haven't bought any fruit or veggies at all lately unless it was on sale. But it's the Monday Photo Shoot! I never miss the Monday Photo Shoot! So I went to Safeway tonight anyway. (Come to think of it, I forgot to get two of the non-fruit items I intended to buy.)

Still life arrangement, Safeway style

I've mentioned several times recently that my local Safeway, from whose parking lot I've filmed so many wonderful sunsets, has recently been spruced up in a big way. There was nothing wrong with it before, but now it's got all-new signage, a Starbuck's, new display cases, wooden flooring in Produce and so on. Produce is where the changes are most profound, because of the fruit stand / farmer's market look they've affected, especially for the organic items. So I figured, if a still life is the art of arranging items, choosing the lighting and composing the shot, why not let Safeway do the first part of that for me?

Pumpkins and golden pineapples at Safeway

Small Granny Smiths. I can't afford to buy, only photograph!

But okay, that's probably not quite in the spirit of the assignment. So I bought a single apple (large Granny Smith, $1.89 a pound), and a "personal watermelon" ($2).

Lighting is a big part of the art of still life, I gather, and we haven't had adequate lighting in the kitchen since Cayenne broke the vintage overhead light. So I arranged my two green, round edibles on a kitchen towel next to the stove, turned on the stove light, and took a number of shots without flash. This was the best of them.

Then I took a few more with flash.

In the editing, I used effects on most of the shots. The one above is with the "watercolor" effect applied. Or was it the acrylic one? Yes, that's right. It's the acrylic one.

Psychedelic fruit!

But why limit the effects to the semi-realistic? If still life photography is largely about the lighting, let's play with the lighting effects! This is the "solarization" lighting effect, followed by a negative effect, and then solarization again, and then tone adjustment to lighten things a bit. Result: a magical golden apple!

Be sure to check out Carly's blog Ellipsis every Monday for the new EMPS topic, and to see links to the previous week's participants. I look forward to seeing all your entries.


(Another entry will follow later tonight. Probably.)


Carly said...

Hi Karen

The produce manager at my local Lucky's has become a friend of mine because of all the time I spend photographing fruits and veggies in his department. LOL. I like what you did with this photo shoot, I haven't eaten psychedelic fruit in wayyyyy too long! LOL. Good job.


Far Side of Fifty said...

Psychedelic I also liked the look of the pineapples and the pumpkins! Very nice:)

Kiva said...

That apple looks almost as big as the "personal" watermelon. I don't think that I as a person could eat the watermelon alone, but at least two of us might finish it! After you "filtered" them that apple looks like satin. Nicely done!

Wammy said...

I guess that I am going to have to try some different effects on some of my shots. Looks like fun! Your grocery store looks so claen and orderly. Love that!

Martha said...

Hmmm - Psychedelic fruit and personal watermelons! It's always different around here! :-)

Tammy said...

What a fabulous produce section Karen! Loved the variety of shots. My computer has had trouble loading your blog, but today I got through. yay!