Red Tulips with Carnival Bowl, Shells and Wine Glass

Last weekend’s continuing experimentation with low key still life settings seemed to come with both more experimentation but also less fluidity with flowers and the arrangements. The peonies were just so inherently lovely and easy. I have about three setting arrangements that I thought worth spending some time on and this was the first that I started with. Once again I purchased the flowers at Whole Foods and bought a tropical bouquet and the package of tulips in red. The tropical group were interesting but I wasn’t really fond of them in the end or maybe just didn’t have the right vision for them. In this particular arrangement I did fill in the tulips with three of the tropical plants which were not just compatible with the tulips but matched in color almost too perfectly.

As last time, the top image has little bit of texture added in for depth. I like the black backgrounds but sometimes it seems a little too flat with only lighting to give any depth or roundness to the image. The second image is the basic capture shot with normal lighting, contrast and clarity adjustments.

Other elements include a beautiful piece of my mother’s carnival glass collection which shines there on the far left in the image. Moving towards the right you will see my Murex haustellum with its long siphon canal. The shell was one of my more exciting finds while diving circa 1970. I was good at recognizing shapes and even though what stuck out of the sand looked much like a twig, a little fanning revealed the wonderful specimen which I did prepare as such. The little white shell with the extended ends is in an allied cowry group but I do not have its name at present. Then the  cone shell, a pashmina scarf I bought in Egypt and the roemer-like wine glass actually filled with actual wine which I actually did drink ultimately. Why not be authentic? I enjoyed employing the scarf as its shine and texture added it own light to the setting.  I noticed with old masters things lots of table cloths and tapestries draped on tables. Draping things is not my long suit and so was just happy it didn’t slide off the table. Well the glass of wine helped hold it in place.

I hope you enjoy this effort and I will show at least one other of the compositions and see what seems more appealing to others or if the groupings work really.



~ by Judy on August 13, 2017.

21 Responses to “Red Tulips with Carnival Bowl, Shells and Wine Glass”

  1. Vividly beautiful, I love the vibrant colour of the flowers and the way the light shines off the other items on the table. The first is my favourite because that hint of rusty colour in the background seems to set the arrangement off.

    • Good to get input on the texture. On my home computer it does show more than here on my office one. I have always liked light on glass in darker settings when I have seen that elsewhere also. Carnival with its signature iridescence always looks just wonderful when light hits it. Some of my other shots used some other pieces of the collection. Trying to do a few things I guess with these….attractive arrangement….mood….focus…story!!

  2. You are edging ever nearer to those Old Masters. Needless to say, I adore that almost crimson red! I think what makes me think of the Dutch Masters is the way the highlights seem to wink out of quite a dark background. So much is hidden . . . until you allow the eye to study it. Very cleverly done.

    • I suppose the Carnival Glass piece might take some examination since it is in that dark setting and the viewer hasn’t seen the bowl like I have. Carnival glass is quite iridescent and always looks rather glorious when the light hits it. When my mother bought her pieces she always chose for color and so none of my pieces are less that amazing when light hits them. I like light on other glass too and am happy how well the wine looks too. Those old Dutch/European still life paintings often seem to feature such glasses and of various heights and forums. I guess like many things I didn’t get curious about those glasses until I wanted some odds and ends for still life experimentation. Even thought I have PLENTY of items around the house to shoot.

      • So, what’s next? Lobsters? 🙂 Ah, skulls. Or maybe both. Just as long as you put the flowers in. And the more floppy and showier the better. (I tease, of course. I think it’s fantastic how close you are coming to those Masters, and I’ve a feeling this is coincidental, not an intentional ploy. Correct me if I’m wrong. Much as I like the herons etc, I am enjoying seeing this series of photos. Far more in keeping with something I’m likely to put on my walls . . . were there space after my daughter has filled it with various embroidery pieces.

      • I suppose you are correct about the birds. Even trying to treat them as something you could hang and enjoy, I think most people do prefer paintings of birds and other types of images to hang. Exceptions I am sure. Well, I do find looking at various art all sorts of things you wouldn’t necessarily see together in a still shot. Still mulling over a human skull with a wine goblet nearby. Ick!! As to scorpions in a flower shot, not so far fetched. I watched a show one time, might have been one of those ‘I survived but shouldn’t have reality things’…true documentary event though. A women came into an office (or clinic not sure) and started playing with the floral arrangement which was set out. There was a scorpion in the flowers which stung her and she needed emergency treatment. In researching the flowers came from South America (forget which country now, maybe Ecuador) and somehow the poisonous beastie was carried along in the flowers unbeknownst to anyone who had handled them. Until the lady fiddled with the arrangement. Man aided or by bird or wind, this is how nature redistributes itself though.

      • The plot of Arachnophobia revisited! Well, almost. Yea, I read a nasty story of a USAF man who was bitten in a very sensitive area by a black widow spider that had flown in with the fruit. It had taken up home in the gents toilet . . . leave the rest to your imagination. And yes, I know you’ve a problem with the beasties but . . .

      • Well that was kind of the end of my real Christmas trees. Someone told me that black widows can be in them and since I was the one putting my hands in among the branches to twist in the light strings…I got the creeps and stopped.Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      • Sorry, belated in picking this up. Yea, though I’ve no problem with UK spiders, I think I might have reacted the same.

  3. Judy, This pix of tulips is exquisite! May I use for a painting subject?

  4. I love these a lot, Judy! These photos, especially the first one, are very eye-catching. Your arrangement, choice of colors and objects to place around the vase, just show the depth of your artistry and photographic skills.

    • I did mix up things a bit with that shoot and have some other objects with the flowers. Each time I learn a little more about the process. I’d say what works as a combination but I realize that may change with the viewer’s sensibilities.

  5. You’ve got an incredible knack with the camera ~ these low-key shots are so impressive. The darks contrast so well with both the color and the layout you created.

    • Thank you. It is kind of good right when you are convinced you are a klutz with arranging things, that someone thinks it did work!! Encouragement is a dangerous thing though!! 🙂 Thank you

  6. These are stunning! Wow, I could just stare at them for an entire day and not get weary or bored!

    • Ouu, thanks so much!! It was fun setting up the arrangements and using the ambient light. I feel I learned a lot from this particular shoot to inform other ones. Can’t wait to see what flowers I can do next. I do plan some wild flowers of the swamp or glades in a still life setting just for kicks, but that will involve some compositing I am certain. Shoot in the field then put some together in the computer. I really love your feedback.

  7. I kept waiting and waiting to get over my impulse to tidy up that table, and never did. I’m guess I’m the outlier, here. I love the flowers, and the colors of the carnival glass, but the problem I have isn’t with your skill or your choices. I’ve come to suspect that there’s something about a still life that just doesn’t appeal. I can’t quite tell you what it is, but my response is the same whether it’s your photo or a Cezanne with a skull and a candlestick or all those piles of fruit the Dutch and Flemish painters seemed to adore.

    It’s always a little weird to read all the comments from people who really groove on your photo, and not be in the same place. But, that’s part of what makes this business of being human so interesting. Who knows? Maybe I was traumatized by my mother’s constant demands that I clean up my room, and now I can’t stand clutter — even in a photo or painting!

    • LOL!! I always appreciate an honest assessment! And, while I do like still life images, I understand completely that sometimes it can be way TOO MUCH! I have looked at the Old Master’s works and present artists doing work in that style and find some of the compositions too cluttered also. So while I can admire the artistic brush strokes and technique I don’t always dig the composition either. But, maybe it was a time of voluptuous opulence (or desire for it) and so instead of a delicate spare arrangement they went with cascades of fruits and wine glasses and other ornaments. But, the painting was supreme. Glad to have the comment!!

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