A huge thanks once again Martin to Finesilver, Mark Smith and Laurie Reifel of Finesilver Design as well as Stew Miller of Ideal Printing for making this year's limited edition mini-calendar possible! The theme for my version of the calendar is captured in this quotation from Junichiro Tanizaki:
"We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, light and darkness which that thing provides."
We had decided to photograph objects that were either mostly or completely white, on a partially white background. And for white on white, lighting is everything!
While the subject matter for the Finesilver version of the calendar included only objects from nature, I spread my net a little wider and opted for simple objects that were basically pretty simple and mostly white, but also just appealed to me visually and for which I could envision interesting and creative treatments.
Originally, I planned to use different backgrounds for each image, but quickly found that I preferred the effect of the small blue and white acrylic one I had painted for one of the shots. I ended up using that background plus another slightly bigger one I also painted, and actually had to reshoot at least one shot so that the backgrounds would ultimately be consistent. It was worth it, though, as we ended up with a really great little series of still lifes. (To see my favourites click on this link to my website: hollinrake.com) And I, once again, had the satisfaction of succeeding at one of my favourite photographic challenges: starting with something either fairly mundane, or something beautiful but much photographed and rendering it interestingly, and hopefully a bit differently.
Of course, I must briefly acknowledge that as it happens, I chose for this post the image of the one thing I shot that falls into neither of those categories. This small plaster bust is beautiful but may never have been photographed for all I know. I knew that lighting it carefully, in a specific way would bring out it's beauty in a way that it just didn't effectively project, itself, sitting under ambient room light. I found it in a fantastic gift shop I happened upon totally by accident driving along Queen near Parliament (called Adornments on Queen) which is absolutely overflowing with fabulous "adornments" of all kinds. Coincidentally the friendly, cool guy running the store turned out to be a photographer I hadn't seen in years (exploring his retail side). Oh, and I wanted to acknowledge the sculptor, but there's no indication of who it is. If anyone knows, let me know!
The organza pouches for the calendars have been held for ransom by the courier company competing for the title "most hated by Canadians," but once I get them (I've now paid the shipping/handling fee on top of the shipping/handling fee), I'll have the pleasure of giving these little gifts to my trusted and valued clients.