Back to School: Getting Niggly With It

My improvised photography studio - in the kitchen by the patio door
My kitchen photography studio - with quickly improvised diffuser when the sun came out. 

Sometimes you need to go backwards in order to move forwards. And so it was with this week's lesson and assignment which looked at working indoors and outdoors in not-so-perfect conditions.

I've taken lots of pictures in the rain and frost this year, so I decided to concentrate on indoor work using natural light from a window. The results highlighted deficiencies in my technique, equipment and improvisation. That's no bad thing in my view.

Here's my latest collage - the brief said plants or flowers, so you'll see I've taken that to quite an extreme by my decision to use apples as my subject.

Collage of nine apple photographs

The three images I selected for submission are included in the collage this time. Which ones do you think they are?

This assignment got me quite niggly and dissatisfied with my photos. Studio work slows things right down which in turn tried my patience and I could see many faults in each image. Then there's the selection of the right fruit, their preparation (mine were covered in bits of leaf, birch seeds, dirt etc), finding the most pleasing shape and colour to face the camera; what's the best background to use etc etc.

It's no wonder that little lot, plus the days I spent thinking about how I was going to set up my 'studio' and improvise all the items on the course's equipment list I don't have, meant I took much longer this week and had far fewer images to select from for my assessment.

However, I don't mind. This is the week I learnt. A lot.

Coming up next: Final Lesson - Developing Vision & Technique

Previously: Back to School - My introductory post; Lesson 1 - Lighting; and Lesson 2 - Composition

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My photographs taken in not-so-ideal conditions:

And then there's:

Google "apple still life images" and the link takes you to the set of images presented. How many of them work for you?

Disclosure: I'm taking the course for review purposes as a guest of My Garden School. There are no cookies or affiliate links associated with this post.


  1. Nice shots. I'm guessing middle row left, middle row right and bottom row right.

  2. Thanks CJ - I'll let you know which ones they are when a few more people have commented. Also, since I put the collage together, I wish I'd submitted one of the other photographs! Sadly I can't change my choice once I've pressed the submit button. If only I'd left it in edit mode - my fault for being too hasty in completing the assignment.

  3. Oh goody, I've been looking forward to reading about your latest lesson and seeing the results. This week, I'd say definitely bottom right (totally gorgeous shot, love the angle of the curve in the bowl behind) and left middle (great texture and lighting, very chiaroscuro) but am undecided on the third. I would have plumped for top centre but it's out of focus so maybe middle centre or bottom centre if it was less tightly cropped (perhaps necessary for the collage format). Don't keep us guessing for too long! xx

  4. Tee hee - I'm enjoying this game. It's a bit like playing Battleships, but with photographs. I can't tell you the hits and misses so far as that might give the game away!

    I'm also being a bit unfair as once again the smaller photos hide a multitude of sins. The collage format has also cropped the bottom middle photo more than I'd like, but then I went in close with the photo to try and get rid of some of the deficiencies I'd spotted with using the wooden bowl.

  5. I'm really enjoying these posts - love your diffuser! I could have done with something like that the other day when trying to photograph my finger on a smartphone menu button for a recent post I did! I'm going for 1, 3 and 4 because they each have interesting texture and rich colour...

    1. Thanks Janet - it's amazing what a look around the house comes up with! Ahhh, now trying to take photos of your self when trying to do something is an art in itself. I did something similar when trying to take a picture of myself using a label printer. I just took one of me holding it in my hand in the hand.

      Interesting selection - you're the closest so far...

    2. Gah - " my hand in the end"!

  6. My submitted images were top left and right, plus bottom middle. My favourite image is the middle one, but I didn't submit it as I had already chosen the top left one and I thought they were too similar.


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