The Inner Landscape

Keyworth Camera Club were treated to an informative and entertaining talk this week by Andy Phillips of Preston Camera Club. He is by profession a landscape photographer but the recent lockdown had caused him to look for another style of photography to pursue and so he applied some of his outdoor landscape skills to move indoors and immerse himself in what is commonly referred to as Still Life. He calls it the Inner Landscape.  

Andy showed us a number of examples of the set ups he uses in his work. Andy stressed the importance of manipulating the light and showed us how he used simple black and white foam boards to block out or channel the ambient light onto the subject matter. His carefully crafted compositions, sometimes taking several hours to get the optimal arrangement, were laid out in his studio, which was actually the kitchen table!  

Andy has become an expert in sourcing subject matter for his images at little or no cost. They ranged from Arum lilies and Rudbeckia to garlic cloves, spices, Grape Gooseberries, cheese and toast and even a tower of floating macaroons that was created using spacers of Hula Hoops that were subsequently erased from the image. His props were also inexpensive and included wooden boxes from the local grocer and a piece of slate from a nearby recycling yard.  

Andy explained how he used a colour wheel to select complimentary colours and he particularly liked working with blues and golds.  

Andy spent the second half of his talk explaining his technique for focus stacking aided by the Helicon software and the subsequent editing in Photoshop. He summarised his talk with a reminder of the importance of “manipulating the light” and added a second key criterion of “simplicity”. 

Thanks are due to Andy Phillips for this very interesting and educational insight into his take on of Still Life that was delivered in a highly amusing and straightforward style

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