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Three Pewter Vases Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

29 April 2019

There was something appealing to us about this composition that we couldn't quite put our finger on. We'd taken the shot last week but we found an fatal flaw when we started editing it. The little vase was askew.

Three Pewter Vases. Captured at f8, 1/200 second and ISO 200, processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

So we tried it again. Same Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera with the 43-86mm Nikkor on the Lensbaby Tilt Transformer. We had to set up across the room to frame it. It was later in the day, but the angle of the light was similar.

Our first edit taught us one other thing. This time we took the trouble to clean the window and polish the vases before we snapped the shutter.

And after a little tweaking of the DNG file, this is what we ended up with.

So why do we like it? Well, let's see.

There's a monochrome feel to it, although it was shot and edited in color. If you look carefully at the reflections on the polished vases, you'll see they do shoot off a hue or two.

There are many things that escape our notice in the course of the day.

The gray roof beyond is the perfect backdrop, too. A landscape, for example, would have been distracting. Even blurred nicely.

The sill itself is silent, too, with no distracting detail.

Only the vases are sharp in this scene, their high contrast surfaces sparkling against the gray darkness.

Those elements create quite a different composition than The Old Sill of two years ago, which was more a photo of the newly-painted but old window sill than the vases on it. That image occasioned a meditation on character.

This one is not about that.

This one is more than monochrome. The color, though subdued, is necessary, adding the only bit of life in the image. Try it in black and white to see what is lost.

Most of the image is the out-of-focus neutral roof. The three small vases stand out sharply against that, making it clear they are the sole subject of the composition. They stand there like opera singers on a dimly-lit stage.

But we are backstage looking at them, seeing them not from the street reflecting brightly in the brilliant sun from a block away, but above the sink in shadow. Just three vases on a window sill.

That still manage to command attention.

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