Putting The Boot In (to Still-life Photography).

It’s official. I’ve reached peak boredom with this term’s project.

For sure, playing around with targetted adjustments and vignettes has been interesting, but how many ******* boot shots did it take to get to this post? (That’s a rhetorical question. It’s not like guess the number of sweets in the jar. There are no prizes.) By the end of the edit I felt like I’d line danced my way through a Calgary Stampede’s worth of stacked heels. I’ve blisters, FFS.

So how’s it working out for you? If you want to skip town now, you’ll be forgiven. If not, here’s a gallery of shots that look pretty much the same unless, like me, you’ve spent hours obsessing over minute details that it’s unlikely anyone else will notice. Enjoy.



I must have taken hundreds of shots of varying setups over three weeks worth of classes. Not one – seriously, not one! – was exactly how I wanted it. If the still life set up was right, the light was wrong. If the light was right, the shape was out. Or there was straw where it shouldn’t be. (My bad. I’ve mucked out enough stables to know what straw is like. The bloody stuff gets everywhere. If there is ever a next time of using it on set I’ll make damn sure it stays where I want it.)

To try to achieve the “stable door” shaft of light that I was after, Zig and I had fashioned a couple of makeshift gobos out of card to use as “lighting stencils”.


They worked in part, but I still needed to use targetted adjustments on quite a few shots to add light where I wanted more of it and lower it where I felt it was too harsh. I also played around with saturation, vibrancy and vignettes to give some shots an old-school Western Vibe.


This last shot, and it’s various incarnations, is my favourite. (Ironically, having used a gel on the right snoot, my favourite shots are black and white, but the gel will have added something to the tone, regardless.)

I suspect one of the five will be the eventual still life shot I hand in for this term’s project. Which means getting them printed. Which means tweaking the brightness (turn that monitor down, luv) and resizing them before I send them off to DS Colour Labs (who, fyi, currently have special deals to tie in with The Photography Show that kicks off later this week).

But that, my dears, is for another day. Right now I’d rather invigilate Nickelback’s attempt at “Longest. Rock Concert. Ever.” than open Camera Raw again.

I’ll even wear a Chad Kroeger t-shirt. It’ll go well with the boots and the hat.


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