• Image: Heather Prince
    Image: Heather Prince

APS Behind the Lens: An A-Z of curious things

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At first glance this still life seems like just an arbitrary collection of ‘things’. Indeed, when I have entered it in our club competitions, I have received comments like “too busy” or “what’s the purpose here?”

I love Still Life photography. I have been photographing this genre for many years now and have given many presentations about it to clubs around Australia, and even one at an event in the Philippines!

Still Life’s appeal is the endless variety of subject matter you can use, the total control you have, and the freedom to approach the task without variables such as weather or time to interfere.

On one of my regular visits to my daughter, Melanie, who lives in Brisbane, I had some time on my hands mainly because of the stifling summer weather. Straying too far from the pool wasn’t an option. Mel has an eclectic collection of ‘interesting’ objects, and I was browsing through her cabinet and shelves of ‘curiosities’ when I had a light bulb moment - why not try to compose a Still Life where every letter of the alphabet is represented? Photography should be fun, shouldn’t it?

My first task was to find a location where the light would be bright but diffused. I nearly always use window light for my Still Life images, so I found a sideboard with just the right amount of lovely, soft light. I hadn’t brought a tripod with me, but Mel had an old one with a missing attachment plate, so I tied my camera to it so that it was stable. I did have my Fujifilm X-T3 with me (thank goodness!) so I had large RAW files I could work with.

Over the next few days, I sorted through all of the treasures and surprises in Mel’s study, selecting objects and ending up making an alphabet checklist just to be such I had every letter accounted for.

I finally finished arranging and rearranging and shot four frames. 30 seconds work after three days of planning! But I think the result is worth it. The image captures viewers’ interest and it is so amusing to see people counting off on their fingers as they find something. It’s even been published in another magazine to keep readers amused during COVID lockdown!

Oh, and, no, I am not providing a list of what’s here - you will have to find everything yourself! ❂

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