Nautical Vanitas

I wanted this image to be less negative than the War Vanitas, I wanted it to have jolly undertones hence why it’s very pirate-ish. In this modern world, we look back on piracy in the 1700’s with a positive attitude and sometimes even humour. For example, the action comedy film series; Pirates of the Caribbean. In reality it was a dangerous and often short life filled with vices.

This is the lighting set up for my Nautical Vanitas, I used a black backdrop for the image, The key light to the right was quite harsh, the soft box on the left was quite low to fill in shadows and retain detail.  The snoot above was just to add a sparkle to the coins to enhance the fact that all the risk of a pirate’s life is seeking a reward of wealth.

War Vanitas

Recently I went into the studio to shoot my Vanitas final shots, I didn’t over-plan it, I just had a large bag full of objects and vague idea in my head of what I wanted from shooting my draft and thinking about the opportunities of large format and studio lighting.

This is my war themed Vanitas final image. I feel it’s come out quite well aesthetically; I opted for a gray back drop rather than a black one to help the helmet stand out better. As far as content goes I think the image relays the messaged I intended.

This below is the lighting set up I used for my War Vanitas, I wanted the image to have quite a dark feel despite having a grey backdrop. I feel this was successful and I’ve kept all of the shadow detail by using a reflector on the left with quite a harsh light from the right.

Vanitas Test Shot

Having come up with a proposal for my Vanitas project, I now need to think about how I’m going to pull it off.

As a test I thought it would be nice to see if I could create a more traditional style vanitas image using various objects from my home.
I gathered some appropriate objects from within my household and set about playing around with arrangements and lighting.

This is one of the many images I created whilst playing around, I’m quite happy with it and a think i’m now much better prepared
for my Vanitas shoot using large format.

My Vanitas Proposal

I’m hoping to create a war themed photograph and also a nautical themed image for my vanitas project. I am intending to stick to the traditional 16th Century, Dutch style of vanitas using the table of carefully arranged and appropriately lit objects.

I think for my war themed vanitas image I will use objects from the 1940’s including things like medals,  helmets and armaments. I intend to create one image representing the war in general including German objects alongside British ones.  I think the theme of war is a very appropriate topic for the vanitas project as it represents greed, power and even death.

For my nautical theme I am thinking about how human beings exploit the sea through things like fishing and even the roots of piracy. I think the nautical theme fits in with the vanitas project because it relates to human exploitation and also the old fashioned pirate life style exclaims living for the moment and the transient nature of life.