Lighting Through a Window: People in Still Life in a Style of 1600s Dutch Painters

February 27, 2016 - photo frame

The Amaizing Crazy

A few months ago we was operative on putting together a still life fire with a illusory stylist and a crony of mine, Kiki Tse. She had come adult with this pleasing thought for a shoot: to paint a chairman in a still life context by a use of some of their personal effects.

To know someone’s possessions; to see a maritime draft from their grandad; an talisman with a print of their late sister though ever saying a face to insert this comment to invites a spectator to form their possess comment abandoned of settlement of background, race, age or earthy appearance.

Aesthetically we motionless to take change from a aged Dutch Master still life painters circa 1600. It only so happened that my partner had an muster in Amsterdam a few weeks before a fire and a gallery we were staying with were kind adequate to lend us their museum passes for a day. It was a ideal storm, so naturally we spent a time in a Rijksmuseum, we saw Vermeers and Rembrandts though my categorical seductiveness was destined towards a still life painters.

I spent time study Heda’s implausible digest of lead objects, and Claesz outpost Dijek’s unblemished facsimile of excellent fact and depth.

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Along with Bollongier, Claesz and even Pieter De Hooch’s solemn delivery of Dutch interiors we arrange to know a one thing that tied all these painters together.

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For me what tied all these masters together was their delivery of lighting, a ideal illustration of a cold frail northern light sprawling opposite a house and a objects within. Always from a window during a distant left, high adult from a list on that objects were placed.

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The reflections in a glassware and lead objects tell all there is to know about a illusory source of a light.

Amsterdam - Rijksmuseum 1885 - The Gallery of Honour (1st Floor) - Still Life with Fruit, Nuts and Cheese 1613 by Floris outpost Dijck_crop

A week or so after I’m operative on plcae opposite town, there was a tube strike that day and a whole city belligerent to an ungainly halt. Getting behind home to a studio was a calamity and it meant holding a opposite track to a opposite sight station. we finished adult slicing opposite some outworn severe land behind some aged warehouses nearby a studio, it is raining and murky though there fibbing on a ground, roughly glowing, with some damaged joist was half a doorway with a window in it.

So we took a half door, used it to defense off a sleet and walked a rest of a approach home. Before we found a half doorway we had skeleton to make a conformation of a window out of polyboards and card for a fire though this was like attack gold.

On a morning of a fire we built a support out of some throw timber, to reason a window during a good operative tallness of about 5 feet.

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I intentionally didnt purify a potion and draped a pleated square of muslin behind it to supplement hardness to a light.

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Polyboards and froth house were total on a sides, tip and bottom of a window structure to dwindle any light that would differently brief over into a shot shortening contrariety and spoiling a effect.

I used dual 1200w studio heads to unequivocally punch by a muslin and light a list from a stretch while still permitting a good plain f/14 during ISO 100. One conduct was diffused by a vast softbox, a other a true open dish. This multiple feels like a object violation by on a misty day. The shiver speed was 1/160s, operative with peep indoors means a shiver speed needs to be discerning adequate to not let any wandering light bearing into a image, while staying next a camera’s limit peep sync speed. In existence anything between 1/60 and 1/200 would be fine, depending on a ambient light in a studio.

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The choice of F-stop here was a change of 3 categorical factors; exposure, abyss of margin and sharpness. Looking behind to a aged masters they had no emanate with digest all on their list in focus, so we did a same. This gave me dual options, f/14 or f/16, any reduce and a abyss of margin would start to remove vicious sharpness on a objects farthest from a focal point. Any aloft and a whole picture would noticeably alleviate due to diffraction errors. The bearing was crash on a income during f/14 with a window lights during full power, that was a determining factor.

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Also a snoot and a several grids were total on 400w and 600w heads to subtly prominence and collect out certain objects on a list and to fill any shadows that forsaken too low. In a shot with a orange credentials froth house was also used to dwindle and figure a light descending on a background.

The Alabama

The Alabama

The Amazing Crazy

The Amazing Crazy

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The Traveler

The Traveler

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The Delicate

The Delicate

The Delicate_crop

The Carer

The Carer

Now don’t get me wrong, we adore operative with accessible light and illumination though with this setup we could fire prolonged after sundown, with a same formula each shot. It gave us a illumination demeanour with a trustworthiness and coherence of studio lighting.

A integrate of months after we was doing an initial fire with Margot Pasquier during Squad Management and makeup artist Zoe Arena. Near a finish of a day we brought a window in to give a cinematic feel to a gritty, capricious black and white shoot.

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This time a window support was placed a prolonged approach behind in a studio, illuminated from several feet behind by a 2.4k container and conduct with a tiny plate reflector. The increasing stretch between a conduct and a window total with a smaller indicate of start of a light source has a outcome of raised a conformation of a support into a set.


About a author: David Wilman is a conform and still life photographer formed in London, England. You can find some-more of his work on his Instagram, website, and Facebook.

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