Continuing with our Vanitas project, this week we were given some props and asked to create our own Vanitas photograph in the studio. Working in groups we arranged the items and added a few props of our own.

The headphones represent modern life, music, gadgets and youth culture; the money represents the pursuit of wealth and the skull reminds us that our life is short and finite.

Click on the photo to see a larger version
Click on the photo to see a larger version

We used a soft box to create soft lighting on the display table. The display table was set up a couple of feet in front of the backdrop so that we could light the background separately. We used barn doors on the light to create the rays of light.

After a couple of attempts to take the photo and fire the flash we chose to use a longer exposure with just the modelling lights. It has produced a softer effect and much more like one of the paintings we have been looking at.

We have caught a reflection of the softbox in the vase so next time we will need to adjust the position of that particular light to minimise reflections on any shiny objects.