Well, to be honest, this post is about photographers/photographic stylists who inspire since Dietlind Wolf wears both hats. More than two for she is a visual designer, prop-stylist and photographer. In her words, "a collector of remains and arrangements".
She is part of my series "photographers who inspire" that I am presenting so that I can learn as much as I can about still life photography. This is my own schooling right here. And what I learn, I'll share with you. That's how we operate around here - we've always been good at sharing.
You may have seen her work already - she's most recently been in the summer edition of Sweet Paul.
I wanted to introduce her to you and show you more of her portfolio because I find her work fresh, original and creative. Sometimes whimsical. Always inspiring. Challenging. Not always sweet and nice. She plays with the conventions of food and still life photography.
Let's start with some lowkey shots (unless otherwise credited, the photographs are by Dietlind as well). Lowkey means less light. There still is often a high contrast between the darkest and lightest parts of the photograph but overall it's a composition and styling that is moodier and darker.
This one I find interesting for two reasons. First, contradicting what I said earlier, there is actually less contrast between the darkest and lightest parts of the photograph than you usually would see. It's almost muddy looking yet the orangey/red flower in the middle is lit a bit more. Second, the angle - it's not right overhead but it is also a much steeper angle than the usual 45 degrees.
Now some whimsical photographs.
In this one she plays with the concept of props. One of the goals of a food photographer is to bring 3 dimensionality to a 2 dimensional photograph. She turns that on its head by having two dimensional props - the outline of vessels and cutting boards. And the props have moved by the second photo with the addition of the sandwich. It's not just a vignette, it pokes fun at being real, at having been used. Finally, the angle of the viewer is neither overhead nor at 45 degrees or so in front of the vignette - we are looking at the scene from the right side.
Again playing with 2D and 3D - now with a silhouette of a wine bottle and glasses.
Flowers in a vase. Pretty standard, right? Not here. The flowers are deconstructed and the petals strews about. The vase is 2D (paper perhaps outlined with wire) and with the flowers they lie flat on the surface. The bird is stuffed and the stems and leaves are from a geranium, not the flower in the photo. The diptych itself looks like it has been slammed together with the intentionally uneven cropping.
This next one plays with our sense of direction. What is up and down? Are these both overhead shots or not?Are the lemons falling between the bowls? The wooden spoon looks bent - can it still be used? What is the tape for - is it keeping the bowls together?
Some more traditionally styled photographs but still with unique touches.
Dietland has presented a lovely photo of a flower but also hinted at the artificiality of the styling.The second half of the diptych has a crooked horizon line. You can see the wrinkles in the fabric that the vase is sitting on and the corner of the fabric ends before the backdrop does. It's almost like the styling version of a Mies van de Rohe building - you see the construction, nothing is hidden.
Another diptych in a style that we have seen before elsewhere - the ingredients and then the finished product. But again, neither the tabletops nor the exposure matches. Even the lines of the planks in the table are at right angles.
Love the monochromatic choice plus the textural contrasts. I had to look twice, three times when I first saw this photo before I realised that it was cheese wrapped in the cheese cloth. Not really the rule of thirds either for composition.
Another ingredients/finished dish diptych. In the first photo not only is the egg broken but some of the plates as well. You have to break an egg to make an omelette but the plates too? And the second photo hints at an egg with the oval platter and the perfectly circular omelette.
Dietlind did a few of these in a series on diets.
And my favourite right now, the two deconstructed diptych poppies. An intense background colour. Were the poppies torn apart intentionally or carefully? We are left with only the poppy centers. The photos are taken from overhead yet the first photo hints at a vertical styling with the loose petals gathered around the vase.
Aren't these fabulous? Don't you find them inspiring? Which ones are your favourites? Why?