Tableaux of Life


Still Life Editors’ Pick

“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” – Laotzu

Following Emma Lewis’ selection of winning images for our STILL LIFE theme, this compilation of 20 images, selected by the Life Framer editors represents some of the other talented photographers whose work struck us and left a mark. Each a stunning image worthy of exposure and attention…

These are intended to be a conversation starter… so feel free to join the discussion on our social networks.

Banner image courtesy of Sasha Alperin.

Instagram: @sasha_alperin

Editor’s comment: “It’s a simple composition that reveals so much. I appreciate the creativity, the game of reflections and reversed angles. The image is clean and has a strong focal point.”

Image courtesy of Michael Koch from the series Eternal Collection.

“In this series I combine photographs of nature and science and its representation. The pictures in this series are about the space between the imagined and real. Taken in my studio and museums of natural history around Europe the photographs show bones skulls and taxidermy animals isolated from their natural habitat.”

www.michael-koch.org and Instagram: @michaelkoch.artist

Editor’s comment: “It’s a simple and artistic composition. It has a strong focal point and denotes good technical skills. I appreciate the use of soft colors and the powerful black-white contrast.”

Image courtesy of Anne Barth from the series Cutan.

“The production of food, its handling and the industry behind it are worthy of discussion. Straight grown cucumbers, shrink-wrapped vegetables, size-sown eggs and cheap meat from factory farming are commonplace. Many movements, subcultures and groups such as straight-edge or foodsharing deal with the topic of food. Organic meat, air-carried fruits, frozen food, all that surrounds us every day. Eating becomes a statement. Growing up as a vegeterian I was confronted very early with reactions by my social enviroment relating to what I was eating. When I became vegan reactions intensified. My series is inspired by the Spanish painter Cotn from the early 16th century. In his still lives he created a close proximity through light and a detailed realistic drawing. Whereas the composition creates distance I take up this contradiction to show the tension that food and eating brings nowadays.”

www.annebarth.de and Instagram: @annebarthphoto

Editor’s comment: “Using simple elements this image manages to convey its message. Displaying suffocated vegetables is a strong metaphor, playing on the long tradition of still life. I appreciated the ability to produce a well-balanced composition, use color contrast, and work with lighting.”

Image courtesy of Alicja Wróblewska.

“Coral reefs are one of the most beautiful and delicate natural phenomena on Earth. They are formed in seas and oceans where the water temperature stays above 18C. Due to environmental pollution and warming of the climate, and thusly warming of the water, coral reefs are affected by fading. In 2017, 90% of the Great Barrier Reef was subject to mass fading. If we do not stop the global warming the reefs will disappear forever. The project includes photographs of objects made entirely of disposable plastic – bottles, mugs, straws, cosmetics and food packaging etc. These objects represent future reefs. If we do not drastically limit production of plastic, especially disposable packaging, the reefs will be permanently destroyed and replaced by synthetic creations of the Anthropocene such as these. Is this what we want for us, for our planet and for future generations?”

www.alkawroblewska.com and Instagram: @alkawroblewska

Editor’s comment: “Transforming plastic into artificial coral is a very interesting idea and an efficient and interesting way to convey an important message, that perhaps otherwise risks falling on deaf ears. I appreciate the creativity and the artistic use of colors. This image would be a great design element for a plastic-free campaign.”

Image courtesy of Javi Saguillo.

“I like the places where there is poetry in decadence. Where ads or posters are part of an abstract texture.”

www.javisaguillo.com and Instagram: @javisaguillo

Editor’s comment: “It’s a cluttered scene but it’s strong and meaningful. I would like to know the story behind this image. I appreciate the storytelling abilities and the talent to “see” a good image anywhere.”

Image courtesy of Marta Karcz from the series Cutan.

“I’ve always been interested in food photography and working as a food stylists assistant I’ve had many opportunities to watch amazing food photographers in action. But since I’ve unearthed my Zenit ET and started working with it again it struck me that there wasn’t much of analog food photography to be found. When you look into old cookbooks or food publications you will find some images that must have been taken with film cameras as no other option was possible at the time but they didn’t have much in common with what we today perceive as food photography.”

Instagram: @marta_kei_

Editor’s comment: “There is a story behind this image and I’m eager to know it. It’s a simple and ordinary scene, but the elements add a certain melancholy and tenderness. I appreciate the use of light and shadow and the dark background that invites the viewer to find out more.”

Image courtesy of Henning S Pettersen.

www.henningspettersen.com and Instagram: @henningspettersen

Editor’s comment: “Using black and white photography to work with lines and shapes is a good idea. I like the symmetry of this composition and the distraction created by the human steps.”

Image courtesy of Joon Lee.

“In the form of still life I put together food, flowers, mirrors and random everyday objects to create tableaux that explore themes of disarray and order, discord and harmony. Opposing tones and forms are also vehicles for to interrogate the boundaries of my own sexuality and theoretical philosophies correlating each image from my social, political and environmental background.”

www.kdotclee.com and Instagram: @kdotclee

Editor’s comment: “The composition is complex, artful, and well-balanced. I appreciate the use of light and shadow, the game of reflections, and the meaningful creativity of the subject.”

Image courtesy of Ingrid Gielen.

www.ingridgielenphotography.com and Instagram: @gieleningrid

Editor’s comment: “I appreciate the simplicity and efficiency of this image. Using just shades of blue and a single object it manages to convey a strong and full message. The image is artful and well-balanced.”

Image courtesy of Gregor Radonjič.


Editor’s comment: “This image shows three different decors in a simple and revealing composition. The perpendicularity between them is the center of the composition and a good focal point. I appreciate the use of geometry and the ability to work with simple elements and textures.”

Image courtesy of Cletus Nelson Nwadike from the series Snow Man.

“I was born in 1966 and in July 1967 a war started and my people were almost eliminated from this planet. 2 million of my people were killed. Our humanity was taken from us and our faith was almost destroyed. It was dark and the darkness continued a long time after the war. I grew up without seeing any picture because the soldiers had burnt all our photographs. My dad said that I looked like my grandfather but I had never seen my grandfather or a picture of him. Now the war has ended but the human heart is still in pain. I left my country and studied photography at a university in Sweden. I have found and built a new family that no war can take away because this country Sweden has known peace for 200 years.”


Editor’s comment: “This is an interesting collage with elements that reveal in time. I appreciate the quality of contrast and the sharpness of details. Although it’s a mix of elements, they combine effortless and the result is artistic and appealing.”

Image courtesy of Anne Combaz from the series Cutan.

www.annecombaz.com and Instagram: @annecombaz

Editor’s comment: “Mixing different elements to produce interesting compositions isn’t easy. I appreciate the use of strong colors and the ability to work with shapes and textures. This image is artistic and has a surreal air.”

Image courtesy of Karen Goss.

www.karengoss.com and Instagram: @gossphoto

Editor’s comment: “This geometric composition is appealing and leads the viewer from element to element. Giving up colors improved the accuracy and created a more powerful visual impact. I admire the use of shapes and contrast to create a well-balanced composition.”

Image courtesy of Stefanie Minzenmay from the series Veggies.

www.stefanie-minzenmay.de and Instagram: @fotografiesmy

Editor’s comment: “This image denotes a good technique and the ability to work with artificial lighting sources. The composition is simple and artful, the color contrast enhances the shapes, and the background is impeccable.”

Image courtesy of Shinya Masuda from the series Hanafuda Shozouko .

“One day I unintentionally spoiled a box of fruits and vegetables that my mother had sent from my hometown without even taking them out of the box. I stared down at the veggies lying in the box which now became their coffin. The sight pained me but at the same time it reminded me of my late grandmothers pet phrase – “all things must pass”. Once their time in this world has passed, all life loses form. While recognizing that providence I also yearned to capture the remnants of love that my mother must have sent along with those items. The veggies’ value as foodstuffs may be lost but a piece of my mother’s heart must linger still. Before even that vanished I wanted to embalm those rotten foods for a proper send off. I chose Hanafuda as a motif for the last rites. Hanafuda, or flower cards, is a traditional Japanese card game consisting of a deck of 48 cards which are divided into 12 suits of 4 cards each. Each suit represents a month of the year with a flower or a plant of that month. In most suits two of the cards show a plain version of the flower or the plant while one of them in most suits depicts a tanzaku or a poetry ribbon along with the flower.”

www.shinyamasuda.com and Instagram: @shinya_masuda_605

Editor’s comment: “Using a complex composition, with Japanese influences, this image is very artistic and appealing. The elements reveal in time and I expect the viewer will spend time admiring it. It’s like a visual haiku.”

Image courtesy of Renata Dutree.

Instagram: @renatadutreephotography

Editor’s comment: “It’s a strong and dark image that denotes good technical skills. It’s also artful, painting-like, and I especially admire the editing abilities on display.”

Image courtesy of Rick Gayle.

“Im not a project based photographer. I prefer varied subject matter with a consistent look and feel. For me photography is about asking questions. The notion of not fitting in is a good place to be for me as a photographer because everything seems new. Understanding comes from the juxtapositions that are found while photographing. My photographs are my interrogation into moments I find and as they are sequenced into small groups, a series of moments develops that become phrases that ultimately make up my autobiography.”

www.rickgaylefineartphotography.com and Instagram: @rickgaylefineartphotography

Editor’s comment: “This monochrome image has a strong composition and dramatic effects. I appreciate the power of storytelling in a gritty, urban landscape. I also like the use of straight lines and curves that lead the viewer from one element to another.”

Image courtesy of Amelia Bauer and Elizabeth Parks Kibbey from the series Book of Shadows.

“The word Pagan comes from the Latin word Paganus meaning “of or pertaining to the countryside, rural, rustic”. The 17th century saw the innovation and popularization of the floral still life painting in Europe and its colonies. By the end of the same century the Salem Witch trials were occurring in America. Witchcraft, a belief system that focused on the cycles of the natural world, included among its rituals the use of botanicals dried and kept in bottles or carried in pouches, bathed in or brewed as tea. Plants were used both symbolically and medicinally in these rituals and many of the ingredients can be found in present-day herbal remedies. The names of wildflowers such as cattail and foxglove and less familiarly crows foot, donkeys eyes, and snakes tongue, lead to visions of cauldrons with real animal parts stewing inside. Women held greater power in the practices of Witchcraft and were accused and killed in far greater numbers than men during the Salem witch trials. The still life images in this series are composed of the ingredients in various botanical spells. The ingredients are used here in their most floral state – poppies instead of poppy seeds, a saffron bulb instead of dried stigmas and so on. The arrangements turn these spells towards the domestic and present a less threatening, more palatable femininity.”

www.ameliabauer.com and Instagram: @ameliabauer

Editor’s comment: “Using editing techniques to transform an ordinary bouquet into an artful object is a good way to achieve a visual effect. I like the neon colors and the sharp details of this image. It has a strong visual identity.”

Image courtesy of Betina Vang.

www.betinavang.com and Instagram: @betinavangphoto

Editor’s comment: “The photographer proves the ability to work with light and shadow. This image is dramatic, monochrome palette suits it perfectly. There is also an interesting story behind the objects and as a viewer I’m eager to find it.”

Image courtesy of Diana Monkhorst.

www.dianamonkhorst.nl and Instagram: @diana_monkhorst

Editor’s comment: “Tonal contrast adds a melancholic dimension to an image. Here the photographer created a focal point by working with color contrast and the result is appealing and playful. I appreciate the ability to create atmosphere with just a few elements.”

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