Still Life with Luba Citrin
A Review by Holli Isber –
I was fortunate to attend the workshop “Still Life” run by Luba Citrin on Saturday January 14th, 2023. To start I will say it was excellent. As usual, with anything organized by the HCC, it was very well run… started on time, we all had information / link before the meeting, professional introduction of our guest and kept to the topic at hand.
Luba walked us through her view as to what makes a good still life. In fact she emphasized that “still, but not so still life” should be your motto if you go into this genre of photography. Your photo needs to “tell a story” and draw the viewer into the photo. Things do not have to be stagnant or boring; however, it is best to select ordinary things around you as your initial subjects. Your photography expertise and attention to detail can make ordinary things exciting and interesting to look at. Luba highlighted a view I had not previously thought about — that Still Life photography is an excellent entry point for a beginner photographer however; also as important, this is an excellent genre for experienced photographers to learn, practice and improve their skills, specifically around lighting, shadows and editing.
Luba walked us through so many of her own examples and I was absolutely blown away by her work. The comments throughout her presentation indicated all of us felt the same way – people said things like….. “wow”, “amazing”, “brilliant work”, “so creative”, “so impressive”. Her creativity and skill were so evident – she is truly a master at still life. She was also very generous and kind to share with us all of her “how to” work. She opened up and shared her secrets. I felt she truly wanted all of us to be experts in still life photography.
To summarize some of my key takeaways were; lighting is critical (natural, flash or strobe), try different perspectives, use ordinary things from around you, start with just a few things, add or take away items to alter the story, change locations, move things around, props do not have to expensive (think dollar store), always compose with a story in mind, leverage shadows, use negative space, develop a series, titles are critical to convey part of your story, leverage Photoshop for key editing and most importantly — let your creative mind wander.
Thank you so much for sharing so much with us Luba! Your work is absolutely amazing! – Holli Isber
Some Comments from Other Club Members
- “Cool, exactly what I was wondering about these types of levitated images” – Gail MacLellan
- “Just Like a Vermeer Painting” – Rick Mckenzie
- “Her lighting is fantastic. That’s a challenge for me too to get the lighting just right.” – Kathy Ward
- “So many cool ideas!” – Ted Buck
- “I’m newer and often feeling like there is no inspiration for me. This [presentation] make it impossible for me to have a single excuse. I love her artistic angles.” – Mary
- “We’re going to watch this several times too! We have to master layers in Photoshop.” – Agnes and Vince
- “Great presentation, Luba” – John Kezys
- “Wonderful! Thank you! I could get totally obsessed with this…” – Ann
- “This is all very inspiring! Great ideas.” – Jim Sykes
For those HCC members that missed Luba’s Workshop presentation on Still Life Photography, or for those attendees who would like to watch the presentation again, please go to the Member’s Only Tips and Tutorials page. A Zoom recording of the presentation is available there, in the Workshops, Outings & Other Notes section of the page. You must be logged in to view this material