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The tradition of still-life as subject matter has roots deep into the history of art, pre-dating photography as a medium by centuries (Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman works in tile, tempura, and oils among the first). Fine artists in all mediums, photography included, benefited from the total control they had over the final piece; the art making began with their arrangements of the mostly inanimate objects they intended to represent.
It is art squared, where one first creates a work of art and then another to preserve it.
The history of still life in Photography is as old as the medium itself. Henry Talbot himself produced the first photographic images using the inanimate objects of still life. In its earliest days, utilizing still life as subject matter allowed for the lengthy exposures necessary for its initial technologies. Later, in the early 1900s, studies in line and form of object contributed to popular abstractions. In the 1950s, still-life concentrated on the kitsch, and re-emerged in the 90s after a few decades in obscurity, in perfect partnership with the new trendy super-saturated film stock. Overall, the genre has been largely ignored, despite periodic bouts of influence – surprising, for a photographic practice with so much potential. We are able to manipulate the most minute of details, from choice of object (natural, man-made, found, created), to placement, pick of equipment and film, processing and post-production techniques.
What is still life today? We want you to show us your arrangements, from advertising to record photography, the abstract to the obvious. Whether you are an amateur or professional, you may have experienced your still-life photographs as some of your favorite images – Juror Paula Tognarelli wants to see them.
Contest Prize & TERMS
COPYRIGHT: Photographers retain copyright USAGE RIGHTS: Vermont Photo Space may use selected images to promote the exhibit only.
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