For this week’s reader challenge, we asked you to submit photos of the inanimate. And as always, you delivered. While some folks settled on more unusual subjects to photograph, the vast majority of you stuck with classic still life hallmarks, including floral arrangments, skulls, glassware, and more. The winning images range from dramatic to lighthearted to just plain spooky.
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Lead image by David Terao. See more of David’s work here.
Channeling the Dutch masters
Skulls are a staple of the still life genre and Instagram user Skzikit brilliantly channels the work of Dutch Golden Age painters like Pieter Claesz with this shot. Plus, with Halloween nearly upon us, the spooky factor feels especially fitting.
Sometimes the simplest subjects make for the most enjoyable images. And Susan Liepa‘s image of eggs is a good example. Something about it makes me smile, maybe it’s the delicate way they’re stacked, the gentle tones, or the soft focus. Or maybe I’m just hungry for a hardboiled… nope, definitely the former.
Swirls of shadows & highlights
This is a particularly gorgeous image of a subject most simple—the humble glass—captured masterfully by José Luis Funes. The swirling highlights and shadows play nicely off the plain, slightly textured grey backdrop. And the framing gives ample breathing room around the subject.
But perhaps most importantly, it appears no beverages were spilled during the making of this shot.
This still life, captured by Robert Serbinenko also put a smile on my face. Though the subject is once again quite ordinary, the results are both humorous and eye-catching. I feel like I’m looking at some tiny soldiers standing straight in a line against a setting sun, or maybe an unreleased Pink Floyd album cover. Or maybe both.
Horizontal arrangement with lilies & flax
This classic still life scene was captured by Judith Hamblyn using her Samsung S10 smartphone. The arrangement looks professionally styled, i.e. gorgeous. And I love the way the floral colors pop against the dark green backdrop.
Finally, we have this awesome barn scene, featuring a 1969 Pontiac GTO, snapped in Southern Alberta, Canada by Gordon Hunter. While old cars, busted bikes, and rotting dolls may not be the first thing you think of when you think “still life,” the scene surely works! I can only imagine what other treasures are hiding in there.