hip check the assemblage
one of my favorite pieces of advice about how to arrange a styled photograph is to get everything exactly right and then walk up to the table where all of the components of the shot have been impeccably placed, and give it a firm hip check. the point is that a perfect photo can sometimes be so stilted that it is no longer a good photo. sometimes it just needs a little shot of random energy in order to give it the messy feeling of being alive. in this case, i took a photo several days ago of these elm leaves that were in the process of changing from green to yellow to brown to black. the original photo was good, i thought, and nicely enough arranged, but i wondered if a little bit of chaos might make it better. this time, instead of a hip check, i decided to let the random force be several days of sitting on my kitchen floor. often when i let my nature arrangements sit for several days, they get better and better. this time, i don’t think it happened. you can see the original STILL blog post from five days ago. i think the original is a superior image to this one, but i also think it is sometimes interesting to look at process and not just results, and try to figure out why some things work and why others don’t. i hope you don’t mind my sharing a minor failure with you, in the interest of future success.
dried elm leaves