Frame Works? Antelope with Birds

Description:  Still life of a metal antelope sculpture 

Background: I’ve always been drawn to the minimalism of this sculpture. I waver over whether it is a cow or an antelope. It was a gift to my wife from one of her friends years ago, so its origin and background are lost.   

Minimalism, as a design or compositional strategy, suits me well. I like Miles Davis’ “cool” period because of the relative sparsity of notes he played compared to others during the same period. Noisy patterns and too many colors in one place are also distasteful to me. This sculpture, essentially a three-dimensional outline, appeals to my aesthetic sense and is, therefore, a fitting subject for me to capture. Positioning the sculpture to evoke the mood/attitude I wanted proved to be more of a challenge than expected. After moving it around in different lighting, I decided that light coming from the right was best.

The light in the photo is from an east-facing window and is only strong enough during a brief period in the morning. I had just received a few lenses that needed testing, so for this shot, I used a Vivitar MC 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 lens that I cannot find in any lens database. I took the shot planning to reshoot with a better lens a while later. I haven’t bothered to reshoot.

Technical: Minolta XD11, Vivitar MC 28-70mm f3.5-4.5, aperture priority; HP5+ developed in fresh df96; scanned with an Epson V600.  

Frame Works?: Yes! The morning light hitting the antelope’s face seems to make it look alert as if it’s just heard something that requires attention. I like the balance in the frame, especially the long leaf blade in the background that helps frame the subject. The HP5+ with df96 has a pleasant grain structure–better than I expected for a 400 ISO film. This image is one of the first for which someone requested a print. 

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