ImageZ Club Night – Starting from a Blank Canvas – Guest Speaker – Polina Plotnikova
1/3/22 Attendees 32
Last night we were treated to a presentation by Polina Plotnikova, called ‘Flower Portraits and Still Life – Starting from a Blank Canvas.’ Polina is well known for her striking flower, still life, and Doll images.
The first half of the evening Polina began to explain how she liked to treat her flower photography as portraiture, studying the flowers mood and character as though she was photographing a
She shared with the audience the artists that inspired her work, listing the reasons why she found each one very inspiring. She said, “As an artist your personal interpretation is always right.” We were shown two photos from the Classic style and Impressionist and asked to think about which we preferred.
She said it is important to previsualise the image you wish to make and to understand the unique features of your subject.
In the studio she explained everything is under your control it is important to take time and get everything right. The background of an image is crucial to the photograph and Polina has created many of her own.
She showed us her studio set up and the equipment she uses. She is a champion for Lensbaby products and really enjoys the soft dream -like quality the Lensbaby lenses can create.
She explained she works through projects, and the presentation was accompanied by a selection of her projects from beautiful individual white flowers to images where a pin sharp flower had been merged with an image that Polina had taken using intentional camera movement to blur the same flower using multi exposure technique. The results were amazing.
She also works with older flowers calling this project “Past Perfect”. These ageing flowers had a beauty in their shape texture and fragility.
The second half of the evening took the same format as Polina again shared with the audience artists that inspired her work.
“Composition is everything” she said added the photographer must be meticulous in the work studying the image to make sure small things aren’t missed. She urged photographers to “Look at what is going on in front of the camera.” She suggested to the members to collect props from Antique shops and Charity shops which could be a less expensive way of accumulating a store of good props. Using sympathetic colours works well when planning your image as ‘you are responsible for your own composition.’ She suggested looking at light, colour, shape and texture.
Polina supported her presentation with her still life images which are beautiful and unique. They helped our members to see how she used the methods and techniques she had explained to us.
Polina runs studio photography workshops at Wimbledon Studios, and she teaches, at Amersham Studios.
The evening was very inspiring. Polina’s presentation was, clear, very informative, well-structured and delivered in a warm and friendly way. It made you want to and go try this genre immediately.
Next week: Competition – Winner on the Night #3
In the Hall—Digital and Print.