Judith Lesnaw  

Vanitas by Judith Lesnaw

October 2019 - Vanitas

About the Image(s)

As I walked a mud path at a picnic a few weeks ago I spied dead bug belly up, and several dried and torn seed pods. The day was hot, it was mid summer. The scene was reminiscent of a Renaissance Vanitas painting, but it lacked the beautiful flowers that accompanied these reminders of the frailty of life. As I contemplated the fates of the bug and pod, I thought of the Spring rains that would bring an abundance of life to the dry and cracked soil, and complete the vanitas ” in reverse. I captured the moment with a Canon 80-D, and Canon 100mm lens, f 8, 1/2000sec. You may wonder why I used 1/2000 shutter speed to photograph a DEAD bug. I had been shooting basket balls in the air and neglected to change my settings.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
5 comments posted

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
This is a fun study of nature in it pure form. The leaves on top add to the interest of the study. The see-through tail draws my attention. I would suggest lowering the levels in the soil and adding a vignette to bring my eye to what is most important.You might also dodge the eyes a bit to bring out the white in them.
  Posted: 10/02/2019 17:26:41

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Your explanation made me smile. I can't tell you how often I have found a cool subject to shoot but forgot to think about changing the settings! I really like the way you always look at things from an artist's point of view. It is something we should all be working toward. I also love it when someone includes a cultural reference to works of art, music or literature. I have done that on occassion, but you remind me that I need to think about it more.
I like the colors in this image and I think you have framed it up very well. On the other hand, the subject matter does not have much impact for me. I guess I am just not a dead bug enthusiast. But kuddos to you for noticing this little nature story most of us wouold have stepped over, or maybe stepped on.   Posted: 10/06/2019 11:21:03

John Roach   John Roach
Judith, Lisa and Sharon have good suggestions. I think the only thing I would add is to crop some of the right side, perhaps past the vertical crack going up to the stop of the frame. I find my eye wonders way from the subject into to this empty space perhaps due to the leading line cracks in the mud path.   Posted: 10/13/2019 12:10:21

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I like it. The bug looks so at piece, almost smiling. The cracked surface provides the perfect background. If this were mine, I would rotate it so the head was pointing diagonally up. I would also remove the leaves which, to my eye, get in the way.   Posted: 10/15/2019 16:27:17

Tom Brott   Tom Brott
Great detail in the picture from the cicada's wings to the cracked mud with sand specs showing through. I think this image reminds us that nature is not always living colorful, vibrant and alive.   Posted: 10/25/2019 19:55:52