Final Vanitas Images

Here are my final two vanitas images one is a Japanese styled vanitas the other an Edwardian Era vanitas, I have tried to keep the translation of the images close to the meanings from original vanitas paintings but I wanted to no do more but make them more simplistic images with few objects in them for a minimalist style which I quite like

2
Edwardian Vanitas
1
Japanese Vanitas

Studio Setup with Speedlites

Here are some images of the setup used to shoot the vanitas and the character portrait at home using two Speedlite flashes, two Neewer wireless receivers, one Neewer transmitter set to Group one along with the two receivers, a Sekonic light meter, Toshiba Satelite Netbook and USB cable for tethering the camera to the laptop and Canon’s own EOS Capture software for taking the photographs remotely and changing the settings for Both the Canon camera’s the 1100D and the 750D the setup images of the studio were taken with the Huawei P9 smartphone with the Leica technology in.

Traditional Idea of vanitas

Here is my version of a traditional vanitas image I didn’t want to clutter the scene so I used minimal objects that covered the idea and theory as well as the meaning behind vanitas images. All the images were taken using two Speedlite flashes using Neewer wireless controllers and transmitter, two lighting tripods, canon 1100D and 750D EOS Cameras a Toshiba Satelite laptop USB cable for tethering to the laptop and canon’s own EOS Utility software for controlling the cameras.

These are the lighting plans I used for this and my modern vanitas shoots again Speedlites with an led light panel for extra illumination.

Modern Vanita – Japanese

This is what my modern vanitas was about Japanese food/Drink and Poetry and writing all very important pieces from Japanese history and also my favourite food, drink and reading material now all the images were taken  using two Speedlite flashes using Neewer wireless controllers and transmitter, two lighting tripods, canon 1100D and 750D EOS Cameras a Toshiba Satelite laptop USB cable for tethering to the laptop and canon’s own EOS Utility software for controlling the cameras.

These are the lighting plans I used for this and my modern vanitas shoots again Speedlites with an led light panel for extra illumination.

Vanitas

Now the big one for me vanitas, research nearly done few more pieces to do to make sense of it all both my modern and historical shoots will be:

Research for my vanities now includes information on (Fashion, Health, War, Food, Entertainment, Music etc.)

Historical

A collection of early 20th century objects from the Edwardian period to represent wealth knowledge, death, time and transience such has a gold sovereign, sovereign scales, dutch brandy bottle, rich velvet material and a illuminated family bible.

Contemporary

This will consist of modern day items i cannot be with such as computer/laptop/tablet, books, cameras, film and digital, blu-rays, cd’s, watch, and a few other items.

I will give a write up about vanitas and what it actually is and means from the 16th/17th century to now on my research.

Vanitas Symbolism

Some of the objects found in “vanitas “paintings had a quite direct meaning, for instance:

Skull: Death, this is a clear memento mori message or the transience of life, a universally recognized symbol of death.

Sometimes the object’s intended message was the contrary to what it represented. e.g. Rich vases, oriental carpets, Chinese porcelain dishes, gilded cups and other luxury objects could be interpreted as a show of ostentation and therefore something that should be avoided. Continue reading “Vanitas Symbolism”

What is Vanitas

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Vanitas by Franciscus Gysbrecht

… one generation dies,
Another in its place shall rise;
That, sinking soon into the grave,
Others succeed, like wave on wave.

Excerpt from ‘Vanitas Vanitatum,
Omnia Vanitas’ by Anne Bronte – (1845)

Vanitas (I had never heard of this word before, we started looking at photography in this second year. What does it mean?)

Definition:

Vanitas (pl. vanitases)
painting – A type of still life painting, symbolic of mortality, characteristic of Dutch painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Vanitas (Latin)
Origin & history
vanus + -itas

Noun
vānitas (genitive vānitātis); (fem.)
emptiness, nothingness
falsity, falsehood, deception, untruth, untrustworthiness, fickleness
vanity, vainglory.

Adjective
1. empty, vacant, void
2. unsubstantial
3. figuratively – groundless, baseless, meaningless
4. ostentatious, boastful
5. deceptive, untrustworthy

Related words & phrases
vānitās, vānum, vanus, vana.

“vanitas” in WordSense.eu Online Dictionary

So Vanitas is a form of still life painting, that contains a set of symbolic items of morality and the unavoidable truth that is death as well as the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures, it recommends the person looking at the art work to consider morality and repent.

Vanitas came to fruition from images of skulls and objects that represent the symbolism of death and transience and it gained its own independent status by 1550. Only a small number of vanitas paintings contain figures, the vast majority are solely still life paintings, accommodate a number of standard elements such as:

books, maps and musical instruments (these are symbols of the Arts and Sciences)
purses, jewellery, gold objects (these are symbols of Wealth and Power)
goblets, pipes, and playing cards (these are symbols of Earthly Pleasures)
skulls, clocks, burning candles, soap bubbles, and flowers (these are symbols of Death or Transience)
ears of corn, sprigs of ivy, laurel (these are symbols of Resurrection and Eternal Life) Continue reading “What is Vanitas”