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Still Life Photography
Still life photography refers to photography which depicts inanimate objects, often a small grouping of objects. This genre has been around for as long as photography itself.
When cameras were first invented, photographers needed the subjects of their photographs to be completely still for the exceptionally long exposure time. This made portraiture or action shots difficult, and still life the preferred choice.
Roger Fenton, a 19th century photographer, is credited with introducing a sense of movement to the medium, which was taken to more of an extreme by the early 20th century. Baron Adolf de Meyer and other photographers who chose to work with still life employed soft-focus lenses and other painterly techniques to make their work resemble the more acceptable fine art forms of painting and drawing.
Still life, as opposed to landscape or portraiture, allows the artist more leeway and creativity in the arrangement of the composition
André Kertész' "Nature Morte, Chez Mondrian" sold at Sotheby's New York in December 2014 for $197,000
Artist Man Ray's photograph "Dead Leaf" is a memento mori depicting a dead, claw-like leaf against a wood-grain background. It is an excellent example of an artist using photography to provide an updated take on a popular motif