Polina Plotnikova: Flower Portraits and Still Life

Last night's talk was another absolute 'belter'! Polina Plotnikova spoke to us from South London ish, what a very accomplished speaker, who gave us a very professional and polished talk and answered questions in the chat room with apparent ease and complete confidence, and that's before I start talking about her photography!!

Her talk was titled 'Flower Portraits and Still Life', and that was what it was!! Just before lockdown she heard that she had successfully achieved her FRPS with a panel of flower portraits, many of which she showed us, along with many others. I don't think I would have been the only one who kept saying 'wow!!' and 'amazing' to myself. They were absolutely stunning, with great textures and composition. A fantastic photographer with a great artistic eye (imho!!)

Her flower portraiture is all studio based so that she has complete control of lighting, positions, composition etc. She mentioned some artists and photographers who had influenced her, some I'd heard of and admired, some I hadn't. Polina promised that she would send out some info on these and the equipment she used. As soon as she has and Diane has sent it to me, I will circulate it.

She also gave us some tips on how to stage the flowers, the use of pins, hairspray was talked about. Polina like to get as much as possible to her liking before pressing the button, but was happy to use photoshop to get rid of unwanted props such as pins. I found it a refreshing view of get as much right as possible in camera, then finishing touches in post, even adding textures afterwards if the image needed it.

The second half was on Still life photography. She gave the names of some artists that she has taken inspiration from and she gave us an insight into how to compose a still life, - triangles and a balanced set up. If only it were that easy. Again some amazing images.

I had heard or read that she was a great speaker and she certainly gave us a great talk last night. Very many thanks to Diane for booking an amazing speaker again. The high numbers watching that remained constant for the whole talk is testament to the fact that we all enjoyed it, I think. I can't wait to get experimenting but I fear my garden must take priority!!

A list of artists who have influenced her work, plus handy notes on the paper, lighting, lenses etc she uses can be found here