Some people think that still lifes are boring… but don’t count them out yet! I’m going to show you still life photography like you’ve never seen it before!

As someone who has taken countless art classes in her lifetime, I am very familiar with still lifes. What is a still life, you ask? A still life is a work of art that’s made up of mostly inanimate objects. Usually these objects are pretty common things, like fruits, flowers, books, or glassware. Still lifes are a very common type of work in all levels of art. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve walked into an art class and seen a still life set up in the middle of the room. I’ve drawn everything from a cow skull to a bicycle wheel, a stuffed animal to drinking glasses, and everything in between. Why are these things common? Well, at a lower level, drawing still lifes helps an artist learn how to draw what’s in front of them. However, as you advance, it’s a great way to learn textures. After all, a skull has a very different texture from a drinking glass or stuffed animal!

My experience with still lifes is mostly drawing. My only experience with still life photography was when I had to photograph my still life set up to draw from because I couldn’t leave it out long enough, which is why when I stumbled across the featured image by Dina Belenko (titled “Wanted to be a Pilot”), I was enthralled. It’s clearly a still life photo, but it also managed to capture some movement. Or, perceived movement. Frankly, there’s something magical about it. It’s such a unique photo! So naturally, I had to see more.

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I just want to note before we get much farther that the plural of “still life” is in fact “still lifes.” Don’t come after me, grammar police!

Still Life Photography Dina Belenko Folded Story Clover Tribe Indians Indian Tepee Flowers Cut Flowers Behance Arken Desktop Stories

Clover Tribe

c/o Dina Belenko

The still lifes I'm showing you today are created by photographer Dina Belenko, who loves to tell “animate stories about inanimate objects.” According to the artist, “every object contains a kind of 'folded story' inside it. Things can tell what they saw, who held them, who accidentally broke them, and who lovingly gathered up the pieces and repaired them.” These photos are all “stories [she] found on [her] desktop.” Fittingly Belenko calls them her “Desktop Stories."

Still Life Photography Dina Belenko Folded Story All My Notes Desk Sticky Notes Note Pad Flying Paper Folded Paper Colored Pencils Desktop Stories

All My Notes

c/o Dina Belenko

Despite the fact that these pieces of art are made from inanimate objects, Belenko has managed to capture some magic in them. This creative still life reminds me of the scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone where Harry is trying to catch one of the letters addressed to him from Hogwarts. Just like in that scene, these note cards shouldn’t be flying around the room, but they are!

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Still Life Photography Dina Belenko Folded Story Coffee for Dreamers Book Reading Dragon Latte Art Coffee Cups Empty Cups Spoons Books Desktop Stories

Coffee For Dreamers

c/o Dina Belenko

Belenko says that “in every single thing there is a sense of human presence, something invisible but clear.” Frankly, I think she captures that in her photographs very well. While these may be still life photographs, there is definitely something alive about them. This is not a quality that tends to be shown in this style of artwork. The dragon in the coffee creamer, for example… every time I look at it, I expect the wings to start flapping. It’s just an image in coffee creamer, but to my creative mind, it’s alive.

Still Life Photography Dina Belenko Folded Story Exact Weight Bubbles Scale Old Fashioned Desktop Stories

Exact Weight

c/o Dina Belenko

I had to include this photo in my post. Why? Because my nephew is obsessed with bubbles. All little kids seem to adore bubbles. And why shouldn’t they? Bubbles are magic!

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I love the idea of this photo weighing bubbles. Naturally, you can’t actually weigh bubbles. However, that is exactly why this piece fits in with Belenko’s series. There’s something so very human about wanting to measure everything, even if you can’t. And frankly, it creates such a beautiful still life photograph.

Still Life Photography Dina Belenko Folded Story It’s Always Coffee Time Coffee Cups Clock Spoons Clock Hands Spoon Coffee Ring Coffee Beans Sugar Cubes Desktop Stories

It's Always Coffee Time

c/o Dina Belenko

Now this is some creative photography! I know many people that would agree with the title of this piece! It’s always coffee time! I may not be a coffee drinker myself, but I can appreciate the sentiment! Not only do I appreciate the title, the artwork itself is amazing. There’s a coffee cup (or coffee ring) for every hour on the clock! And the clock hands are represented with spoons! C’mon! How can you not love that?!

I have no idea how Belenko comes up with these creative still life photography ideas. I’ve never seen artwork like this! If you’d like see more of her still life photography portfolio, please go to her Behance page. She can also be found on 500pxDeviantArt, and Bored Panda.

So what do you think? Do you love photography? Are still life photos suddenly much more interesting to you? Is there something on your desktop that has a story just waiting to be told? I’d love to hear your opinions!

**Featured image c/o Dina Belenko