Environmental Still Life Photography

Red, Black, Weeds, Blue Dot, Edit B, Environmental Still Life Photography by Nawfal Johnson

Title: “Red, Black, Weeds, Blue Dot, Edit B”.

Date: 26 April 2018.
Copyright 2018 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.


Collection Years: 2017 – 2018.

Collection Description:

This Collection is Still Life Photography, designed while walking around Penang. To be more specific, this photography is essentially ENVIRONMENTAL STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY. It is a record of capturing serendipity as it presents itself to me, as I go around Penang, to photograph. The subjects are colors—paints of abstract designs interacting with environmental objects, like tree leaves, water puddles, rain drops, dry and cracked dirt, colourful rocks, and anything that catches my attention and presents itself as good still life subjects.

☆ Purchase Fine Art High-Quality Photographic Prints, and Gallery-Quality Canvas Artworks:


Abstract, still-life, environmental, colourful, leaves, shells, dirt, rocks, macro, Nawfal, Johnson, Nur, active, vibrant, red, black, blue, white, expressionism, vertical,


Hanging Dead Brown Leaf on Wall


Title:  “Hanging Dead Brown Leaf on Wall”.

Date: 25 July 2017.

Place:  Penang, Malaysia.

Genre:  Environmental Still Life.

Serendipity.  I love serendipity.  Things that just happen, like this leaf, seemingly to hang in mid-air, but it actually got caught on the wooden support of a metal wall.  I just happen to notice it, as I do, and had my camera, as usual, to enable me to create this photograph.

I just uploaded this one to my photo library representative’s website (arcangel.com), and it is waiting to be reviewed.  However, here is a link that may send you to see some of my other images at the website.

Nawfal Johnson @ Arcangel Photo Library

That is a search result link to my name, Nawfal Johnson, when entered at arcangel.  I think it should work, at least, for awhile.

The strangest thing about working with a Photo Library is that much of the time, I cannot anticipate which images will be accepted.  I often guess wrong.  And, the acceptance percentage is quite low.  The last batch I uploaded for inspection, 3 out of 16 images were accepted for inclusion into the library.  The ones I thought would be a “for sure”, were rejected.  The three that were approved, I would not have guessed they would be.

VERY strange.  However, they have their reasoning.

Anyway, that’s about all for now.

When serendipity happens, I’m happy, as long as I’m around when it happens…and, if I have my camera.

The Abandoned Black Shoes Mystery Photograph by Nawfal Johnson

Black shoes abandoned

Title:  “Abandoned Black Shoes.”

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.

Creation Year:  2017.

Location:  Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.


This is an Environmental Still-Life photograph I created recently, and have just now added to my stock photography representative’s library, at http://arcangel.com

  • You can find some of my images if you do a search for my name – NAWFAL JOHNSON
  • However, I’ve noticed that ONLY a small sampling of my represented images show up when doing this search by my name…I may have to inquire about this.  I think the images are MOSTLY organized by SUBJECT, not by name of photographer, but I may be wrong.


It won’t be listed yet:  it takes several days for the photo editors to evaluate the quality, and their need for particular images.  When being represented by a premium, rights managed stock photography library, like http://arcangel.com , the photo acceptance approval percentage is low, and I believe that is normal.  I think my acceptance ratio is about 2 images accepted out of every 10 or 12 I submit.  I don’t think that means my images suck, probably, maybe, perhaps…I don’t know.  But, it means that the editors look over the images very carefully and determine their needs for such image subjects, and the general quality of the images.


I love this image, it shows me a mysterious story of reckless abandon…I mean, who just leaves a fairly good pair of shoes on the sidewalk?  Did they not know — did they fall out of the guy’s back pocket or something?  Did the owner suddenly turn into some sort of shoe-less monk and abandon his shoes where he stood?  It is a mystery to me, but the sort of subject that I love to photograph when I’m lucky enough to come across serendipity like this.


I will have to wait and see if my abandoned shoes image tickles the photo editors’ fancies…or not.


Best Photographs a Year According to Garp

I’m just mess’en with ya!

No, it is not the best photographs a year according to Garp that matter…No.  It is the best photographs in a year in my opinion, for my photography.  For I am my hardest critic, so when I think I have captured and designed a good, or great image, I say,

“Wow, this one could be one of my best images this year!”

Your Own Vision – Your Own Voice:

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
Jonathan Swift

You see, as Swift said, vision is inside the artist.  That is why an artist, a photographer will see something significant to their vision, and then photograph or paint it.  This “vision” may be totally void of everyone else seeing what you, the artist, sees.  Does that mean that your efforts are worthless?  No – maybe it just means that others do not understand your vision.  Artist’s Statements are helpful in this case, so the artist can attempt to describe in words, the meaning of the art piece, or art series, or their motivations for creating the work.

Ansel Adams said there are only a few images per year that are significant in anyone’s work:

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.

I believe Ansel was correct.  Too many people believe that all their photographs, or most of their photographs are fantastic.  I’m not sure how they get that idea, unless if it is based on popularity due to them having hundreds of followers or “friends” on Flickr, or Facebook, then obviously, a mathematically formulated proportion of those followers will probably hit the like button, or leave a comment, like:  “Wow, awesome!”  Or, “Linda!” Or, “Show!”  WTF does that mean?  Or, “She’s HOT!”  I believe that this building up of one’s ego through social photo websites is not a good indicator of fantastic and meaningful photography:  I just do not see the connection.  Perhaps others do, but I do not.  I also do not believe that these social photo websites are good for photographers who want to genuinely improve their photographic skills.

  • People who really want to see your photography improve, and everyone’s craft can improve no matter how long they have been at it, will help you improve by giving constructive comments by way of positive reinforcement and honest commentary:  An Example of this is:  “Nice Photograph, I see where you are going with this image, and your perspective is unique.  Did you consider shooting from this other angle,” etc.  That kind of comment is better because the viewer offers the photographer another perspective on how to do the shot, or shots in the future.  It is, in other words, constructive and helpful.  I am not saying you have to agree with the constructive advice all the time, but some may be helpful for you.
  • It is not to say that the commentator knows better than you do about what you have photographed, but they may have another approach you could try, or maybe they saw something you missed.
  • It is great to get all sorts of ego-boosts from followers of your social photo networks, but it is not very useful to help you improve your craft.
  • Appreciation – If anyone takes time to look at, and or, comment, on my photographs, I really appreciate it. Thank you.


As Ansel said, 12 great photos in one year is an amazing crop of images – a good collection.  In general, I think that most skilled photographers have lots and lots of good photographs per year, but great ones…I think that those are a very select few.

How do you know a great shot?  I do not know the answer to that question, but a photographer has a gut feeling that a scene they captured, and the photograph they created from that scene, could be a great image for them, during any year.

With that said, and I am not expecting anyone to agree with me at all, I feel that my photograph of Firefighter Uniforms all hanging in a row, inside the fire-station, in Penang, Malaysia, is one of my best images so far in 2013.