For the purposes of this category, a still life is defined as a collection of inanimate objects arranged together in a specific way. This collection may typically include, but is not limited to, a small grouping of commonplace objects, either natural (food, flowers, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on).
An effective and interesting still life may convey cultural, religious, personal, or allegorical symbolism, or convey a message or concept in some other, way relating to the objects depicted. A superior still life image will usually: Invite closer study of the arrangement, create a sense of intimacy or connection with the objects, and/or show us a new way of looking at the ordinary objects around us. Makers are expected to demonstrate a refined sense of lighting, coupled with compositional skills.