Shoot Great Still Life Photos
Still Life Photography is usually described as the depiction of inanimate subject matter. But here we see a great still life of an Actor/Model.
Still life photography more so than any other genre of photography allows the photographer leeway in the placing of design elements within a composition. In fact, many photographers prefer still life because it allows them to take their time and control virtually every aspect of the shot. The best shots emphasize interesting composition, texture, form, color, balance, light and shadow, harmony, lighting, or all of the above.
Still life photography is a demanding art form. It has been said that the still life photographer makes pictures rather than takes them. One’s imagination is the only limitation.
There aren’t many photographic practices that date back further than still life photography. As technology has developed, the fascination for capturing still life has remained and is still one of the most viable photographic professions today.
At the top end, it is an extremely lucrative business, as magazines, catalogues and websites all require product shots. Contrary to some perceptions, one does not need a studio, a fancy camera or a fancy location to make a start with still life photography. Begin by simply using a space at home, such as a table placed by a window, use a simple backdrop and a lamp for lighting. Clearly, it is very different from landscape or portrait photography. With still life photography, there are far less variables, and you the photographer have complete control over the subject matter. Your creativity is given total free range.
Be sure to vary the angles and heights at which you are shooting. When composing your photograph, you need to arrange the objects in a pleasing composition. You should consider using classical composition techniques like the “Rule of Thirds,” “Leading Lines” or “Frame within a Frame” for ideas of how to best compose your pictures. Artfully arrange the objects, and use your imagination. For example, if you’re
taking a picture of an apple try taking a bite out of it to give it some added interest.
Consider the backdrop for your subject matter. It is very important in terms of the overall success of your shots. It’s best to keep it nice and simple, so it doesn’t interfere with your subject. A plain painted wall or a large sheet of white or plain colored paper would be ideal.
Think about how your choice of background contrasts the subject, do you want a neutral background, or are there tones that may work in complementing the shades within your subject. For smaller objects, you may not need a backdrop as such, but instead require a surface to place the items on, for which something like black velvet is ideal, as it absorbs light and looks like a solid black surface.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try getting creative, experiment with camera angles, lighting angles and alternative light sources such as candles and lamps.
Still life photography does not have to be only of fruit and flowers!
So find some unique and inspiring subject matter that gets you excited and start shooting!