Top Tips to Get Started with Still Life Photography

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There are not any photographic practices which date back further than still life photography: when photography originated, making an image needed long exposures, therefore fixed objects had been the perfect subject. Nevertheless, as technology developed, the fascination for capturing nevertheless life has stayed, and continues as probably the most lively photographic arts – and collections of photographic work – going.

At the high end, still life photography is profitable business, catalogues, as magazines, art galleries and sites all call for product shots. You will find numerous good things about working with still life that’re typically underestimated, so ideally after this tutorial you will have the ability to view it’s scope for imagination and get going with taking several shots yourself!
Getting Started: Go Slow

Unlike popular perceptions, you do not require a studio or maybe a fancy place to create a beginning with still life photography. You can start simply by making use of a space at home, like a table positioned by a window, together with an easy backdrop and using a few of lamps.

It differs greatly to portrait or landscape photography, where you’re supplied with the subject matter, for instance, a spectacular mountain scene or maybe a model, that has a massive quantity of variables, though the creative content is there before you.

With still life photography you will find a lot less variables. As the photographer you’ve total control over the scenario, which includes the subject matter, though you have to think very creatively to be able to capture it in an engaging and interesting way.

  1. Choose Subjects which Speak to You

What you photograph is totally as many as you. Have a search within the house to find out if you can find something very simple but interesting to begin with. Make sure you do not feel as you’ve to have pictures of flowers or maybe fresh fruit only because everybody else does: think outside the box without being very ambitious.

If when you are out and also about something catches the eye of yours, go home with you (don’t take it!) or even have a note serotonin to remember to try out photographing it in a still living context. Attempt to stay away from reflective surfaces like metallic and cup to start with, as they are going to be incredibly hard with respect to lighting. After you have perfected the one object photos, try mixing it up, combine items of contrasting see, texture, colour, and shape what you are able to produce.

  1. Get At ease with Light and Lighting

Lighting does not have to be costly. I am aware definitely for me that a pair of studio lights are not truly within the finances of mine, therefore for still life shoots I have to use all of the light I could get the hands of mine on, which usually implies sunlight.

Remember you’ve complete control over the shoot, therefore in case you like, find an area that you are able to block out natural light by utilizing curtains or shutters, this approach you are going to have total control over the light upon the subject of yours.

Using regular table lamps are able to work very well if used efficiently. You’ll want to try out several positioning set ups, only a few light must originate from the front side of the item, side and also back lighting will add depth, shadows, and interest on the photo. Alternatively, pick an area which is nicely lit via a window, and also utilize this to the benefit of yours. The organic light from a single side will totally light your subject and also you are able to match this particular with a lamp or even reflector.

  1. Make an excellent Tripod and Work The Angles of yours

Based on your lighting circumstance, you might or might not have to utilize a tripod and also shutter release. I’d suggest using these as they are going to allow you to notice and work with the subject matter of yours. This set in place will in addition enable you to utilize somewhat longer shutter speeds than normal to guarantee a little aperture making it possible for the picture to have focus front to back, in case you so choose.

Nevertheless, please do not allow a static camera stifle the imagination of yours, it quickly becomes forgotten your camera is sat in similar place for the entire shoot. Make sure you vary the angles and heights at what you’re recording. Or else, before you realize it, you will have an entire group of shots all take from exactly the same issue with little or perhaps know variation. Mix it up somewhat. Experiment with shooting at the amount of the topic or even experiment with a bird’s eye view, looking down onto the topic, but be cautious in case you’re transferring around not to cast some shadows on the subject of yours!

  1. Get the Backdrop Right

Getting a suitable backdrop for the subject matter of yours is going to play an important role in the entire success of the shots of yours. It is better to keep it simple and nice, therefore it does not interfere with the subject of yours. A plain painted wall or maybe a big sheet of white or even plain colored papers will be best.

Consider the way the choice of yours of background contrasts the topic, do you want to have a basic background, and are there sounds which could work in complimenting the shades within the subject of yours. For lesser items, you might not have to have a backdrop as such, but rather call for a surface area to put the things on, that a thing like black velvet is perfect, because it absorbs light and is like a good black surface.

  1. Compose the Shot

The compositional component of your respective still life work is an absolutely essential element of making certain your job is engaging and different. Think about the principle of thirds, how could that be put on to the shoot of yours to make a good composition. Make sure you will find absolutely no interruptions within the frame, just the backdrop as well as the topic.

Make sure you vary the structure of the subject matter through the shoot and think outside of the box. Where are you leading the eye inside the picture? Have you been utilizing negative space or perhaps might it work trying and fill up the frame? Engage with the topic, what are its defining characteristics? What’s it used for? Are you able to place it into context and does it work as a stand by itself subject?

  1. Take All day long Over It, In case you Need

I usually discover that my mentality that involve a shoot is determined by the reason behind the shoot. If I’m merely taking photographs for enjoyment or even for myself (as opposed to getting given work by someone else), I am going to be much less strict with ensuring all of the elements of the shoot are as well performed as they are able to be. This is clearly a terrible practice which am aiming to lose, but with regards to still life photography, there’s simply no reason to not buy it right. You’ve just as much time as you have to do a great job!

Unlike a landscape shoot, the lighting is not quickly changing and unlike a portrait, you are subject is not likely to become weary of having still for extended time periods. Take advantage of this, established your subject, lighting, camera and backdrop, try a couple of photos, then shift things around a little and also have yet another go. When you reach a place in which you feel as things are not going really appropriate, you are able to simply go out of all put in place, make yourself a cup of tea and come to it refreshed in the future.

An additional benefit is the fact that there is absolutely no reason to not have sharp and clean images, take the time to get the lighting effects and focus just right. When you are able to get the hands of yours on a single, a macro lens is great for this work type, if not, however, try selecting macro setting on your camera to provide you with the very best chance of capturing the close up detail in the subject matter of yours.

  1. Get Inspired by the Masters

When you are faced with the lighting, composing or maybe structuring of the photos of yours, then you definitely have to find a little ideas, and also where better to look than to the first still life masterpieces of decades gone by. Have a look online for renaissance still living artists and take notice of the components of the pieces.

Studying these paintings are going to help you to consider form, shades and the way the colors come together and will hopefully provide a couple of ideas on the way you are able to condition your photography work to develop strong and engaging pictures.

  1. Develop The Eye of yours for Still Life Scenes

Today it is time that you can possess a go yourself. Look for a peaceful day in your set and schedule aside time to practice. Experiment with creating your backdrop and camera by a suitably light area next to a window for snapping!

After you have perfected the fundamentals, try getting creative, experiment with camera angles, lighting angles and also alternative light options like lamps and candles. You can also try out getting inventive with apertures and also make use of a f/1.8 prime lens to attain an artistic shallow focus. Nevertheless, in case you are taking something from this particular tutorial, allow it to be this: still life photography doesn’t need to be of flowers & fresh fruit! Find a few special and inspiring subject matter which will get you excited and begin shooting!

  1. Perfect Your Post Production Process

Working with your photos after the shoot should not feel as a chore. It must be enjoyable!

Photoshop actions are usually touted as an excellent time-saver, but to the head of mine the biggest benefit they give you is a very repeatable workflow. Rather than being forced to work through all of the actions from scratch, and activity helps make a pair of options for you, then you teak and also change making things perfect.

  1. You could make a Living With Still Life Photography

There’s a lot of need for still life photography, especially today it’s very easy for photographers to offer pictures for stock photography libraries. After you have got the shots of yours, do not hesitate to talk about them online!