Still life is the art of taking pictures of tangible objects. It includes flowers, food, accessories, etc. pictures of animals can also be included in this type of photography.
A photographer has a control over composition in still life photography. Still life pictures reflect the imagination and creativity of the photographer. Photographers who are best in still photography end up with a distinctive and innovative portfolio.
Tips for still life photography
Plan your photo
You cannot directly trip over to still-life photography, you need some practice. You have to plan your shoot and need some time for brainstorming. This type of photography is a little bit tricky. You need extra time so that different ideas come into your mind and then you execute them.
In still life photography, tripods are used for long exposure.
In still life photography, you can move your subject here and there without any hesitation. It gives you a good chance to play with composition. Just think that you are a graphic designer. After that you will realize that specific compositions are more interesting than other compositions. One thing that you should always keep in your mind is the free space. If you increase or decrease that negative space, then your image composition may become much better.
In still-life photography, the most important element is lighting, as you have to play with objects and capture them according to the environment. So you should be careful about the lightening, there is no excuse for bad lighting. You have to work hard to improve your lighting. You must know how to make lighting perfect in still-life photography. But if you are depending on ambient light than you have to wait for the perfect time and you have to shoot during the day. When you are using a flashlight, you must have to use a reflector to diffuse external flash.
The background should be according to your subject. You have to think about the background before you start any photoshoot. May be you find a scene with an amazing texture or maybe not. You should always prefer to background with single color as it is a productive way to have a focus on your subject. You can also try it by using different backgrounds. And you will notice the difference between them.
Take it outside
It is not necessary to shoot inside when you are doing still life photography. You can also find a large number of excellent subjects outdoors. For example:
- Floating leaves
- Interesting shell in the ocean.
- Urban still life.
It might not be easy to shoot outside, but you can find distinctive and fascinating subjects and scenery.
Release your inner creative genius
In still life photography, you just have to collect the creative ideas. Whatever idea comes in your mind, don’t think and just capture it. Always try to discover your own ideas, do not copy other’s ideas. Try to play with shapes and try adding words to your still-life pictures.
Equipment required for still life photography
You can use any type of camera. Most of the photographers use a digital camera because it is not that much expensive. If you are a beginner then you don’t need to spend extra money on it.
Different materials are required to create the background.
Silver and white reflector
White and grey reflectors are used to recoil the light back to the subject. We can make them easily by using aluminum foil and binder board.
Different types of props are used to make the photos more interesting. Props are easily available in the market at low prices.
What do you need to begin your still life photography?
You may think that your gear is not best for still life photography. Here is the list of some important equipment which you need when you start your career with still-life photography.
- Lenses, Flash-guns, studio lights and good quality digital camera
But still you can become a professional still life photographer without having such costly equipment. If you are a beginner then you can capture amazing pictures with your digital camera. You don’t need to have a set-up for it. You can also take pictures in any corner of your house.
So you don’t need to worry about it. You can start your career with basic equipment without any difficulty.
How to approach still life photography
Keep it as simple as you can
Do not take many objects and materials when you are shooting still life photos. It would be difficult for you to identify the major subject.
If you are a beginner then try to avoid vacant, bright and reflective surfaces. Do not stuck yourself in these surfaces. So start your photography with single subjects and simple surfaces.
Be sure, you clean your surfaces well. There should be no dust, dirt and fingerprints left. Always try to keep your set-up neat and clean.
Do not place your subjects here and there. You must consider main lines and view angles. Check the lights from different locations and then find a perfect one.
If you want to become a still life photographer then you must know how to work with different subjects in different environments. You cannot become a professional photographer by copying other’s ideas. You should compose your own creative ideas. You can take help from them, but after that try to think and discover the ideas. Then plan the shooting and do it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as you learn from repeating mistakes again and again.