Still Life Photography Tips and Ideas You Must Try Out

still life photography tips

Still Life Photography Tips and Ideas You Must Try Out

Still life photography is perhaps the first kind of photography we all do when we get our camera for the first time in our hands. However, this kind of photography is used majorly in the professional world for advertisement and promotional purposes. Being so common it is difficult to create something new in this genre of photography.

However, ideas and examples have no limitations and today we will be reading some unique ways to bulk up your still life photo portfolio. The art of capturing still life is a refined medium where the sense of lighting and composition is required to be of utmost importance.

still life photography

What is still life photography?

Under still life photography comes capturing of a groups of inanimate objects. The photographer in this genre of photography gets more leverage of playing with design, pattern and arrangement of the still objects as per their choice before clicking the shutter. A good knowledge of composition and lighting equipment is a must for this kind of photography styles.

Still life photography ideas you can try on your own

During the chills of the winter it becomes difficult to go out and do photography. In such times, right at home you can spend few hours capturing everyday objects but in a new way. Let’s read how:

  • Distorted ideas – Everyone has captured objects lying at our home. But, few have used them in a distorted and twisted manner. Interesting concepts can be created by distorting objects like fork, spoon, knives etc to depict a bold artistic statement.
  • Power of symmetry – Very few realize and observe the power of symmetry in our everyday life. Explore our skills as an artist and work with great precision so you can find out or create symmetry while setting up objects. When we capture general photographs we usually avoid showcasing symmetry in our snaps. But, in still life photography using symmetry balances our artistic outputs in a big way.
  • High key and low key – Care must be taken while deciding on still life photography lighting. Since, the objects being captured are all inanimate and have no life in them it is proper use of light that can highlight and enhance the objects. Try using high and low key for balancing out shadows and exposure in your still life shots.still life photography tips
  • Monochromes – Try out using a black and white color treatment to all your still life photographs and see how it changes the feel.
  • Visual mixes – The best skill a photographer has to develop if he or she wants to be a master in still life photography is to learn to see the world effectively. Things right in front of us shows amazing patterns, knots and mixes. They have the potentials to create some elegant images. Some of the best examples of still life photography are to observe how things around us are lying awaiting to be rearranged and captured.
  • Claustrophobic– The subject matter must be arranged in a very careful manner so it does not feel suffocative or claustrophobic at all. All subjects must have a breathing space around it so the eyes can watch the frame or composition in a relaxed manner with leisure. A tight framing of the photo can instantly take away the charm of the photographs.still life photography ideas
  • Use of textures – Using little textures digitally can boost up the looks of still life objects. However, if the subject itself has natural texture components then it is not necessary. By experimenting with a lot of photo texture filters you can come up with some amazing ideas of still life photography.
  • Age – Objects which are brand new are not really very attractive to look at. Because they miss the element of human touch in it. On the other hand objects which looks old by long use causes a more visual appeal. You must have seen how good rusted objects look or stained objects look when photographed.
  • Color usage – Any color which is dominant digitally will be good for the photograph. Because in this kind of photography there are no rules of color. Playing with colors or keeping the photographs in mono colors is on the theme or idea of the photographer concerned.what is still life photography
  • Go shopping – If you have love for still life photography then you must love shopping unusual objects a lot. Keep an eye on various garage sales and cheap discounts on objects in your town for procuring your valuable props.

The above ten ideas will surely get you started on still life photography art form. Let us see what kind of gears you require to set up the lighting for still life photo shoots.

Still life photography lighting

The successful element that enhances the standard of still life photography is its lighting.  Without spending a lot of money on gear and equipment you can create different visual effects by adding proper lighting to your photographs. Let us read in what ways:

  • Desk Lamp – A desk lamp which is fixed but has a head whose angle can be changed helps to do small projects at home. Using two desk lamps helps creating lights both for the background and the foreground.
  • A black color velvet – Velvet is a fabric which can efficiently absorb light. Buying plain velvet fabric black in color of a few meters from the cloth shop can help you in future.
  • A Torch – For taking still photographs while someone is light painting in the air is a wonderful subject. For this you must have a handy torch with a focused strong beam.still life photography lighting
  • A2 paper – This is a cheap way to create backdrops for the photographs. You can buy A2 paper which does not costs much and select a matte textured paper to avoid unwanted reflections while shooting.
  • Light tent – For product photography, such translucent objects are used so it helps in creating an even lighting all over the object. For this, the natural light which is coming from the window is used to create beautiful natural lighting effects.
  • Reflector – Shadows can cause a bad image even if diffused light is being used. A small reflector used can solve the shadow problem once and for all.

examples of still life photography

Still life photography as a career

Still life photography is perhaps the oldest form of photography. At that time when photographic techniques and equipment’s were not much developed there was the need to take photos with long exposures. Hence, the still objects were the best choice.  With time and technological advancement this form of photography still holds a magnificent appeal and consumer value. It is an extremely attractive way to generate business because it directly helps in promoting objects and products.

The demand for this form of photography is huge and one can make a living out of it. One can make stock photographs of still life and post it into websites from where magazines, publications and enterprises can purchase them for product promotional uses. Using of lighting in the proper manner is the real trick behind such form of photography because light can invoke emotion, drama, response in a human. Learning how to use lighting on still objects can make you a good still life photographer.

still life photography

No matter what the goals of a person is while doing photography. It can only be perfected with practice. Like all other forms of photography still life photography needs more practice.

Related Reading: Black And White Photography, Food Photography Tips, Low Light Photography

Add Comment