What are the best still life photography tips for beginners? There is no type of photography as old as still life photography.
When the first cameras first began to appear, very long shutter speeds were required to take pictures, so static things were ideal subjects.
However, despite the development of technology, the admiration for still lifes remained, and they are still considered to be the most striking type of photographic art.
Of course, you will have to use a photo editor.
If you prefer to process photos on your tablet, check out this article on Skylum’s blog to find the best photo editing app for iPad.
Among other things, still-life photography can be a lucrative business, as magazines, catalogs, art galleries, and websites always need product photos.
There are many advantages to working in this field that are often underestimated.
I hope that after reading this tutorial on still life photography tips, you’ll see its creative possibilities and try to take some pictures yourself!
Still Life Photography: Tips for Beginners
Take your time from the start
Contrary to common prejudice, you don’t need a studio or a beautiful location to start your still-life paintings.
You can start by simply using an empty space in your home, such as putting a table by a window, finding a backdrop, and installing a couple of lamps.
This area is much different than landscape or portrait photography, where you have a subject, say a stunning mountain landscape or a model.
They have many variables, but the creative content is up to the photographer.
There are far fewer variables when shooting still lives.
You have complete control over the situation, including the subject, but you have to think very creatively to capture it in an interesting and appealing way.
Choose the subjects you are interested in
What to photograph is entirely up to you.
Look at home, maybe you’ll find something simple but interesting to start with. You don’t have to take pictures of fruit or flowers just because everyone else does.
Don’t limit yourself and be ambitious.
If, while walking, you notice something interesting write it down in your notebook so you remember to try it out as a subject.
At first, try to avoid reflective surfaces such as glass and metal, as they are very difficult to work with in terms of lighting.
Once you have mastered shooting one subject, try something new, combine objects of different shapes, colors, or textures and see what comes out.
Set up the right lighting
Here are some valuable lighting tips we can give you:
- Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive. If a set of spotlights is out of your budget, you can use any available lighting that includes even daylight for still lifes.
- Remember, you can have complete control of the shot, so if you want, find a room where you can block out all-natural light with blinds or curtains to fully illuminate the subject yourself.
- Regular table lamps, when used properly, can produce excellent results. Try out different lamp arrangements – you don’t have to fully illuminate the subject from the front and backlighting will also add interest, shadows, and depth to the shot.
Choose the right background
A suitable backdrop for the subject plays a key role in the success of the photo.
It’s best when it’s simple, neat, and doesn’t interfere with the subject.
A single-colored painted wall or a large piece of white or colored paper is ideal.
Think about how your choice of background aligns with the subject.
Do you want a neutral background, or are there tones that can complement the subject’s hues? Smaller subjects may not need a backdrop, but instead, need a surface on which to place them.
Black corduroy is a great choice because it absorbs light and looks like a uniform black surface.
Spend a whole day on the job
When it comes to still-life photography, you have plenty of time to do a good job! Unlike landscape photography, the light doesn’t change as rapidly and unlike portraits, your subject won’t get bored of maintaining the same position for long.
Take advantage of this, position your subject, adjust the lighting, background, and camera, take a few shots, then rearrange the elements a bit and try again.
If you notice it’s not working, leave it as it is, make a cup of tea and come back with a fresh perspective.
Be inspired by the works of the masters
If you’re having trouble lighting, arranging, or structuring your shots, you need to look for inspiration and the original masterpieces of the genre that are more than a year old are the best.
Search the internet for Renaissance still life painters and look closely at their work.
Studying such drawings will teach you to think about shapes, shadows, and color combinations, and give you some new ideas to shape the composition and get a strong, attractive shot.
Train yourself to pick up still-life scenes
Now it’s time for you to start shooting on your own.
Find a free day in your schedule and set aside time for practice.
Try placing your camera and backdrop in a reasonably lighted spot near a window and start shooting!
Once you’ve mastered the basics, start experimenting with camera angles and lighting, as well as alternative light sources such as candles or lamps.
You can even play around with the aperture, trying to achieve an artistic soft focus effect.
Still life isn’t necessarily about fruit and flowers! Find a unique and inspiring subject that you like and photograph it!
Sharpen your post-processing skills
Working with images after shooting shouldn’t be a punishment.
It should be fun! Unleash your creativity with Luminar Neo’s unique image editor with a comprehensive set of professional tools.
If you prefer to work more with a tablet, find the best photo editing app for iPad in the article on the official Skylum website.
These are the very specific effective tips on still life photography tips for beginners. Hope you enjoyed it.