There is always a niche that most photographers prefer to focus on. But every photographer has probably taken a still life image at some point in their life. There are just so many options as to why you would take a still life picture. It could be a product that you’re trying to sell, or something like a bicycle leaning against a fence. If you’ve never tried still life photography, you should. There’s a market out there for photographs like this. For example, you could sell your still life images on FocusFixed. But, if you’re not familiar with taking still life photos, you may want to learn a little bit about it first.
Firstly, the best thing about still life photograph is that your subjects are endless. You also have more control over still life than you have over any other kind of photography. You can position objects exactly how you want them, and take your time with getting the right picture. This gives you a more advanced method of personalizing. These luxuries don’t exist if you’re taking pictures of people or even scenery. There are too many variables with moving objects. But they can also be more challenging because they are close up photos.
Now, let’s get into the tips and techniques that can help you take a great still life photo.
Professionals will often opt for light/soft boxes to take their photos. They are helpful, but, they aren’t necessary either. If you want one, there are instructions online for how to make a nice and functional one. You may want to look into it. Otherwise, try and use the lighting you have to your advantage. You can use the daylight to get a particular type of brightness. Your ceiling light offers a very different type of light, often with a different hue. It all depends what effect you intend to have with your photograph. You can use backdrops to limit out some of the lighting. Experiment with different areas of your home/office and see what works the best.
You want whatever you’re photographing to be appealing. This means arranging your objects accordingly. There are techniques that you use that will help you learn what’s visually appealing. The rule of thirds uses a linear guide to position your camera in the optimal way. You can also use a technique called frame within a frame. This is exactly what it sounds like. You create a frame around your image inside of the frame of the camera. It draws the viewer’s focus to the center of the photo. It’s useful to know techniques. You also want to add a certain depth to still life photography. For example,if you’re taking a picture of an apple, try taking a bite out of it first. You want your photographs to be unique to you. You should always add a little bit of your personality into your images. This can as simple as developing a signature method of snapping shots. When it comes to taking your photograph, make sure you’re putting thought and planning into as well.
Fill The Frame
The idea of still life photography is that there is an up close focus on a certain object. You don’t want any clutter or distractions in the background. These could ruin the intention of you photograph. If you have an apple sitting on a table, having a blurred out background is a good way of taking attention away from the room around the apple. If you can use a backdrop, it’s advised. This saves you having to manually remove any background noise from your photo frame. It can be tricky to take a photo like this outside, because there’s usually a lot going on. But, you can have your object in front of a plain wall, or have someone stand with a piece of fabric that blocks the camera’s view of the background. That’s not to say you can’t have anything in the background. There are some backgrounds that can enhance the focus of your object. You’ll get a feel for what looks good and what doesn’t.
You have to get the right angle for your photographs. This is important. There are no set ideals for what the best angle is. It’s a trial and error sort of method. You want to take the same picture from a few different angles and see what looks best. Especially if you’re just getting into still life photography. You’ll really be able to the impact a new angle can have on the same image. The same sentiment can be applied to life. Sometimes a new angle can change the whole situation. Give it a shot, literally, and see what happens. You can even invest in a tripod for your camera to help you take more clear shots from different levels.
Finally, your subject is probably the most important part of still life photography. You want to choose a subject that you can relate to. This will give you a more personal relationship with your photograph. That’s important because your photography is likely to reflect who you are as a person. You are a part of your work, after all. So choose something you’d love to look at. You’ll likely be looking at it for quite some time while you’re getting set up.
Although it seems like there aren’t many tips listed here, we’ve chosen a focus on the most important ones. If you apply all the tips you’ve read about above, you’re bound to take a fantastic still life photograph!