Weekend Photography: Still Life Photography at Home

Still life photography is one of the photography genres that represents a lifeless subject, usually a small group of things. This is an application of art in still life.

You can use various objects found almost anywhere inside your house. You can use fruits and vegetables, utensils, glassware, condiments, toys, etc. All you need is just your artistic eye.

In this weekend photography, I’ll be using small action figures/ toys that I bought from a surplus store nearby to serve as my subjects for still life photography. As usual, I will rely with my Canon 400d and Tamron lens and perhaps I could use some extension tubes. Here are some things to consider in today’s weekend photography:

1. Lighting. You would want to avoid hard light on your subject. Ambient light might be enough. Soft light from a window could be perfect. Using diffuser on your flash might be nice too in still life photography.

This shows how a light from the window is used as a soft light.

2. Backdrop and background. Choose an appropriate backdrop for your subject. You could have a plain backdrop to put emphasis on your subject. Look for unnecessary objects behind your subject and remove it unless you intentionally want to include them. In still life photography, some blurry objects behind can distract your image but some could add elements on your image.

3. Story. A good photograph has stories and a good photographer could tell those stories in his photos. Still life is an inanimated style of storytelling.

4. Think negative. Sometimes minimalist approach says it all. Shoot your subject on a far side or corner exposing a large space in the image. This will add drama to the image.
Negative space was used in this photo.

5. Try something new. Old styles are safe to follow and will provide us with pretty decent images but trying something new could be the one that we need to make our photos stand out from other bunch of better images. Trying something new and breaking some rules could pull the best out of us.

6. Angles. Perspective is what it takes to create a good photo. Learn to shoot from different angles. Every subject has its own perfect angle. Just explore any position on where you would take the shot.

7.Be inspired. If you have no idea on how will you start or what subject you will shoot, look for other still life artists and try to follow their styles. Try to choose the approach that fits your personality and artistic view. Think on how to incorporate your ideas on their works. This will soon form your own styles and techniques.

8.Have fun. I always advice to have fun in everything we do. This will remove the pressure on your shoulder. There is no difficult task when we enjoy on the process. So, pick up your gears and enjoy. Happy shooting.

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