November 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm #17786
Following on from our recent popular open meeting where we enjoyed a Table Top workshop I’ve decided to make Still Life the theme for December. The workshop gave us an introduction on how technical still life photography can be. Careful planning is essential for a successful still life photograph. Although you might be keen to get started discipline yourself to construct your setup methodically. Use a tripod and cable release so you can carefully frame and use a long exposure if using continuous lighting. You may choose to us a wide aperture to focus on a detail or a narrow aperture to get as much sharp as possible. You may need to learn a new skill of focus stacking to help get everything sharp.
Here’s a couple of links giving advice on still life photography:
December 1, 2018 at 2:22 pm #17794
- This topic was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Pete Robinson.
As Peter explains all of the excellent technical tips , leaves to say keep camera horizontal and perpendicular to the subject. Think most likely used my Samsung 300 for this. With the big amoled screen it is great to compose and using the touch screen enables me to pinpoint the area for prime focus.
December 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm #17796December 7, 2018 at 10:36 am #17800
- This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by KEN LAST.
Thanks for starting off this month’s theme Ken. There are some interesting effects there. You can see how important balance and composition is in photographs.
I just dug out this one from my archives. I think they need to be separated a bit more and perhaps the crop is too tight. What do you think? I kept the background simple, but does it need some texture or colour? I really need to do more still life photography.December 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm #17801
I think the following constitute ‘still life’ – not a concept I am familiar with. I am sure someone will let me know if I have got it wrong again.
December 9, 2018 at 10:03 am #17812
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by RALPH BROWES.
Thanks for posting these Ralph. Quite a variety of different subjects there.
I’m guessing the first one was taken with window light which has given it a good even light with gentle shadows. It’s a very busy photo with lots of patterns and bright colours and I think it’s a shame the mug at the back it partially hidden.
In the second photo I like the way you’ve focused on the flowers concentrating on their details, while leaving the background to go out of focus. I’m a bit confused by the toast though. It doesn’t seem to fit in to me.
The photo of the scarecrows is a good fun photo that makes me smile. We should take more fun photos. They look well where they are, but could you have moved them around to try different compositions in the garden?
I think the forth photo is my favourite with it having a simple background and concentrating on the main subject. The special effect gives it some added interest which I like, but some may not.
The subject in the last photo is a difficult object to photograph. It’s quite complex and find the best angle and lighting would need some planning. I like the way you got it all sharp and I like the angle you’ve taken it from, but I do find the open door, or is it a mirror, at the top left a bit distracting?
Thanks Ralph and I hope you don’t mind my comments. It would be interesting to hear what others think.December 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm #17813
Hi Peter. Appreciate your detailed response to the images. With the exception of the one we both liked (4), I had no control over the contents. They were taken in various churches and chapels in my home town and, although Photoshop could have been used, I felt they were best left in their natural state for the purposes of the forum. I did look long and hard at the doorway in the last one but decided it would be too complex to clone it out.
The one with the toast is supposed to represent the sun (flowers) shining on the yields of the ground! Weird what religion does to you!!December 13, 2018 at 5:29 pm #17834
I’ve just been experimenting a bit trying to take a still life of this intricate cork carving. It’s as delicate and fragile as it looks and I wanted to show this and the craftsmanship. I’m not sure if I’ve achieved that with this first attempt. It’s about 10 inches long and 3.1/2 inches high. I though a simple black background would show it best and lit it with two small lamps. After a bit of experimentation I positioned the lights to shade the background. The left hand light was slightly behind the carving and picked out the edges while the right hand light filled in the front and showed some texture. I found an aperture of f8 on a 100mm macro lens gave me enough depth of field to get everything sharp. This is a low resolution version so it doesn’t look it!December 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm #17835
<strongWorth a pause here to consider.Have a read on WIKI—P – what constitutes —Still Life.–Briefly rather than a close up of a single item–it is bringing together a group of items of various form-shape-size-colour etc.—yet they gel and please the eye—but look at Wiki–P. Nice Fret work Peter rarely seen nowadays.December 15, 2018 at 1:18 pm #17867
Googling for a definition of still life brings up different suggestions. For example to quote Wikipedia: “A still life (plural: still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which are either natural (food, flowers, dead animals, plants, rocks, shells, etc.) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, etc.)”
I think most people would consider a still life simply to be a photograph of an inanimate object. Surely a photo of a single object can be considered a still life. For this monthly theme the main objective is an exercise how the object is lit and photographed to show it at it’s best.December 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm #17868
Here’s a photo from my archives that I took a while ago while playing around with shadows. I like the shadows, but the light reflected by the forks gives an unfortunate highlight. This is what makes still life photograph a challenge for me.
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