Still life photography

30 July 2020

For me Photography is about creating a beautiful image and telling a story.  Here I want to tell the story of my son’s breakfast.

A still life image is built around the background, the subject and the lighting.  For the background I often use some fabric or a wall in my home.  I like using something that complements my subject.  Something plain or neutral in colour often works well.  I use natural light whenever I can.  It is all around us!  The strength of the light can be varied by either using a diffuser, or moving my subject further away from the light source.   The closer the light source the softer it is.  I also want to consider the angle of the light on the subject.  I don’t have as much control when using natural light as opposed to using artificial lighting.  I can use artificial light to fill in dark areas but then I must account for the fact that these lights have different colour temperatures.

In this set-up I used timber planks, for the background.  It also acted as the base of my subject.   The subject was a breakfast setting and I used natural light for my light source.   I used a tripod to keep the camera steady.  As a result, I could use a long exposure i.e. a slow shutter speed.  I focussed on the eggs and let the remainder of the image go slightly blurry.

For this image I used my Canon 5DM3 camera and a Canon 50mm lens f/1.8 STM lens.  I used an aperture of F8.

The composition in still life photography, or indeed food photography, is really important.  You may want to consider the rule of thirds but it is important to move items around and consider what is pleasing.   I staged the scene by borrowing my son’s breakfast.

This is a great way to photograph and learn about lighting and composition.

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