We have been having fun taking still life shots and learning about them. What does it takes to make a great still life photo?
From the last post we are working with some of the ELEMENTS listed below. But do you really have worry about all these factors? We listed them to help stir some creativity so it is really up to you and your process. At this point we are not focusing on post production of the images. Instead our current focus is on shooting the the images with the camera and getting creative with the subjects or subject matter.
"Something that occurred to me is the possibility of working on an image over time, changing lighting and elements and taking maybe dozens of shots, refining and refining until it really gels. Digital makes it fun to experiment."
Since the theme is "Some Of Our Favorites" we chose to take a closer look and some of the subjects from the last three posts. So what if we got a little closer to the one or more of the subjects?
Getting Closer How close is too close...
The general idea has been to try out each of the different ELEMENTS listed above and add some new elements as dictated by the artistic eye. So for example, after studying the images in the previous three posts for a while, we wondered about how close the subjects should be. Should they be more distant like a 16th century still life or something different than that for our modern times? We wanted to try out some of the ELEMENTS we have to work with listed above. We also added a few new ELEMENTS to make the shoot more interesting and fun.
xThe camera was moved closer to some of the subjects so there was less white background and more color. If you click each image, you can see a hi-res version to get a better idea. We also overlapped some of the subjects. Being close also meant we had to change the angle of view to a much more steep downward angle. Notice the detail that shows up in the vanilla. The however the eye (eye motion) tends to want to look at only the vanilla rather than the scene as a whole.
For the tea image we made the tea off center in the image in an attempt to change the eye motion to a more circular pattern. But does that make the shot better? When is a cup of tea only a cup of tea and at what point does it become a still life? In the Vanilla image below we lowered the angle of view below what would be a normal viewing angle so the subjects would appear new to the eye, to see what that might be like. The level of detail in the subjects is increased by being closer and changing to to our new angle.
So which image do you like best, what stands out to your eye, and what do you like and dislike?
1Choose a theme for your still life photos.
2Shoot some photos.
3Study what you like and dislike and what works and does not work.
4Try working with some of the different ELEMENTS listed above.
5Explore adding some new ELEMENTS that matter to your artistic eye.
6Work with your subjects over time.
For Further Study: Still Life.