I always feel it’s easier to demonstrate what I’d like them to try rather than just go online, find any old picture that’s a still life and say, “Here’s this is what I want you to do.”
I rummaged through the closets in my garage and found these wooden utensils.
Then I went next door to my neighbor’s and asked for a couple banana leaves.
This setup was outdoors believe it or not. There wasn’t enough room in the classroom.
As luck would have it, a light shower interrupted my plans, so I had enough time to just set the items down and throw a light on it.
The whole idea for this assignment was to let my students see the difference when you decide every little thing in your picture.
Most beginners are told to go out and work with whatever light they can find.
Table top photography or product photography is really a very highly specialized field like Food Photography or Architectural Photography.
The last time I posted about Photographing Homes, someone commented that I had no business doing so because my work wasn’t stellar enough.
Here’s my disclaimer: the content you see here is not about me and how good my work is. If it’s worthwhile or insightful, I’m happy to share it.
For this picture, I used one Photoflood light on the lower left so that the utensils were lit from the side.
If I have a little more time on my hands this weekend, I’ll consider reshooting and really finishing this. Right now the way it looks, I can see many things I can try to improve on it.
Key points to remember:
- every still life needs some sort of background. In my case–I used 2 banana leaves. If your background is small, shoot tighter
- to hold the great depth-of-field, try to keep everything on the same plane. I laid the cylindrical porcelain container down. (there’s a roll of gaffer tape holding it up underneath)
- at small apertures like f22, expect a slow shutter speed so a tripod is a necessity. It allows you moves elements in your composition around without altering the framing.
I have other suggestions of course, but I need to explain that this is a beginning Digital Photography class. My students don’t have fancy gear. Most, but not all have digital SLRs. Even fewer have external flash units.