A Baseball Themed Still Life


I love seeing how 2 different photographers tackle the same assignment.

Both Jerry and Ryan came up with the same idea on their own.

In this case, one is an Angels fan, the other favors the Dodgers.




Placement of props and composition aside, the most obvious difference you’ll see is choice of lighting.

Since you get to decide everything about a Still Life, light placement is extremely important.

Also if you recall, I mentioned in my previous post,  there can be such a thing as too much indiscriminate light all over?

Though it may give you the ability to shoot with a small aperture for maximum depth-of-field, aesthetically, it’s not the most flattering or prettiest.

Since these are inanimate objects and you’re using a tripod, “plenty of light” or “quantity” of light shouldn’t be what you’re after.

You should be looking for directional lighting that provides good modeling or shadow & highlights.

Two important facts to keep in mind is this:

  • the larger the light source, the softer the light
  • the further the light source, the harder the light

As you play with your light placement, keep those 2 hints in mind.

Ideally I would have a shot of Jerry’s setup when he took the picture.

That way, I could give him some feedback on what else he could have tried.

Without a picture of the setup, I’ll  have to resort to using my less favorite tools in Photoshop to improve his picture.


Step 1–


Step 2–Identify the areas in the picture which can be adjusted with not too much difficulty. Cropping tighter will remove the seam at the bottom where the blue background has run out. The whole bat need not be seen on the left. Front of helmet #3 needs to be lightened so you can read the text. Where the table can be seen under the blue mat #1, I had to darken the edge a lot in photoshop. Top left corner was also darkened or burned down.


Final image–Details brought out in the top right area where bats are, top left and bottom left area cropped in and “darkened” to hold area of interest in the important parts of picture, the helmet. See Jerry’s original image again.

Thanks to Ryan White and Jerry Soifer for sharing your pictures with me on the blog.