How to take beautiful and fresh still life photos
- Dec 10, 2019
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First, let me introduce myself briefly. My name is Buy Big Fish. I am a post-90s photographer. Usually mainly take some pictures of daily life, basically are around some small things, Baiji is mainly a record of the identity of it. Keep the interesting pictures I see in the form of photos, so my photos are mostly still life.
First of all, I think still life photography is simpler and easier to control than portraits, because if we go to shoot a still life, it is mainly a static thing. Unlike portraits, photographers have to control not only the angle of their own photography, but also the pose, costumes and makeup of their subjects.
In the latter stage, still life photography only involves the palette, while portrait photography involves not only the palette but also the liquefaction of the abrasive skin. So, if you are starting to get started, you can choose still life to take pictures. You can practice color matching first and then ignore the objective factors of the model. Focus your main energy on the color of the picture you took.
It is very helpful for you to learn photography by practicing your composing and color matching abilities with still life first, from easy to difficult and introducing slowly.
The Characteristics of Fresh Photos
Let's first look at what aspects of still life photography need to pay attention to. Let me start with a few of my personal works. In order to facilitate observation, I divided the main colors in the picture into several color blocks. You can feel what their characteristics are.
First of all, I think the greatest feature is that the picture is relatively clean, which is mainly reflected in several aspects. The first is that the main body of the whole picture is relatively clear, and no other sundries come into the picture.
Secondly, in terms of color, in most cases, it is a cold and light color, and there will be no particularly bright or dark color.
Finally, the whole looks softer and quieter.
So when we observe a picture, we should consider the following aspects: picture composition, main tone, highlight, saturation.
The composition of a picture mainly refers to the elements and combinations in a picture. To be frank, this is similar to your composition. A good picture is usually a combination of relatively simple, clear theme, let others see at a glance to know what you want to express, there will not be too much clutter or elements unrelated to the theme. Like I sent before, the pictures are very simple. Maybe the subject is an object. There is no superfluous thing to disturb your sight. case analysis
This picture should be the same feeling as that taken by many new photographers.
Usually when we see a beautiful object or a beautiful scene, we want to take a picture of it, but when we take a picture, we don't think about whether the background behind is clean or not, and whether some elements around it will have any influence on the subject.
This photo is supposed to take the old camera in the middle. If you really want to take a picture of such an object, you can completely remove the next thing, do not let it block the main body at this angle. Or you can find a clean and bright place to take pictures. There are too many interferences in the picture. If a subject can't move, you can get closer and use the effect of a large aperture to take pictures. These irrelevant elements are virtualized. Like this one, this one is the same as the previous one. Before you compose a picture, you have to think about what your picture really represents. For example, do you want to show the dried flowers in front of you? Or do you want to show some decorations on the wall? Still want to show something else.
The feeling is that it's messy and people don't know what you're trying to say. It's supposed to be so beautiful that we can get some pictures. Let's see what other photographers have taken. You can see that the composition of their pictures is very simple. There are not too many complicated things or elements in a picture. So if you want the picture to be clean, you must control the composition in the early stage. This is the so-called picture composition, must be concise.
In addition to the simple composition of the picture just mentioned, there is also a more important color matching that you choose. The feeling of color is often the most intuitive and casual. It will directly bring you different mood when you look at the picture, so try to choose the color which is fresh or cold. Avoid colours that are too bright or look dirty.
Fresh pictures like those you usually see are basically blue or green. The overall tone is cold, and there are few warm colors. Even if there is a warm color, it is in a very small proportion, or saturation is not very high.
For example, in this photo above, although they have a large area of red in it, but there is also a large part of the cold color in the picture. That is, I use the angle of the backshot to shoot the sky in, the sky is blue, played a role in reconciling the picture. If there is no cold color intervention picture is red, then it will not look so fresh.
Take these two pictures for example. It's also a cat. It's all taken by me. One is white and the other is black. Which one is fresher when the two photos are put together? It must be white. So when you take photos, you should use some cool and bright colors, such as green, blue, blue, white and so on. Green must be fresher than red, white must be fresher than black.
When everything in front of you is under control, you should try to reduce the saturation of the picture in the later stage.
As just mentioned, the tones of still life are usually fresh and natural, giving people a feeling of aestheticism, softness and quietness. Saturation is too high and often striking. Although it looks amazing at first glance, it's hard to see for a long time. That's why when we started to learn photography later, we often like to adjust all the colours once and make them very bright. Because the difference between the original image and the original one is bigger, the bigger the difference is, the higher the level of toner is. In fact, it is not.
These are some pictures taken by Japanese photographer Hideo Hamada, to observe its color.
Its saturation is not lower than what your eyes normally see. Its red color is not bright red or particularly bright red. And green is not a bright green, basically the saturation of the whole picture is low. So the picture looks soft and natural. Generally, the photographs of the Japanese system are characterized by low saturation.
By: Hideo Hamada
Of course, saturation here is also a relative concept, not that the lower the better. If the saturation of the photos you take is already very low, you can also add - point saturation appropriately. Mainly to ensure that the color of your picture is not gorgeous, if the saturation is too low, your photos may be gray and lose their inherent color.
The highlights should be properly suppressed in the whole picture. This piece is mainly used in the later stage, whether in LR or p8, there are separate options for controlling exposure and shadows. That's the tool (see figure):
In most cases, the high-light area of the photo will be lowered. Because this can find out more details of the bright part of the picture, and can make the picture look softer, the specific operation is still based on the specific situation of the photo. It's either to suppress highlights or to pull the highlights out of the darkness area. If you like this, you can watch some movies.
Pictures come from knowing
For example, Hamada Yingming's film. His pictures are all in a bright tone. Look at the peaks of his histogram. The position of the wave crest is mainly on the right, but the peaks at both ends are not particularly large. This shows that his highlight is not a pure white state, but a state like milky white, milky white and ivory yellow. This kind of white is not pure white, it is only close to the state of white. So although his picture is very bright, but that kind of bright will not be that kind of contrast is very high and then very dazzling bright, the overall picture gives a special soft and special quiet warm feeling.
How to bring out fresh pictures of the Japanese system
As I said before, in the early stage of shooting, you must consider the composition of your picture and the color matching. Make the picture simple and clean, and it won't be so hard at the later stage. Here is a demonstration of the color matching process of a fresh still life.
The original film is slightly gray, and the color is not fresh enough. In composition, the sky accounts for a large proportion. The sky is a little blue-purple, and the color of the middle building is mainly white. It accords with the features of clean picture and cold and bright color mentioned above. So the main idea of this film is to brighten the picture and then adjust the color of the sky. Reduce the purple component of the sky and let it go green.
First, open LR and adjust the basic parameters. Increase exposure appropriately, suppress highlights and highlight areas in the middle of the picture to find out more details.
After the last step, the picture looks a little gray. So a "s" curve is drawn on the curve to enhance the contrast of the picture.
Instead of blindly adjusting all the parameters, you need to observe which colors make up the picture. Here are mainly yellow, orange, green and blue. Yellow and orange mainly control the trees in front, blue mainly control the color of the sky, so I only adjust these colors.
The picture was a bit dark yellow after the last step of brightening, so I moved orange on the color. Turn the tree a little bit green. Turn the blue that controls the sky a little bit to the blue.
It reduces the saturation of green and blue.
Bright orange and yellow is the front part of the tree.
Because the original film is dark, noise will appear after the whole brightening. This step can eliminate part of the noise and make the original film look cleaner.
Check to delete the chromatic aberration and enable configuration file correction, which I check most of the time to correct the dark angle around the picture caused by the lens.
Camera calibration: After the adjustment of the above steps, the general feeling is already there, but the plants in front are still a little yellow, so I adjusted the color of the green primary color here to make it green. Finally, it is to improve the saturation of the blue primary color, enhance the overall sense of color, and make the picture more transparent. Final effect
What I want to say above is the whole content of this sharing. For still life photography, color selection in the early stage is very important. This requires you to accumulate more photographic works or see more excellent works. For me personally, I am very vulnerable to other people's influence. Some of my previous works have tended to be simple and clean, and now I'm slowly trying out the effects of blues and undertones. It's not about how much your aesthetics have improved, but when you look at photographs of different photographers, you want to try different styles.
In the early stage of learning, we must take more pictures and see more. We should not confine ourselves to the same style, which is more conducive to your growth. I haven't found the final style yet, and I'm trying it all the time. Finally, I hope you can take good pictures.