For novice photographers, the easiest way to further improve their photography skills is to take pictures of small objects in daily life with a camera. For photographing portraits or landscapes, there may be many factors that can not be mastered, but for still life photography, the various factors are relatively well controlled. For example, in a shooting scene, if the light is too dim, just move the object to a bright place, or use a flash to supplement the light, etc.
This still life photography is simple and easy to say, but it is not an easy thing to make a still life different from others and to take pictures of artistic conception. Below I will share with you some techniques that can take good still life, hoping to help you to have a deeper understanding of still life photography.
Selection of Themes
The choice of subject matter depends entirely on your own interests. But don't think you have to photograph fruits or flowers like other people. You can choose your subjects openly. For example, jewelry and colored stones popular on the market are common ornaments. They are smaller and have many styles. Starting from them, they are also good choices.~
Photographing silver ornaments such as bracelets, you can use large aperture photography to scatter the background, you can present a small circle of light, add beauty to the picture.
For the decorations with a national style, you can match an old cosmetic box to make the picture show a nostalgic style.
These small colorful stones are enlarged by SLR cameras. Each of them has its own unique color and texture. Is it interesting to observe them carefully?
Say what you want to say and present it to your beloved person (her) through the above shooting method.~
For shooting these small objects, close-range photography should be taken when shooting, so the equipment used should be considered from the perspective of close-range photography. So for the choice of lens, the author suggests medium and long focus lens or micro lens. When using medium and long focal lenses, the nearest focusing distance between the lens and the object can be slightly larger, and the light distribution is more convenient. But if you need more details, you should use a macro lens to shoot.
Use Background Correctly
Choosing a good background plays a very important role in creating a successful work. For still life shooting, it is best to choose a simple and beautiful background, which will not have a great impact on the objects you shoot. A simple wall is a good choice.
The white background wall makes the whole picture look simple and generous.
If you want to make the picture look richer and fuller, you might as well find some background that matches the tone of the object or has a large contrast.
The harmony of the background wall and the foreground with a sense of vicissitudes makes the picture look fuller.
For shooting ring silver jewelry, you can choose a bright background with large color contrast, which can highlight the texture of silver jewelry, and make the picture look less monotonous.
For smaller objects, background may not be used, so we can use a substrate instead, such as black velvet, which can absorb light and make the substrate look pure black.
For still life shooting, it does not limit the number of theme elements. So composition is particularly important. Before shooting, we should give full consideration to how to make the best combination of various elements in your work. It can not only make the picture look full, leave appropriate white space, but also grasp the focus of the audience's vision, so as not to make the picture look messy. The following author will introduce some common composition techniques for still life photography.
1. Tripartite Composition
Tripartite composition is the most basic and safe way of composition in photography. Divide the top and bottom of the picture into three equal parts. Their four equal parts intersect into four points. These four points are called the center of interest, which is the best place to arrange the works.
Trisection is often used in photography.
2. Scatter Composition
For shooting non-single objects, scatter composition is the most commonly used method in still life photography. Scatter composition is a free and loose composition structure, which is to fill the whole picture with objects and not deliberately highlight an object. Through dense or tone to organize the picture, so that the disordered picture in order. This way of composition can give full play to the creative space of the photographer, but in order to make the picture look not too messy, friends have to work hard.
When using scatter plotting, be sure not to pile things together, which will make the picture look disharmonious.
3. Diagonal composition
Diagonal composition is a kind of composition with great visual impact, and it has the strongest dynamic feeling. If selected properly, the effect will be very good.
4. Triangle Composition
Triangular composition usually consists of three themes of the same nature to form a triangular whole of the picture. Because the three sides of a triangle are made up of straight lines in different directions, and different lines form different forms of triangles, resulting in different trends and changes, which will bring people different feelings.
Triangle composition photography can make the primary and secondary images clear and dense.
5. Contrastive Composition
Contrast is a form of composition. Polarization of contrast is widely used in photography, such as color contrast, texture contrast, size contrast, dark contrast and so on. But this kind of composition is also the most difficult to grasp, and most of the works that can successfully use contrastive composition are extraordinary. Friends with a certain photographic foundation may wish to try more.
Solid grapes contrast with transparent utensils, and the smooth material of glass contrasts with the folds of the underlying cloth.
Smooth metal mirrors contrast sharply with textured boards. Is this kind of shooting more interesting?
Application of Light
The main performance of still life photography is to highlight the texture of the object. To show it, besides some props, the key lies in the use of light. The commonly used light in still life photography is direct light, soft light, side light and top light.
1. Application of Soft Light
In still-life photography, soft light is often used as a way of using light. It is not limited to shooting a certain kind of objects, as long as you want your image to show a hazy and soft tone, you can use this way of light.
Flexible masks are used in soft light shooting.
2. Application of Direct Light
Direct light is suitable for expressing some hard objects, which will bring a clear and strong feeling to the viewer.
Direct light can show the metallic texture of hard objects.
3. side lights
Frontal light is usually used as auxiliary light because it is not conducive to representing the stereo sense of the object. Side light has a good stereoscopic effect, and it is also the most suitable way to express the texture of objects. Therefore, the most commonly used side light in still life photography.
For photographing porcelain, it is advisable to use positive side light, soft light and refraction light at the same time, retain high light at the corner of the bottle mouth, and reduce reflection as far as possible in the place with patterns.
4. top lights
The top light is similar to the direction of sunlight recently, so this way of using light can imitate the effect of sunlight projection, and make the photographs have a high light sensitivity. Many works use this light as the main light.
In the impression of many photographers, it is wrong to think that the more complex the light is, the better they like to shine all the light on the subject, because this can not reflect the hierarchy of light, on the contrary, it will leave a sense of confusion.
Finally, the author reminds you that in shooting, not only the light distribution should be reasonable, but also the order of using light is very important. First of all, we should focus on the position of the main light, and then use the auxiliary light to adjust the contrast caused by the role of the main light on the screen, highlight the level of the theme, and control the projection.
Tone and Emotion
A good photographic work not only records the truth, but also makes the viewer feel the emotion it wants to express. Tone is the protagonist of expressing emotion. Good photography can usually convey the viewer's feelings.
Still life photography often creates different tones and expresses different emotions from the choice of props, colors, lighting arrangement and background. Sometimes there is a strong contrast in a tone, just like inserting a melodious treble in a soft music, especially refreshing, still life photography often uses this technique to express the subject.
Full use of color is the author's preferred way of photography. Emphasis is laid on the color of the elements to add color to the picture and create an artistic conception. A good picture must give the viewer imagination. For example, the high-heeled shoes in the picture above remind the author of a woman. It is laid at random like a sensual object sitting lazily on her beloved rosy throne, waiting for her dream lover to undress her clothes. It is self-evident that the whole picture highlights the sense of coldness and nobility.
Warm tone is also a commonly used tone in still life photography. It is soft and gives people a feeling of wanting to approach. It is usually used to shoot images with nostalgic style. For example, in the picture above, copper pocket watch, leather notebook, small iron objects, and freely curled drawings, the whole picture with warm colors, just like a corner of the study of the American rich in the 1920s.
These are the techniques of still life photography that I share with you. Once you have mastered the shooting technology of a single object, try to shoot several objects together. It's better to see if you can get good results by taking different shapes, colors and textures of several objects. So what are you waiting for? Set up your camera, set up your background, adjust the appropriate light source, find a unique and attractive object, and start shooting!