Photo contest: Shoot a still life photograph and win a Lowepro rucksack
In issue 123 of Digital Camera magazine we asked you to shoot a stunning still life photograph for your chance to see it printed in the magazine and win a Lowepro rucksack worth £150/£235. Simply upload your shot to our gallery.
We think this is more challenging than the photo challenge we usually set because with still lifes – unlike, say, sport or wildlife photography – you’re in control of every aspect of the shoot; from the subject and composition, to the lighting and exposure. For this reason, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
To get started, we’d recommend that you find a simple subject in your house that you find aesthetically appealing – it could be an unusual artefact, an arrangement of similar items, or just something familiar, such as a kitchen utensil. Next, thing about light – shooting your subject in natural light from a window, using bubble wrap or a net curtain to diffuse the light, and a piece of white card ti bounce light back into the shadows.
More advanced photographers could try arranging items of different sizes, shapes and textures, and try out different lighting set-ups using studio lighting or flash and reflectors.
Still life photography: Get started
Keep things simple to start with. Choose one subject, shoot it against a plain background and experiment with natural lighting. Try to emphasise form with reflected side-lighting.
Your background should either work with the subject, by complementing it, or it should be unnoticeable, but beware of making your image look like a stock product image.
Avoid fruit and flowers unless your lighting and compositional skills are extremely good.
To shoot moving stills
All you need is a tripod, a window, and a piece of card, says still-life pro Max Attenborough. “Really look at your subject as you move the card around,” Max says, “and alter the distance to the subject. It’s amazing how much it changes things.
“The tripod is great because virtually every time I’ve ever shot still life, when I see the image on screen I notice I’ve missed something. The tripod means you can finesse the shot (remove fluff, tweak the composition and so on) without losing the position and focus. Basically, it’s one thing less to think about, which helps focus you on getting that finished shot.”
If you’re looking for inspiration, we have a selection of 31 fantastic examples of still life photography, and an interview with still life photographer Linus Lohoff.
The competition ends on 5th April 2012. Our three best shots will be printed in issue 125, on sale 27 April 2012.
on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 3:02 pm under Competitions, News.
Tags: photo contest