03 Shoot still life photography with food from your fridge
You don’t have to look far to feed your imagination. With all the grub available over the festive period, why not turn the leftovers into art? Turkish photographer Sedef Isik does this regularly, but she’s not just constructing fancy still-life shots, she wants to create pictures with a message too.
“I’m interested in the pollution of the seas and the fishes’ struggle for survival, which is why I made this particular shot. My advice is to take every image using your heart, because you achieve better results that way.”
You don’t need lots of kit to take shots like these – Sedef used an entry-level Canon EOS 550D and a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens to take the ‘Habitat’ picture above.
You’ll need to use a tripod though, as you’re likely to be working with slow shutter speeds. Position your still-life near a window to make use of natural light, or use an off-camera flashgun and a reflector.
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* Think of a concept first, in order to give your pictures meaning. With her ‘Noodle Dryer’ shot (above right), Sedef wanted to illustrate her opinion that microwave ovens dry out food.
* If you’re using a pale background, you may need to dial in +1/3 to +1EV of Exposure Compensation to keep the image bright – check the histogram and make sure it’s bunched towards the right of the graph.
* Use the magnified image offered by your camera’s Live View mode to check that the critical features of your still-life are sharp. Set the lens to manual focus (MF or M) and fine-tune if necessary.
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