02 Shoot still life photography with personality
Russian photographer Victoria Ivanova’s interest is in giving character and soul to static objects. She’s made still-life art from nothing more than clothes pegs and vegetables, but it’s her series of pictures featuring pears and a few carefully selected accessories that has drawn most acclaim.
“All my pears ‘behave’ like people,” she says. “and they do the things we all do, such as fall in love, get into trouble and try to lose weight. The most difficult thing for me is the process of finding the ‘correct’ pears in the shops. Sometimes an idea can became a photo only after two or three months of searching.
“I have turned a room in my house into a studio for still-lifes. Everything in it is hand-made, with my husband helping me to make the table and a background holder.
“I use a Canon 5D Mark II and a 50mm f/1.4 lens to take the shots. Lighting comes in the form of a ‘light brush’ I’ve made; it’s a pocket flashlight with six LEDs.
“I put handcream on its glass to make the light softer and use this to light the set during an exposure of 8-13 seconds in the dark.”
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* Always sketch out your ideas before searching for suitable subjects.
* Look at the bargain ranges of fruit and veg in supermarkets, as this is where you’ll find misshapen examples.
* Use wide apertures to produce a shallow depth of field, helping you to draw attention to specific parts of your composition.
PAGE 1: Shoot twilight portraits
PAGE 2: Shoot still life photography with personality
PAGE 3: Shoot a film noir style
PAGE 4: Shoot quiet landscapes
PAGE 5: Shoot out of focus
PAGE 6: Shoot faces in unusual places
PAGE 7: Shoot pictures of weather
PAGE 8: Shoot wildlife with long exposures
PAGE 9: Shoot baby sheep