One of the greatest things about still life photography is that you can do it anywhere. While famous photographers like Charles Nucci may travel the world with their skills, even they had to start from humble beginnings. There is no need for any special equipment to become good at still lives either. All you need is an object, some preparation, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Nucci has put together 10 top tips for people who want to learn how to take the perfect still life image, without the need for expensive equipment.
Top Tips According to Nucci
- Today’s photography is all digital. This means that you can take as many pictures as you want and not have to worry about the cost of developing them. Use this to your advantage, so that you can figure out which exposure settings and white balance works for you.
- Always try to crop closely, which is effective and beautiful. Try to get as close as possible, allowing your subject to fill the frame. Doing so will also prevent you having to crop your shots later, which means you can keep the quality and resolution as good as possible. When you frame things properly, you will save a lot of time as well.
- Try to keep your light to just one side of your subject. When light comes from multiple directions, your subject won’t be clear. And if you use frontal light, it will take dimension away from your object.
- Always be ready to spot an object. It could be on your path when you’re walking to work, in the trashcan of your bathroom, or simply lying on the table. You may be surprised at what looks beautiful when you really study it.
- Do not place your subject too close to your chosen backdrop, as it will cast a shadow on it. You can try separate lighting for your backdrop, which creates amazing effects as well.
- Have lots of colored gels with you at all times. You can create truly amazing effects in doing so.
- Invest in a tripod. If there is only one piece of equipment you can buy (other than your camera) let it be the tripod. Without one, your results will never truly be sharp. Plus, the beauty of a tripod is that you can leave your camera in one exact place while you create the perfect arrangement.
- Always plan what you are doing and what you hope to achieve.
- Find subjects wherever you are. The seaside, forest, and parks are great places, but so is your home. These locations are great not just for finding subjects, but also to find backdrops.
- Make a lightbox with some materials that you are likely to have available to you.
With these 10 top tips, you should be able to take fantastic and unique pictures. Set yourself a complex challenge, like turning a grape in something amazing. You would be surprised at what you can achieve.