Travel often has the effect of making us
more visually alert. Many things in our day-to-day lives may pass us by
without us giving them a second glance.
However, a new environment provides visual stimuli; to the photographer
these stimuli provide a new awareness of photographic possibilities.
Many items around us may not be very interesting in themselves, but
gathered together in a collection, perhaps as a grouping of souvenirs
from a particular place and photographed in an attractive way, a still
life picture is created.
How to do good still life photography? Still life arrangements have
inspired painters throughout time and the same inspiration provides
photographer with numerous creative opportunities. It is a useful
discipline to look closely at, and arrange and light a group of
inanimate object. Sometimes these arrangements already exist and all
that is required is to see the potential for an attractive shot.
CHECKLIST FOR STILL LIFE SHOTS
• Should the arrangement be lit with camera flash or is there enough
• Examine the available light for any creative elements: does a shaft
of light fall at just the right angle?
• Which angle would look best for the shot? Imagine the arrangement in
the centre of a circle. Stand a certain distance from the objects and
walk around them slowly, stopping at regular intervals. Every pause
provides a new visual angle and a different shot.
• Which viewpoint? Consider the arrangement from eye level, as well as
from above and from below.
• Every visual angle provides a different background: which one is most
suitable and complements the objects most effectively?
• Consider the depth of field: should the background be sharp or