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Thread: Where to stage a still life photo?

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    Where to stage a still life photo?

    I am keen to take a photo and enter it into the 'photo of the week' competition. I am already seeing how it makes for a good way to focus learning. I have spent the afternoon looking at still life photos and getting a feel for the genre.

    I am looking around my house but I am really overwhelmed by all the possible places to take a photo... I am not sure where to begin, hoping to get some tips and advice.

    What sort of lighting should I be looking for? Is there a particular time of day that is best, or is anytime okay because it is indoors.
    Can I take the photo outside, again do I need to stick with twilight hours or can midday light add to the composition?
    What sort of techniques are used to ensure a clean background when working inside a house?
    Cass
    I switched my camera off auto in November 2012, and I have been busy reading and learning and practicing ever since.
    My kit is basic: Canon 1000D (two kit lenses) + 50mm f/1.8 + a tripod/monopod + Lightroom4

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    kitchen bench, in the bath, on the coffee table. You can also consider getting some cardboard and laying that over things to setup your shot, or use the cardboard in the background etc.

    Think about using candles, a torch, Christmas lights, even a stock put lid can be used to reflect light. Get creative and imaginative and try things
    Last edited by ricktas; 17-01-2013 at 6:40pm.
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    Hi Cass, I am doing the same thing as you. I've picked a subject (may not be the final one) and did a google on how to take photographs of 'xxxxx' (where xxxx is what you want to photograph), I got some really good YouTube tutorials and links to websites, plus some great images as well. The best information was about how to set up a small home 'studio' using coloured cardboard and domestic lights for lighting. I don't have all the gear, so this was helpful. From here, I plan to experiment and see what I come up with, hope this helps, cheers Deb

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I would add to Deb's comments. Be careful using lights and cardboard. Lights can generate quite a bit of heat and if you place one to close to the cardboard, it could combust. The last thing you need is fireman wrecking your still life setup

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathy View Post
    Hi Cass, I am doing the same thing as you. I've picked a subject (may not be the final one) and did a google on how to take photographs of 'xxxxx' (where xxxx is what you want to photograph), I got some really good YouTube tutorials and links to websites, plus some great images as well. The best information was about how to set up a small home 'studio' using coloured cardboard and domestic lights for lighting. I don't have all the gear, so this was helpful. From here, I plan to experiment and see what I come up with, hope this helps, cheers Deb
    Youtube is awesome. I did the same thing. After initially being disheartened by all the equipment required I found this guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpHIjQZmSwI
    Who decided to do a series showing how to do still life with household equipment.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I would add to Deb's comments. Be careful using lights and cardboard. Lights can generate quite a bit of heat and if you place one to close to the cardboard, it could combust. The last thing you need is fireman wrecking your still life setup
    Thanks for the tip.
    Last edited by alsocass; 18-01-2013 at 7:26am.

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    Sir Rattus79 - The Proclaimant
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    The kitchen table with lovley soft afternoon window light can work wonders too.
    Greg Bartle,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    The kitchen table with lovley soft afternoon window light can work wonders too.
    I just went to the newsagent and bought some cardboard and am about to try the kitchen table. Trouble is that this would mean the window would be behind the subject.

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    Sir Rattus79 - The Proclaimant
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    Oh, Backlighting! lovley

    You can use a reflector from a car window or some white card or just about any reflective surface to bring some light back onto your subject.

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    Well all done. I will post for CC after the competiton ends. I had lots of fun and took about 60 photos, running back to my computer regularly to evaluate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alsocass View Post
    Youtube is awesome. I did the same thing. After initially being disheartened by all the equipment required I found this guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpHIjQZmSwI
    Who decided to do a series showing how to do still life with household equipment.
    Yes! He did a tutorial on a particular subject I was interested in, I found him to be very good and explained things very well. Good luck with your entry, cheers Deb

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    I have been laying in bed watching his videos all night. Definetly one of the better tutorial makers on YouTube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    kitchen bench, in the bath, on the coffee table.....
    hmmmmm
    Monika
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    ... and then you can like me on www.facebook.com/PhotoByMB or see my shop on http://www.redbubble.com/people/msmonny



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms Monny View Post
    hmmmmm
    This is for STILL life..stop being rude

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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    Monica, Monika, Monika. Mind above the belt please.....
    Speaking of that.. A really cool belt buckle with various ornaments around it, with a touch of depth of field. A bit of coloured cellophane over a torch or two, resting on a bit of velvet..... Ohh.. The mind boggles...
    Geoff
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    Nikon D3000 ... Nikon D90... Nikon D700 Various lenses, Home studio equipment and all the associated stuff
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    Sorry...will crawl back into my corner again.....

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffsta View Post
    Monica, Monika, Monika. Mind above the belt please.....
    .....
    But that might be where the still life is!!

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    Always learning Ionica's Avatar
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    This photographer has ( imo ) some interesting still life compositions, including ' kitchen ' items. Hope this is useful to you.

    http://lestrovoy.deviantart.com/gallery/
    Constructive critique of my photos is welcome and appreciated.


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    I realised that we were using our home theatre less and less as it is only my wife and I rattling around the house now and we generally watch TV out in a general family room. This has allowed me to start gradually taking over the home theatre as a mini studio in which I can let in the natural light or close it off for using artificial light as there are heavy black curtains on the window.

    Have not figured out how to take over the rest of the house yet but working on it.

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    *chuckle*

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