Take your best shot
It’s time for a festive tipple! In this tutorial, Jason Parnell-Brookes demonstrates the essentials of still-life photography. It’s all in the light…
With the festive grog flowing freely over the holiday season, there’s no better time to shoot a seasonal still-life
To master still-life photography
Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Nikon D-SLR Standard lens Two lights Tripod Shower curtain Gold or silver card Scissors
Ever fancied yourself as a product photographer, shooting expensive still-life photos for magazine kit pages or high-end adverts? For product images that really sing, you have to nail the lighting. So here we’re going for the big daddy of problematic subjects to light: glass. Glass provides opportunities for reflections, whether you want them or not, so controlling the light is key.
We used a bottle and a glass of whiskey to create a classic still-life shot that radiates timeless style. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that it’s very easy to set up and shoot images like this at home.
You don’t need any special equipment, just a couple of lights (which could even be home desk lamps rather than photography studio lights) and some diffusion (which you can also create and enhance using affordable household objects). We’ve also used a slate tile as an attractive base to pop our product onto, to make it look even more desirable.
We also have one or two tips that other people just won’t tell you about. Read on to find out how to take professional-looking product shots…
Glass provides opportunities for reflections, whether you want them or not