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…

NPhoto - - Con­tents -

With the fes­tive grog flow­ing freely over the hol­i­day sea­son, there’s no bet­ter time to shoot a sea­sonal still-life

The mis­sion

To mas­ter still-life pho­tog­ra­phy


One hour

Skill level

Be­gin­ner In­ter­me­di­ate Ad­vanced

Kit needed

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

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