Shoot­ing not-so-still lifes

NPhoto - - Niko Pedia -

The value of ac­tion isn’t lim­ited to street shoot­ing and re­portage. Even in static, con­trolled set­tings, such as still life, there’s a need for signs of life at times. Food pho­tos, par­tic­u­larly in­volv­ing liq­uids and prepa­ra­tion, call for live ac­tion, typ­i­cally in the forms of pour­ing, stir­ring, drop­ping and sprin­kling. Food video ad­verts are al­most al­ways full of things go­ing on, since it’s a nec­es­sary part of mak­ing things seem ap­petis­ing. Equally with still food shots, hav­ing things move over­comes one of still life’s draw­backs, at least in the com­mer­cial world: it can be too con­tem­pla­tive at times. If a call-to-ac­tion is needed, like ask­ing the viewer to reach out and grab, an­i­ma­tion can work. In show­ing sum­mer re­fresh­ments, a fizzy drink needs to fizz. This means pour­ing it an in­stant be­fore shoot­ing, from a height, and fast to en­sure a vis­i­ble spray, with sev­eral spillage fail­ures.

Cap­tur­ing vis­i­ble spray meant vig­or­ous last-sec­ond pour­ing, plus a care­fully po­si­tioned set­ting, so that the sun­lit droplets would stand out against the dark back­ground.

If hav­ing lots of bub­bles is an in­te­gral part of a still life im­age, you can cheat and make them avail­able on con­tin­u­ous sup­ply, as in this pro­duc­tion shot.

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