How to Set up for a min­i­mal­ist still life

Practical Photography (UK) - - Fine Art At Home -

Con­trol the shad­ows

Win­dow light is a fan­tas­tic source of free il­lu­mi­na­tion but you may want to en­sure that you soften any shad­ows. Use a piece of white card as a re­flec­tor, placed op­po­site the win­dow, to throw some light back at the sub­ject.

Set up a tri­pod

Even if you have enough light fall­ing on your sub­ject for a fast enough shut­ter speed to hand­hold the cam­era, a tri­pod of­fers bet­ter sta­bil­ity. It also lets you lock your com­po­si­tion and frees up your hands when tak­ing still life shots.

Use manual fo­cus

Some still life set­ups, such as this white-on-white com­po­si­tion, can be a prob­lem for aut­o­fo­cus sys­tems, and cause them to hunt. Switch over to manual, but be care­ful to check your fo­cus be­fore each shot in case it has slipped.

Use the self-timer and Live View

Two of the most use­ful cam­era fea­tures for a still life pho­tog­ra­pher are the self-timer and Live View op­tions. The for­mer en­sures ab­so­lute clar­ity by re­mov­ing any chance of cam­era shake, while the lat­ter has two great uses. Live View is re­ally use­ful for check­ing your fo­cus, as you can zoom in on your sub­ject, and it’s a great com­po­si­tional tool as it gives you a large, bright im­age of your sub­ject.

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