Have you ever wanted to try your hand at still life photography but shied away from the challenge, thinking you lacked the necessary equipment and skills? If so, this quick tutorial is for you.
Think of it this way: Still life photography is just an artistic approach to tabletop shooting, and it’s something you can easily do at home. All you need is an interesting object—like a bowl of fruit, flower arrangement, or a piece of jewelry—and equipment you already own.
The key to this form of photography is thoughtful composition and careful lighting from something as simple as a single strobe. Of course, a bit of knowledge is also required, and that’s what you’ll find in the video below.
Andrew Boey is an instructor at Japan’s Beyond Photography Academy, specializing is simple tutorials that deliver superb results without a lot of expensive gear. In this episode he demonstrates everything you need to know to make amazing tabletop images.
Boey uses a wine glass for this demonstration, and walks you through the process from beginning to end. The goal is to light the glass from the rear, to create an eye-catching rim-light effect. As you’ll see, all you need is a small table or stool, a white wall for the background, a sheet of black paper, some red wine, and a single light. A white reflector or a small softbox can be added for optimum results.
While Boey uses a small studio flash, you can create the same effect with an affordable LED light or even a simple shoe-mount flash. He explains how to position the light relative to your subject, how to compose the shot, and offers practical tips for the necessary camera and flash settings.
The trick is using a small aperture, medium shutter speed, and a low ISO. Boey’s settings are f/16, ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1/200. His lens choice for this particular assignment is a basic 50mm f/1.8 prime with an inexpensive screw-on close-up filter.
Once he has all his gear in place, and makes the necessary camera and flash settings, Boey demonstrates how easy it is to capture a professional-looking image. And it’s definitely something you can do yourself.
You can find more simple tips for creating impressive photographs by visiting Boey’s popular YouTube channel.