Still Life in Photography
(Nuala get Your Ruler..)
A Painter is tasked with painting a bowl of fruit. We all did this at school, easy right…? Anyone can do it, no problem…?
Then why are all the school paintings not hanging in galleries the world over. Firstly, there wouldn’t be enough room but mainly most of us never understood how we were to truly capture the light, the composition, the depth and feel of the subject be it a single apple or a bunch of flowers. Luckily with help and advice, understanding can be gained and great things can be produced.
Photography is like any other type of art, unless you are a genius from the get-go, we all need a little help and advice. For the Welshot Still Life and Post Processing day our help and advice came in the form of Rob and Sharon Prenton Jones with the aid of Jen Baker producing a Stunning still-life display for us.
Through a tour of the Grand Masters of Painted still-life, Rob showed us how they use light, shadows and depth of field to produce stunning images for our eyes to feast on and how we can do the same with our photography. By understanding how to compose your image and use the light, your image will have the right look and correctly placed shadows that help, not hinder the finale image.
Post processing is a really helpful tool for still-life photography, Rob and Sharon took us through how to use simple layers and masks to help produce stunning results. To produce that look of perfection we need to achieve an image that has a sharp focus throughout the image from front to back. This can only be achieved with focus stacking, this is when you take several shots at different focus points and combine them all in Photoshop. Rob and Sharon showed us how to do this starting from how to take the shot, settings, where and what to focus on and then how to combine them in Photoshop.
Once we achieved our stacked images of Jens’ display we played around with processing ideas and trying personal image creation, I played with my Tic-tac….
For me Still-Life photography was never really on my list to try, but I thought the day would help me with lighting for some Macro photography, this it did, but I never thought that understanding still-life would help with every type of photography that I could come across from landscape to portrait.
Rob and Sharon, presented Still-Life as art in its own right but they also showed us how the skills you develop from understanding Still-Life would help with all types of photography. They are skills that can be developed without expense and the need for models, just a light and an apple.
I know I’ll be trying more Still-Life photography from this point on to help develop my photographic skills and post processing skills, as well as producing some nice images along the way.
Thanks to Rob, Sharon, Jen, Lee and Eifion.