Because so many things are not practical to shoot in their natural state, sometimes I find the need to just stage a shot. Still life photography really isn’t a difficult as it may seem. I look for color combinations that have similar hues and tones. If the arrangement looks good through the lens, you know, it might just look good in print. Here are a few examples of some still life photos I’ve arranged. As Ansel Adams was once quoted: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” I guess I took his simple words and used them to my advantage… if I don’t see it naturally, I “make it”.
The first still life photo is titled “A bottle of 04 Syrah and the fixings”. This was shot on a dinning room table with two 150 watt photo lamps (one on each side of the table) and a spot flash on the back for just a hint of sparkle. I used my DSLR with an ISO speed rating of 200. Focal length was 39mm (focal length in 35mm film was 58mm). Exposure was for 30 seconds at F22. The longer setting requires a tripod and a remote shutter release to insure the camera does not move during the exposure length.
Again, not a big expense, the lamps cost less than $150 and the background is just a dark velvet piece of material I got form one of the local sewing centers. During this one shoot I made well over 30 different arrangements. Doesn’t take much to keep me busy!