Still Life Photography
Still life, is a photography fundamental. In the beginning, when exposures could consume several minutes, capturing still life was much easier than people, and still life elements are often less problematic to put together than to locate a model to shoot
nude scenes. Just as important, a still life photograph can be an element of beauty on it's own.
In the beginning days of photography, photographers like
Henry Talbot were often simply doing technical research of processes created superb still-life photographs, and
Roger Fenton's 1840s still-life photography is among the most excellent
photographs ever captured.
The 1920s was one of the finest decades for non-commercial still-life photography arrived when ‘abstract’ images enjoyed a great craze: Simple subjects like folded paper, cutlery,, light bulbs, and many other items were photographed as research in line and form, devoid of any ‘content’ in the traditional sense. Then the 1950s was one of the most awful decades, with its obsession for sugary ‘table-top’ images of ornamental glass like dancing fauns. Still life just about disappeared in the 1960s, only to appear again in the later part of the 20th century featuring the latest in over-saturated color film.
Taken as a whole, however, still life on its own has often been amazingly ignored by art photographers and amateurs alike. The largest quantities of still-life photos available are ads. The general thinking is perhaps a conviction that still-life photography take time, is difficult, and requires a lot of room and tools. However, a closer look at photo magazines shows, this belief is mistaken and those who capture still life often employ simple gear, yet produce remarkable images.
A solitary desk lamp might be all the illumination that is required for rudimentary black-and-white images. A
tripod mounted camera is most likely to to create long exposures allowing an extraordinary array of items to change from run of the mill everyday objects into an eye-catching item selected for it's intrinsic beauty, no matter if it's piece of driftwood or a figurine . Also the
composition can encompass anything from the examination of a single item to the most intricate assembly: even including a staple of the "Victorian Era", a
deceased pheasant encircled by other foodstuffs.
Even at the greatest height, in commercial photography,
lighting and equipment demands are modest. Movements of the camera movements are most often employed to secure focus using the
Scheimpflug decree, or (more rare) to confine focus planes or create distortions, consequently large-format cameras (used increasingly with roll-film camera backs) are prevalent.
Lenses are normally of a large enough focal range to provide a good working space between camera and the subject. Illumination is rarely intense or abundant. Flash is commonly favored for still-life images involving natural scenes like food or flowers, due to the heart produced by tungsten lighting. Although a number of photographers have a preference for
tungsten light effects, while the shortcomings can sometimes be overstated.
Amateurs, many times behave toward still life like a record branch of photography. Very few pander to upscale lenses, extraordinary film-types, and post processing practices, although these effects can be
advantageous. Extremely grainy films, soft-focus lenses, and Adobe Photoshop post-production practices or other image modification programs are all worthy of experimenting with, although the latter is easily to overdo.
Professionals frequently shoot still-life images, in part for recreation but perhaps more as a method of discovering their craft, gaining more knowledge about using lighting and shade, lines, tones, and
exposure. Relevance to advertising photography is obvious, although professionals in other photography spheres still appear to be disproportionately warm to still-life,
consequently they often cite private still-life images among their favorite photographs.
Still life photography imagery is a challenging art form, where photographers are often expected to have the
ability to create their images with a cultivated sense of lighting, integrated with skills of composition. A photographer of still life makes pictures instead of shooting them. Having the knowledge of places to look for props and surface types is additionally a necessary skill.
Supplementing their photography fundamentals knowledge, still life photographers must possess studio-lighting proficiency along with the ability to work with
large-format view cameras. The portrayal of inanimate subject material is what photography of still life is all about, which is more often than not a petite grouping of articles that are man-made or "unprocessed." Photographing still life, more often than other spheres of photography, like
portraiture, allows the photographer more latitude in the layout of design elements from within a composition.
Apr 12, 2011