Still Life Photography Tips How to Shoot Great Pictures

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Still life photography has lots of practical and valuable uses. Perhaps you want to take a photograph of a beautiful bowl of fruit or perhaps you have learned that an important key to eBay success is uploading quality photos of your products.

Learning still life photography can also give you opportunities for selling your photograph downloads on micro-stock sites or to food magazines. No matter what your reason, still life photography is a great skill to learn.

Unless you have a specific product you're photographing for a commercial shoot, the subjects for still life photos are limitless. Despite common belief, still life photography isn't limited to just pictures of apples and grapes. Even super simple items like a few artfully arranged spools of thread can be interesting and attract attention. There are a couple of microstock sites like Shutterstock and iStock that have a high demand for all sorts of still life pictures from simple to complex.

In one way, still life photography is a lot easier than other forms of photography like landscape, sports or pet photography. With stills, you often have full control over the composition and can arrange the inanimate objects exactly how you want them.

In other ways, good still life pictures are more challenging to capture. Because still lifes are taken up close, it's easy to see imperfections on your subject that you would normally never see.

Despite its challenge, using basic photography skills and the following tips, you can create quality still life pictures.

Still Life Photography Lighting

With most professional photographers, they use a light box or soft box to take their still life photos. Although soft boxes can help out a lot, they still aren't absolutely necessary to get good results as you'll see shortly. But if you do want one you can either buy a soft box online or make one yourself using online instructions. The purpose of these lighting tools is to provide even light on the subject.

Another way to get this good quality light is to set up your shoot outside. A high overcast or bright sky can create a natural soft box effect without having any of the harsh shadows.

Composition for Still Life Photography

Arrange your objects in a pleasing composition. Use a classical composition technique such as "Rule of Thirds" or "Leading Lines" or "Frame within a Frame" to create a good composition. Artfully arrange the objects, and use your imagination. For example, if you're taking a picture of an apple try taking a bite out of it to give it some added interest.

Fill the Frame with Your Still Life Subject

When taking still life pictures, always remember that your subject should be the only thing that you see in your viewfinder or LCD screen. You need to remove any distractions or clutter from the background so you can have a clean and up close image.

What if there's a background you don't want? The light box or soft box will solve this problem, but if you're taking pictures outside and have a distracting background simply place a piece of white foam board behind your subject and you'll be all set. Be sure to use Macro mode so that you get a sharp image.

Look for a Good Angle - and Shoot!

Instead of shooting from your height, hold the camera so that it is level with your subject. Then take some shots from varying angles.

Hopefully these tips have provided you some helpful information on taking still life photos that you can start putting to use immediately.

Autumn Lockwood loves taking pictures and is a writer for YourPictureFrames.com. Your Picture Frames offers a large selection of quality picture frames in a wide variety of shapes, colors, styles and sizes. If you're looking for a lovely wedding gift or a 50th anniversary gift visit our family owned website or call us toll free at 1-800-780-0699.

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