Still Life Photography – Capturing the “soul’ of an object

Still Life Photography Tips and Discussion

To my still life photography, it comes down to a few basic elements.

  1. An interesting and intriquing subject
  2. Textures and surfaces
  3. Composition, angles, depth of field, focus
  4. Storytelling
  5. Beautiful light

    Photography PrintsClose up of an old vintage typewriter is as much about the beautiful light falling softly across the keys as it is about the old typing machine.

Great subject matter is important in all art, whether its a landscape, portrait or still life, the more interesting and intriguing the subject, the greater the possibly of creating an something captivation.

After choosing a great subject it a matter of building the image from background to middle ground to foreground and creating layers of texture and detail to enhance the interest in the scene.

Composition comes in to play next.  The photograpeher chooses camera angles, depth of field and where to place focus.  Elements are also arranged for storytelling which can be challenging in still life photographer where the human element is only suggested via objects.

Then the all important element in photography – beautiful lighting.

Photography Prints

With lighting hearkening back to the days of the old masters, the texture on these heirloom apples is enhanced by a rich environment of texture from the old wood, to the metal camp plates and the dried leaves.

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Still life of old well worn, clay encrusted baseballs under dramatic lighting tells the story of hard earned bases and long practices and pitching duels.

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This is a dramatically lighted fine art photograph of an antique pocket watch by fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding and goes perfect with any theme of time or history. The battered face and missing had of the watch is perfectly visible from the glow of the selective lighting.

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Black and white still life of a Champagne cork, bottle and glasses by Edward M. Fielding tells the story of a wedding night or perhaps the morning after a New Years Eve celebration.

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A collection of treasures in an old wooden box in black and white. What makes us collect the things that we do? The smooth ocean worn stone with the white stripe, the starfish that washed up on the beach, old wooden things handed down through the generations. This fine art photograph is a still life of collected treasures stored in and old wooden box.

Art Prints

Two old leather suitcases, a book for the train and an old vintage Kodak box camera with soft light against a black background.

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For this photograph of a bunch of yellow daffodils, I wanted to capture the bright yellow of the flowers against a more monochromatic background to make them pop. I also wanted an old time vintage feel so I gathered some old gardening props and a vintage colored canning jar. To think I almost tossed that rusty old shovel head into the metal recycling. I shutter to think. Light from the side with a studio light and soft box, I wanted to mimic the light of a perhaps the sun pouring in from a shed window or a barn door. The image was further enhanced in post processing to give it a three dimension feeling. I was quite pleased with the overall composition and effect. There is probably eight hours of work behind what appears to be a causal image.

Photography Prints

A row of old light meters and electricity meters evoke a machine like one would find in Dr. Frankinstein’s lab and the following is a drink fitting of Count Dracula.

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Art Prints

Interesting subject lead to interesting still life.
See more still life photography by Edward M. Fielding here:

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