Get monetary savings and elevate your still-life images with pure daylight

Drawing inspiration from the Previous Masters, Natalia Balanina, a photographer within the Netherlands, gathers plums from her personal backyard. Isotta Coda Zabetta, this time in Italy, turns her consideration to home made pesto, made utilizing wild, seasonal garlic. In the meantime, in Vietnam, Thai Thu collects contemporary lychees—nearly bursting with sweetness.


Still-life with plums by Natalia Balanina on 500px.com

Every of those three photographers, hailing from totally different components of the world, has a novel type, coloration palette, and perspective, however their nonetheless lifes do have one factor in widespread: pure mild.


WILD GARLIC PESTO. by icz_photography on 500px.com

Whereas many still-life photographers incorporate highly effective studio lights for full management over the scene, daylight gives loads of prospects for experimentation and creativity, whether or not you’re going for that darkish and moody look or one thing delicate and ethereal. And it doesn’t price a factor.


Fresh Lychees on the bamboo basket by Thai Thu on 500px.com

Gentle from the aspect or again

Lighting your topic from the entrance can create a flattening impact, so for those who’re searching for dimension and texture, place your mild supply (e.g., the solar, a window) to the aspect or modify your topic accordingly. Backlighting is another choice that may be significantly interesting when taking pictures sheer or translucent objects, resembling drinks or oils. Experiment with totally different angles to see how and the place the shadows fall.


Dark Food Photo by Katie on 500px.com

If you happen to’re utilizing window mild, think about not solely the course of the sunshine but in addition your topics’ distance from the window and the background. If you happen to place your topic near the window and much away from the background, you’ll create distinction and a chiaroscuro impact, with the background falling into darkness whereas the topic stays illuminated.


Annona Reticulata Fruits on the dark background by Thai Thu on 500px.com

Observe the solar

Whereas the golden hour stays a favourite for delicate, romantic, directional mild, it’s not your solely possibility. The blue hour, for example, would possibly work for cool, moody pictures. You need to use an app like Solar Surveyor to see the place the solar is at totally different factors all through the day after which plan the time and placement of your shoot accordingly.


different kinds of citrus on white background by Eight Eight on 500px.com

Strive utilizing direct and oblique daylight to see what fits your topic. Some images would possibly work properly with graphic, punchy direct daylight, as within the flatlay above, whereas others will profit from one thing extra delicate. If you end up in a scenario the place the sunshine is simply too harsh, search for areas of open shade to create a softer look. Overcast days may also be supreme for delicate, even mild.


Rainy days.. by Aisha Yusaf on 500px.com

Strive handbook mode

The issue with pure mild is that it’s ever-changing, so it may possibly assist to shoot in handbook mode and modify your settings in actual time for that good publicity. In still-life images, your aperture is prone to be your most essential setting, as your topic received’t transfer; you may open it as much as create a pleasant background bokeh impact, or you may shut it all the way down to maintain each element in crisp focus. Hold your ISO setting as little as attainable to chop down on seen noise.

(If you happen to’re taking pictures indoors with window mild, use a tripod. That manner, you may decelerate your shutter pace and seize sufficient mild for a correctly uncovered picture.)


Grapes by Ada Davari on 500px.com

Play with modifiers

Simply since you’re utilizing pure daylight doesn’t imply you may’t management and manipulate it. If you happen to’re utilizing a window, three key instruments to have in your pure mild package embody a reflector to bounce the sunshine and fill in shadows, diffusion material or paper to melt it, and flags to dam it out. Flags might be made DIY-style utilizing black card or foam board. For super-soft, even mild, it’s also possible to go for a lightweight tent or DIY lightbox.

Experiment to see what works greatest on your idea. A dramatic nonetheless life within the type of the Dutch Masters, for example, will profit from a small mild supply and loads of flags to dam out every little thing else. A lightweight and ethereal nonetheless life, however, will profit from plenty of diffusion (within the type of sheer curtains, for instance) to attenuate exhausting shadows.

(On out of doors shoots as properly, a conveyable reflector and diffusor may come in useful.)


Variety of mushrooms on white surface by Joanna Wojewoda on 500px.com

Experiment with backgrounds

Your background can rework the temper of your images, so think about how varied colours and textures mirror mild. For plenty of mild, go for white; for the picture above, Joanna Wojewoda selected a white background with subtle mild for that widespread vivid and ethereal aesthetic. For a moodier look, select a darker coloration background to soak up mild and create distinction, as within the case of the nonetheless life under.


GYPSOPHILA BOUQUET. by icz_photography on 500px.com

If you happen to’re utilizing a light-colored background, keep acutely aware of the shadows. If you wish to decrease them, maintain your background farther away out of your topic. In some circumstances, nevertheless, shadows would possibly improve the story you’re telling; in that case, transfer your background nearer.


Happy Women’s Day! by Elena Khazina on 500px.com

Contemplate your props

As together with your backgrounds, your props will mirror and soak up mild—and affect the ambiance of your picture within the course of. Take into consideration the type of pure daylight you’ll use, after which choose your props to reinforce that temper or vibe.

If you happen to’re utilizing a small window for moody lighting, for example, you would possibly select cozy, rustic props to evoke a fall or winter temper. If you happen to’re taking pictures a summer time nonetheless life in vivid mild, however, you might select linens in mild, reflective colours.

Edit with care

A vivid and ethereal nonetheless life would require a really totally different edit from a darkish and moody one, so use post-production as a time to carry out the perfect facets of your lighting setup. Play with the dodge and burn instruments, or see how publicity and distinction have an effect on the general emotion of the scene. It might probably assist to enter a shoot with a transparent thought of how you propose to edit it; that manner, your lighting and enhancing can work collectively to create the sensation you need.


????????? ? ??????? by Alexander Sennikov on 500px.com

In conclusion

Lengthy summer time days pose the right alternative to make the most of pure mild in your still-life images and experiment with totally different setups. If you happen to’re used to utilizing strobes within the studio, problem your self to a dreamy golden hour shoot. If you happen to’re used to taking pictures mild and ethereal images, however, think about transferring indoors and utilizing window mild for a Rembrandt–type nonetheless life.

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