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HomeCamera GearNonetheless Life Pictures (23 Concepts, Suggestions & Examples)

Nonetheless Life Pictures (23 Concepts, Suggestions & Examples)

Have you ever ever tried to do nonetheless life pictures? It’s an exquisite method for photographers to apply and enhance their expertise.

In the event you’re undecided what it’s or get began, this information might be of nice assist.

You’ll discover some nice nonetheless life pictures concepts, lovely examples of nonetheless life photographs to your inspiration, and 16 professional suggestions so that you can attempt in your subsequent shoot.

Let’s get began!

What’s Nonetheless Life Pictures?


Nonetheless life pictures refers to footage that characteristic an association of inanimate objects. These might be natural – like meals or flowers – or human-made.

It’s essential to grasp that also life pictures might be damaged down into two main classes: ‘created nonetheless life’ and ‘discovered nonetheless life.’ Which one your pictures falls into relies on whether or not you deliberate and arranged the nonetheless life or not.

It may be additional sub-categorized in line with the topic that the photographer decides to shoot  (i.e., nonetheless life product pictures) or approach (i.e., flat-lay nonetheless life pictures).

16 Suggestions for Succesful Nonetheless Life Photographs

1. Put together your gear

Still life camera gear

Nonetheless Life Gear of Garcia de Marina

As Garcia de Marina stated to Shotkit about his Nikon D800: “This digicam permits me to work with massive prints and retain nice element within the objects photographed. I don’t want a quick digicam as a result of I solely take photographs within the studio with nonetheless parts.”

So, for skilled nonetheless life pictures, what you might want to prioritize is decision and picture high quality. Full body cameras are the only option then, however they are often expensive.

In the event you can’t afford one simply but for nonetheless life pictures, don’t fear, you can begin with no matter digicam you may have – and even your smartphone.

You might also discover this checklist of the least expensive full body cameras helpful.

Prime lenses are the most effective for nonetheless life pictures as a result of they provide sharper photos, much less distortion, and wider apertures than zoom lenses. Because you’re working in a studio setting (more often than not) and utilizing nonetheless objects, you don’t want the flexibility of a zoom.

Having stated that, ideally, you continue to want a wide selection of focal lengths.

A nifty-fifty is an efficient general lens to begin with for nonetheless life pictures. It received’t trigger any distortions as a result of a regular 50mm gives an identical perspective to the human eye.

Then, a brief telephoto (85mm or 100mm) with macro capabilities will widen the artistic prospects to your capturing. It should mean you can seize small topics or experiment with selective focus.

A large-angle lens will work nicely for greater scenes or small scenes should you don’t have a lot room to step away from them. One thing round 35mm will work nicely sufficient with out inflicting a lot distortion.

Utilizing a tripod is vital to nonetheless life pictures. Having a gentle viewpoint means that you can compose your picture in the very best method. Additionally, it should stop any digicam shake in case you must work with sluggish shutter speeds.

Because you’re working within the studio, you don’t want to fret about weight, so get the sturdiest tripod you can. Regulate versatility, although, since you’ll want to maneuver your angle of view.

Ensure that the tripod head means that you can pan and tilt simply. For low-angle photographs, you would possibly discover it comfy to have a middle column that may flip the other way up.

Lastly, for flat-lay pictures, you would possibly want a growth arm to your tripod.

Try our information to the most effective DSLR tripods right here.

Many nonetheless life photographers want capturing with pure gentle. Nevertheless, utilizing reflectors and diffusers might be actually useful to govern the sunshine.

 2. Plan your scene

Top down shot of eggs and berries

Credit score: Olya Kobruseva

To create good nonetheless life photos, you might want to thoughtfully select the weather and organize them with care. Nonetheless life pictures is all concerning the particulars.

The most effective methods to get began is by planning your shot. Take into consideration the shapes, colours, and traits that you really want earlier than you choose the suitable object.

Strive drawing your scene to determine on nonetheless life compositions; it will allow you to manage and execute the concept with higher outcomes.

3. Composition

Photograph of stack of books

Credit score: Pixabay

Composition refers back to the place of the objects contained in the body. Many guidelines will help you with this: the golden spiral, the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, the rule of odds, and so forth.

All pictures wants good composition, however particularly nonetheless life pictures. With out it, you’d simply have a bunch of objects that appear like a multitude, or your nonetheless life photographs would merely be uninteresting.

Most cameras have a grid with the rule of thirds that will help you compose and body. In the event you’re practising together with your smartphone, you’ll be able to obtain a digicam app with totally different grids.

Lastly, you’ll be able to repair up your nonetheless life photographs utilizing the crop instrument and composition overlays in Lightroom. Though, it’s at all times higher to get it proper in-camera should you can.

4. Digital camera settings

Tea being poured into cup

Credit score: Nikolay Osmachko

As any skilled photographer is aware of, it’s at all times greatest when you have management over the ultimate results of the {photograph}. Whereas the auto mode would possibly provide you with a well-exposed image, you don’t get to determine the remainder.

For some photos, it really works higher to have every part in focus; for others, it’s higher to have a shallow depth of subject. To manage this, you might want to shoot with the suitable publicity.

The identical goes for the shutter pace. If there’s a transferring aspect within the image, corresponding to water working or snowflakes falling, you must determine if you wish to freeze it or maintain some movement blur.

Studying to make use of the semi-automatic packages corresponding to aperture precedence mode or shutter pace mode will enhance your nonetheless life photographs. Even higher should you grasp the handbook mode – see our newbie’s information to digicam settings right here.

5. Backdrops

Makeup flat lay image

Credit score: Venus HD Make-up & Fragrance

The background is a giant a part of nonetheless life pictures. You’re not photographing a product the place you utilize a white backdrop to isolate and spotlight the topic – right here, the background is a part of the scene.

To decide on the suitable background, you might want to ask your self what sort of ambiance you wish to set to your photos.

For instance, should you {photograph} a cup of espresso on wrinkled material, it appears like breakfast in mattress – it’s cozy. If, as a substitute, the espresso is on a picket desk, you’re already inserting the viewer within the kitchen or a espresso store – you’re up and lively.

The rule doesn’t simply apply to a flat backdrop. In the event you’re photographing a bouquet of flowers, are they outdoors? Do you see a backyard within the again? Or is it taking place indoors? What do you see behind them?

With the background, you’re establishing a scene the place the story occurs. It helps set the temper to your nonetheless life pictures.

6. Select the suitable gentle

Cricket ball with hard light

Credit score: Jurie Maree

It doesn’t matter should you’re utilizing synthetic or pure gentle sources; discovering the highest quality of sunshine and lighting setup to your nonetheless life pictures scene is crucial.

Lighting is essential in nonetheless life pictures as a result of it helps you management the scene and create a temper. It’s totally different from utilizing a tough gentle with robust shadows than a gentle gentle that brightens evenly.

You may also select between low-key and high-key lighting. These lighting setups are very fashionable in nonetheless life pictures.

You should utilize low-key lighting to have a darkish and moody ambiance and high-key lighting for a clear and ethereal look.

The sunshine’s place can also be essential and sometimes has to do with the form and materials of the objects. For instance, glass advantages drastically from backlighting.

Beautiful nonetheless if pictures calls for the suitable lighting setup to show even essentially the most inanimate subject material into an attention-grabbing topic.

7. Angle of view

Flower on mirror still life art

Credit score: Roman Odintsov

A good way to enhance your nonetheless life pictures is by attempting totally different factors of view. Transfer round your set and seize the topic from numerous angles so as to add curiosity to the ultimate shot.

Once you do that, you’ll get the artistic juices flowing, and every part modifications in your {photograph}. The objects’ form is totally different: take into consideration a cake that’s a circle from the highest however a rectangle from the aspect.

The attitude can also be totally different as a result of issues which can be nearer to you’ll seem smaller than objects which can be additional away, and so forth. Simply by altering your place, you may get fully totally different footage.

That’s why you’ll discover many photographers are at all times on the transfer, even when taking portraits or capturing easy objects. To maneuver is to see the world another way.

8. Props

Baby pink colour scheme objects

Credit score: Jess Harper

Very like product pictures, nonetheless life pictures is all about nonetheless objects. Once you {photograph} just one object and go away the remainder of the body empty, it may be a robust picture.

For this to seize efficient nonetheless life photos, it needs to be completed correctly – and never all objects are suited to this.

Typically to make a compelling picture, a nonetheless life photographer will add some props that act as composition parts. Traditional nonetheless life photos are famend for the location of props – it’s one of many important pictures expertise for nonetheless life compositions. Ensure that every part enhances the scene, although – very similar to a traditional nonetheless life portray.

For artistic pictures, use props that go together with your important topic as a result of they share a theme or a coloration – in different phrases, they make sense collectively. If not, you’ll be able to attempt opposing issues to play with different juxtaposition examples and create distinction in your picture.

See our information to props for new child pictures.

9. Put together your topic

Fresh cherries in bowl

Credit score: Wendy van Zyl

Earlier than you get began with a nonetheless life pictures shoot, it’s essential to organize your topic. There are various examples of nonetheless life pictures expertise that photographers use to boost meals or merchandise to make them camera-ready.

A easy method to improve a nonetheless life picture is by including drops of water to a beer bottle or a glass of iced tea. It’s one of the simplest ways to carry extraordinary objects like a bottle of beer to life – condensation is a pure prevalence in actual life.

You might be as artistic as you wish to improve your nonetheless life pictures. Simply watch out to not cross an moral line should you’re doing skilled product pictures or meals pictures.

Getting ready the objects within the scene just isn’t solely about enhancing or including a wow issue; it’s additionally about consideration to element. In the event you’re working with silverware, you would possibly wish to polish it earlier than setting your scene – the identical goes for jewellery.

10. Colour

Pastel antique car

Credit score: Moose Pictures

The usage of coloration is a robust instrument in nonetheless life pictures. It may be a supply of distinction or a standard theme between objects within the viewer’s eye.

You’ll be able to information the viewer’s consideration via the scene by making objects pop because of pictures methods corresponding to making use of complementary colours. One other method for nonetheless life photographs is to steer the viewer’s eye to give attention to form and texture by utilizing a monochrome coloration palette.

Different nice nonetheless life pictures concepts embrace utilizing shiny issues that bling in opposition to a black background, vibrant colours that pop, and warm-colored meals gadgets that tempt the attention and the stomach.

You’ll be able to seize inspiration from artwork historical past and nature for some traditional mixtures or flip to design to see what’s at the moment trending.

11. Texture

Old fashioned keys on crinkled paper

Credit score: Ylanite Koppens

Texture can add visible curiosity to a nonetheless life {photograph} in your subsequent picture shoot. Take into consideration a tabletop scene: will the ultimate picture with a plate of steaming meals look higher on a white-polished desk, or can it profit from a rugged wooden floor?

Utilizing a textured background for fantastic artwork or product pictures can create a distinction between the unfavourable house and the topic. After all, this isn’t a rule for all of your photos, but it surely works nicely in some conditions.

One other essential texture is the one which the nonetheless life topic gives. Take into consideration an orange below the studio lights: would you quite see a flat form or the feel of the peel?

To take artistic management of the feel, you must take into account the article and the lighting. Do not forget that gentle gentle coming from the entrance will flatten a texture. If you wish to spotlight it, use a tougher gentle that comes from the aspect.

Even when capturing low-key photos, you want full management over the lighting to realize gorgeous nonetheless life pictures. In any case, meals pictures wouldn’t be the hit it’s with out getting the lighting proper – even when utilizing direct daylight.

12. Storytelling

Campfire story telling photography

Credit score: Gregorio Luiz Gomez

Any full information to pictures suggestions will mandate that pictures is an artwork type that’s all about storytelling.

Your pictures portfolio ought to learn like an image ebook stuffed with inspiration and artwork – regardless of the distinctive style you’re employed with.

Nonetheless life pictures isn’t any totally different – it’s a superb style for telling tales via nonetheless life photos that includes inanimate or pure objects.

When your picture tells a narrative, the viewer is straight away concerned in it and will get invested. Make your nonetheless life pictures talk one thing to the viewer to have gorgeous nonetheless life photographs. You may get as artistic as you need and discover inspiration from the pure world to create nonetheless life artwork.

Nonetheless life pictures concepts exist in every single place we glance. Very like classical life work, flip the mundane into artwork with your individual distinctive model.

Possibly you wish to inform your grandfather’s story by making a nonetheless lifetime of the household heirlooms or the story of a tradition with some conventional objects.

13. Shoot a couple of image

Citrus fruits in still lifes

Credit score: Jill Burrow

As I discussed earlier than, it’s at all times good to plan your nonetheless life picture. Think about the way you need it to look and draw a sketch that can information the ultimate picture.

Nevertheless, top-of-the-line pictures suggestions I can share is that after you have that shot, don’t cease there. Nonetheless life pictures calls for that you just change the lighting setup, rearrange the objects, change your digicam settings and viewpoint.

Nonetheless life pictures is all about creating your first thought and attending to work capturing exactly what you envisioned. Then, when you’ve nailed these nonetheless life photographs, change it up – you simply might give you a fair higher thought or nonetheless life pictures composition within the course of.

One other important tip is to be ready to shoot quite a lot of totally different nonetheless life pictures compositions on the identical time. In the event you’ve gone to the difficulty to arrange your lighting, digicam gear, and workspace, you would possibly as nicely shoot quite a lot of totally different nonetheless life pictures compositions.

14. Symbolize summary ideas

Pocket watches conceptual image

Credit score: Giallo

To place collectively a artistic nonetheless life picture, you don’t have to consider the article itself. You’ll be able to attempt utilizing summary ideas and put collectively the objects that signify them – for instance, autumn or love.

To get began with conceptual nonetheless life pictures, you’ll be able to browse some pictures and artwork books. Painters have used this system for hundreds of years, and you may get nice inspiration from them and their artwork.

Pictures isn’t any totally different, and it’s best to check out quite a lot of conceptual pictures books and even a web-based portfolio of a conceptual photographer.

15. Maintain your eyes open

Image of cactuses against pink wall

Credit score: Elle Hughes

Not all nonetheless life is constructed by the photographer in a studio setting with handmade objects or painted canvas.

Typically, it’s only a matter of maintaining your eyes open for these little treasures you can flip into the right picture. Artwork is in every single place, and it calls the viewer’s consideration in plenty of alternative ways.

Many pictures genres, corresponding to road and panorama pictures, are about seeing the sweetness and artwork that already naturally exists.

‘Discovered’ nonetheless life is as a lot of an artwork as nonetheless life that’s created. To stroll round and acknowledge one thing that may make a stupendous picture is a superb ability.

So get on the market together with your DSLR, smartphone, or mirrorless cameras, eyes extensive open, and begin capturing nonetheless life pictures.

16. Submit-processing

Eggplants with post processing effect

Credit score: Toa Heftiba

Submit-processing is a crucial a part of nonetheless life pictures. Usually it’s only a small adjustment like tweaking the publicity or correcting the white stability in your nonetheless lifes.

Nearly all pictures, even that shot with a full-frame digicam, advantages from slightly enhancing. All professional photographers work with post-processing or enhancing workflow – the identical applies for nonetheless lifes.

Different occasions it’s extra advanced, for instance, therapeutic specks of mud or imperfections that you just didn’t see if you had been capturing.

A photographer might even take away undesirable objects crucial for manufacturing, such because the threads that maintain ‘floating’ objects.

You may also do some artistic post-processing. For instance, make a photo-composite, or add an impact to make your nonetheless life picture appear like a fantastic artwork portray.

In sum, including post-production to your workflow opens up a world of alternatives to enhance and enrich your nonetheless life photos.

8 Nonetheless Life Pictures Concepts for Your Inspiration

Listed here are some nonetheless life pictures concepts so that you can apply at house:

  • Meals Pictures – This type of nonetheless life pictures options any meals: from uncooked produce to completely cooked meals. To {photograph} it as nonetheless life, do not forget that you shouldn’t embrace an individual within the image – neither cooking nor consuming the meals.
  • Product Pictures – This is likely one of the classes of business pictures. The principle attribute is that you just’re showcasing a product with the intention of promoting it. To apply nonetheless life pictures with merchandise, you may make a composition with them. You will discover many examples in make-up manufacturers – consider a photograph that features a set of lipsticks of various shades, for instance.
  • Flower Pictures – Flowers are one of the vital traditional topics in nonetheless life, and I’m not simply referring to pictures however work too. You’ll be able to organize lovely bouquets or organize the petals in a artistic composition.
  • Black and White Pictures – Switching from coloration to greyscale is an efficient train to enhance your pictures, and it may be very nicely suited to nonetheless life. Objects photographed in black and white get a distinct temper that you should use to your artistic imaginative and prescient.
  • Flat-lay Pictures – The time period ‘flat-lay’ refers back to the angle of view quite than the topic. To shoot an ideal flat-lay, the sensor must be parallel to the floor the place you may have the topic. This sort of nonetheless life pictures turned very fashionable on social networks corresponding to Instagram. You will discover many examples and typically even contests utilizing the hashtag #flatlay.
  • Tabletop Pictures – It is a class of nonetheless life pictures that focuses on objects organized on a desk. It’s one of the vital frequent types you could find. It doesn’t matter should you’re working with fruits, books, or toys so long as they’re on a tabletop.
  • Idea Pictures – With this kind of pictures, you’re utilizing your nonetheless life objects to signify one thing aside from what they’re. For instance, within the video above, the photographer makes use of an alarm clock hooked up to a balloon to represent that point flies.
  • Toy Pictures – Recreating scenes depicting actual life generally is a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, significantly since a lot of these humorous photographs are sometimes so standard on social media.

There are examples of nonetheless life throughout you, so seize an object and take a look at these nonetheless life pictures concepts to your inspiration.

Nonetheless Life Pictures FAQs

What are the two varieties of nonetheless life pictures?

There are created nonetheless lifes, the place you purposely organize a set of objects to your {photograph}; and located nonetheless life, if you come upon a pleasant scene or set as much as {photograph}.

What constitutes a nonetheless life?

A nonetheless life is an association of on a regular basis objects with out a human topic. The objects might be pure corresponding to fruits and flowers, or human-made, corresponding to books or jewellery.

What makes nonetheless life pictures profitable?

A profitable {photograph} begins with the topic; you might want to choose the suitable ones and organize them correctly. Then, use photographic methods to inform the story you need – take into account the lighting, the composition, and so forth. Profitable nonetheless lifes take the type of artwork and create a response within the viewer.

What’s the greatest lens for nonetheless life pictures?

A terrific all-around lens is a 50mm prime. Nevertheless, should you can afford to have a couple of, brief telephoto lenses with macro capabilities make an important addition to your bag.

Why is it referred to as nonetheless life?

Nonetheless life – each pictures and portray – is so named as a result of its topics don’t transfer; they’re inanimate objects. The time period derives from the Dutch phrase ‘stilleven’ as a result of it was within the Netherlands, the place it was first acknowledged as an artwork style.

How do nonetheless life photographers make cash?

Business shoppers typically ask for nonetheless life pictures to showcase their merchandise and use them for promoting or editorial functions. Additionally, nonetheless life photographers typically promote their footage on inventory pictures web sites.

Remaining Phrases

I hope this information explains all there’s to learn about nonetheless life pictures. Extra importantly, I hope that this has impressed you and gotten you enthusiastic about creating your individual artwork with nonetheless life pictures.

Do not forget that many well-known photographers have used this style to create fantastic artwork pictures.

Photographing nonetheless lifes doesn’t should be the only style of fantastic artwork photographers. With slightly preparation, inspiration, and loads of apply, you’ll be able to create gorgeous nonetheless lifes worthy of any artwork gallery within the nation.

What have been your experiences with any of the nonetheless life pictures genres we’ve coated on this information? Do you like meals pictures, or is product pictures extra your factor? Don’t neglect to share your tales, feedback, and questions right here to change into a part of the dialog.

Assume large, get artistic and begin training!



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