I thought you might like a behind the scenes look at how the process for setting up a still life works, with all the things that you have to prepare and consider. So here it is — your “Backstage Pass” to see the inner workings of how the process evolves.
This is my photo studio where I do my set-ups — not too glamorous, I know! The main thing for me is the lighting in this room (3rd floor, Southwest facing). It also helps to have two tables that I can easily adjust in height or move around as needed for set-ups.
Here are some of the major considerations/decisions you need to make for a set-up to create your very own Contemporary Still Life.
- For a still life, you have to picture the concept in your Mind’s Eye — at least the critical elements — and then be flexible as you set-up.
- I always work with plants/organics in my set-ups so I have to know what’s available and how it would look in my image, then collect all the other components before cutting or buying the plants so they don’t wilt during the prep stage.
- I often work with a 3-sided foam board diorama set-up to provide walls for my creations.
- You also have to have a variety of components and set dressings to make your visualization materialize. As you can see from the picture above I needed to have clamps, tape, putty, scissors, rulers, pencils, paint, glue, binder clips, and just about everything else.
- Proper lighting, especially when you have a metal surface that reflects everything, is critical to success.
- The angle you shoot from is something to consider in tandem with your set-up. Are you going to do a bird’s eye view, ground level, etc. This will change how the elements appear in relation to each other. Get your tripod out and try to determine what kind of angle you can consider with your concept.
- It also helps to have someone to work with you to move items into exactly the right position while you look through the viewfinder.
Wow — it’s crazy what you go through to create these sorts of images. After seeing the mess that led to it, you’ll be surprised how this ended up looking. And now… drumroll please… since you have a backstage pass you get to see the final image!
Here you go!
Thank you for visiting and share your backstage pass with others,
P. s. Have you ever tried to do a set-up in your studio? Share the experience!