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Still Life Weather

Updated: Feb 24, 2019

Starting on Feb. 21, we will gain three minutes of sunlight a day. That’s three extra minutes a day to be outside taking pictures, or if being out in the cold isn’t your thing, take advantage of the sun streaming through your windows and create some exciting new still life photos.

The beauty of still life photography is that it offers you much more control over the elements of your photograph, than standing out in the cold trying to catch a shot of that bright red cardinal that flits away every time you bring out your camera. You can create a still life scene from just about anything and you don't have to go outside.

Photograph Inspired by Van Gogh by Marilyn Victor

Food and flowers are the subjects that first come to mind for a still life, but still life is a great opportunity to think outside the box. How about that knitting project you’re working on? How could you work those colorful balls of yarn into a still life? Got some antique items around the house? An old typewriter, camera, jewelry? Create a story around those objects. Just took a batch of cookies out of the oven? Get the camera out and start taking photos!

Play with shapes and patterns. Add words in creative ways. In a recent blog on 500PX, still life photographer Dina Belenko suggests creating a character: a writer, a pirate, a watchmaker. What would a scene from their story look like? If your character is Agatha Christie, her still life would look a lot different than one for a character like Indiana Jones. Belenko has five inspiring tips on experimenting with still lifes. Check out the blog here: https://iso.500px.com/5-simple-ideas-still-life-photo-experiment/

You could also look at some of the great painters for inspiration. Pieter Claesz was famous for his still life paintings which contained symbols of death or the inevitability of change. Imagine adding those themes into your still life photograph. Vincent Van Gogh was considered a master of still life paintings, his series of sunflowers being some of the most recognizable paintings in the world. He also painted earthenware, shoes, books and bird nests.

And still life photography doesn't take a lot of fancy equipment. As Denise Love shows in her "behind the scenes" blog entries, all you need is a camera, a work surface and window that will provide the needed light https://2lilowls.com/beautiful-peony-behind-the-scenes-photography-setup/.

Winter in Minnesota seems endless at times as we look forward to more snow and cold, but it's a good time to hone your photography skills and practice something new.

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