How to Light a Still Life

Objects don't move, are easy to set up, and with a little creativity you can really get some interestingly beautiful shots.

You will need

  • A camera
  • An arrangement of objects or still life
  • Work or studio space
  • 1 to 2 lights
  • Soft box
  • And a backdrop or natural environment

Step 1 Arrange set & still life Begin to arrange the set and still life.

Step 2 Mount camera on tripod Mount your camera on the tripod.

Step 3 Arrange backdrop If you’re using a backdrop, arrange the backdrop behind the arrangement at a minimum of 6 feet away from the subject.

Step 4 Position lights Position one light — with a soft box mounted onto it — at the same height as the subject, and at 90º angles from the camera and subject. This will create a dramatic soft light.

Step 5 Select your film, aperture, and shutter speed Select film, aperture and shutter speed that are appropriate for your lighting conditions.

Step 6 Focus Focus on your subject.

Step 7 Compose your shot Compose your shot.

Step 8 Shoot away Take as many shots as you can, each time varying your composition slightly.