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  • Writer's pictureNiladri

Mastering the Art of Still Life Photography: Finding Beauty in the Ordinary!

Do you love capturing the still moments of life? Well, you must try Still Life Photography. Although overlooked, still-life photography can be really fun. All you have to do is think creatively and capture an inanimate object, plant, or anything still with great imagination, composition, and lightning. If bringing life to an object through visuals seems exciting, focus on enhancing your poise, imagination, and photography skills.

At our online international art gallery ‘TERAVARNA,’ we believe that still-life photographers must get global recognition and appreciation. That’s why we have curated this guide for all those upcoming artists who love to capture stunning still-life photographs.

Get ready to unveil the magic of still life and bring your artistic vision to life with your camera and our short guide.


flower still life art


Still Life Photography - All the Basics


You may be someone who may know a little about Still Life Photography, and it’s okay to have your own unique story. Art never restricts us. So, whether a broken flower pot inspires you to take a shot or a plant blooming in spring, the key to making these things full of life is through unique composition, proper lighting, and your photography style. In other words, this art allows you to portray stillness in objects in an artistic way that makes it as though they are alive.

Nonetheless, still-life photography is of two types - Created and Found. Let’s take a quick look at both.

Found Still Life Photography

Found Still Life Photography

Finding something that attracts your eyes and your heart just wants you to take out your cellphone and capture it is known as found in still life photography. As its literal meaning, it doesn’t need an artist to create something from scratch. For example:

  • You are walking through a park and coming across a beautiful flower or a fallen leaf, and capture it before the moment stops feeling any more exhilarating; that’s your first found in this category.

  • You can also find an interesting arrangement of objects like tea cups or coffee stains in your home or a public place, such as a coffee shop or a market, and capture it uniquely; that’s what it is all about.

Created Still Life Photography

Created Still Life Photography

As the literal meaning goes, creating still-life photography involves setting up a scene from scratch using various objects, props, and backdrops to create a visually appealing composition. This type of still-life photography requires careful planning, creativity, and attention to detail. For example:

  • You have arranged a group of fruits or vegetables in an interesting pattern or composition.

  • Setting up a tabletop scene with carefully chosen objects, such as vintage items and books, adding a black and white landscape painting, and capturing them visually appealingly.


Equipment And Tools Every Still Life Photography Beginner Must Know

While spending money on any equipment and tool solely depends on your goals and interests,investing in professional tools can help you monetize your skills.

For example, a DSLR camera would capture the intricate details that a cell phone may overlook. So, keeping a few bucks aside to get high-quality pictures is always a good idea.

Nevertheless, here are a few common things that every still-life photographer stepping on this path should be skilled on.


Camera, Camera & Camera


For still-life photography, having a high-quality camera of professional specifications is the first step. You can look for the latest DSLR cameras from the best brands, which are a good option for capturing beautiful images in high resolution and with stunning clarity.

You can also shoot professional-grade photos in almost every lighting condition with such cameras.

Adjust or Add the Right Punch of Light


Have you seen those sunkissed images on Instagram? That’s the magic right lighting and angle can add to your photographs. In other words, proper lighting is essential for creating a perfect still-life picture. For instance, the ideal time to shoot outdoors is just before sunrise and after sunset when the light is soft and golden.


Additionally, if you are shooting inside or at night, you must use a flashgun or studio lighting equipment. This lighting will add better effects to your still-life pictures. You can also use reflectors, speed lights, softboxes, and strobes to create amazing artwork for an international art gallery exhibition.


Lenses– Beginning & End of a Perfect Image Quality


You don't need a wide range of expensive lenses when capturing a still-life picture. But having the best quality lenses is essential because even cheap lenses don't work in high-quality cameras. So, you must have a required set of tools for different purposes.

For example, close-up and macro lenses are the best option for capturing close objects. This is because while capturing a still-life object, you focus on the object, not a wider area.

Whether It’s Vintage or Modern, Experiment With Props


Props in still-life photography help you to improvise your photos. These props can turn an ordinary photo into a stunningly beautiful visual story. If you are choosing a prop for your still-life picture, considering the following three things may help:

  • Type: Props need varied textures to make them attractive. Also, you must choose the right props for your work style, like modern or vintage ones.

  • Size: Small, medium, and large props and hand props make an enormous difference in a picture.

  • Colors & Patterns: Just like still life photography, props must have different colors and patterns because they can make the picture look exceptional.

Now that you are familiar with the basics of still-life photography, it’s now time to get started with your amazing artwork.

Bonus Tips– To Become a Still-life Pro


photographer capture the still life art


Hopefully, you have learned the basics of lighting, backgrounds, posing props, and still-life photography equipment. Here are a few bonus tips to help you create a special story from your picture.

  • Most professional photographers love still-life captures as it is convenient and effortless, which helps them capture the otherwise overlooked beauty of this world.

  • Proper lighting and camera gear can help you create an outstanding photograph, so working on that skill is necessary.

  • Though you can use manual and automatic camera settings to capture still-life photographs, manual settings will always deliver the best results.

  • While arranging Props, consider every aspect you believe can make your still-life photography outstanding.

That’s a Wrap!

Grab your camera and start practicing and experimenting with still-life photography. We are sure that your hard work will pay off, and you will become a professional still-life photographer with time. Enhancing your photography skill will make you a Pro in no time. Plus, we'll be waiting for you for our next international art gallery exhibition and let you display your best artwork with great pleasure.


So, if you are an artist or aspire to become one, interested in showcasing your black-and-white landscape painting or a still-life photograph to the world, TERAVARNA’s competitions are waiting for your entries. Explore our open-theme online art competitions now.


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