View Full Version : still life set up

04 April 2011, 01:23 AM
I would love to hear what other artist have set up for still life sessions. I remember Robert Recommending a certain light bulb. I searched "still life" in this seciton but it didn't yield any results.

What different types of bulbs? What type of light works? Should I have a black back drop? I'm asking for general still lifes such as fruits, books, mugs etc. What about for shooting people as ref? How can I build a good set up for taking my own ref photos?

I always see a black backrop and a white sheet on the ground, but why? I hope this will satisfy the curiousity of others because it will my own. Thanks.

04 April 2011, 03:55 AM
White top is not totally necessary, but in general, a lighter value is good because you'll be able to see the cast shadows clearly. Dark background isn't totally necessary either, but most use it because it'll help the foreground become the main focus, without a background competing.

Lighting is arbitrary, depending on what you want the scene to look like. You can use just one light, or multiple lights, depending on how complex you want the lighting to be. You want to cast interesting shadows and have interesting highlights, as well as a good overall tonal composition where there are bright areas, middle-tone areas, and dark areas, ideally fairly well balanced among the entire image.

You can use neutral color temperature light(s), or different colored lights to create interesting color temperature variations (for example, a typical warm tungsten lamp from one direction and a cold florescent light from another direction).

Choose items that have variety in their shapes, values, colors, and surface property (shiny and smooth, rough and matte, metal, plastic, plaster, fabric, wood, glass, organic...etc).

05 May 2011, 01:56 PM
Thank you Robert. I'm trying to think of what would be the best setting to do a still life. My desk is by a window.
I have enough surface area to set up a still life with 2 or 3 objects. Then I think that the lighting will be different throughout the day so will it be better to do it at night or keep on same time everyday so the lighting is consistant?

05 May 2011, 02:35 PM
If you're new to this, I think it's better to use artificial lighting first so you don't have to deal with the changing lighting. After you have built up speed and accuracy, you can then try daylight.

05 May 2011, 11:54 PM
I should keep away from the window then? Makes sense. Thanks. I'll set up in a spot with minimal if any day light. Now I'll pick my items.

I owe a lot to this community. Thanks Robert.

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05 May 2011, 11:54 PM
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