Since Covid hit I started to realize I needed to get more creative with my compositions if I was going to be able to continue to shoot film while I was stuck at home.
I have done still life photos here and there, usually on black and white film. This time I tried color with some Kodak Portra and a vase of Lily’s.
I used a black poster board for the background. One of those folding ones that we all used for science projects in school. Over that I laid a black velvet blanket to make sure the background was completely black.
I used my two Fovitec lights and had one facing the ceiling with the other a couple feet away directly on the flowers. I didn’t want to get too close because I have learned that the highlights get blown easily with flowers. I think because they have a big range of tones with their dips and shadows. This makes it challenging to meter.
I try metering for different areas of the flower to see what results I get. For example, if I meter for the highlights, the bottom of the flowers such as the vase will come out almost completely black. If I meter off the shadows and the light source is close, the highlights will most likely be blown, but the rest will be bright as well. Usually, depending on how close the light source is to the subject, middle tones are the best area to meter.
I really like the way these have come out and I have really enjoyed doing these still life setups. If you’re new to photography and are learning exposure, I have found that this is actually really good practice for learning metering.
I just thought I would pass that on to any beginners reading this. I recommend trying out some still life photography. It’s a great way to practice your skills. I have been toying with the idea of making a video demonstrating how I shoot my still life photos. If you guys would like that, let me know in the comments.
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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.