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Tips On Photographing A Simple Still Life Shot

Techniques > Tips On Photographing A Simple Still Life Shot

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Category: Creative

Photographing Creative Cutlery Shots - Open your cutlery draw and get creative with your forks.

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Forks and egg
Photo by Peter Bargh.

Gear Suggestions:

  • A macro lens is very useful but not essential
  • Tripod – one where the centre column can be turned horizontal is useful so you can get right in over the surface you’re working on. You could also use a table top tripod.


Before you start you need to make sure your cutlery is clean and that your egg doesn’t have any imperfections.

You need to work where there’s plenty of light so position yourself near a window/ patio doors. Plain backgrounds, particularly reflective ones, work best. Still life tables that have a perspex base work well but try using a piece of white card or plastic tray if you don’t have one. If you have white plastic windowsills try setting your still life up on it but you may need to place a sheet of paper, netting or cloth on the glass to diffuse the light slightly.

When it comes to placement, experimentation is key as there are various ways to arrange your props for a successful shot. However, one that works particularly well is where you balance the egg inside two crossed over forks. Shooting this straight on produces perfectly good results but do try adjusting the angle of your set up or move your feet so you're shooting from a different position.

Make sure your camera focuses on the correct point so you don’t end up with a blurry egg, watch your white balance and if you have a problem with unwanted shadows creeping into your shot, try moving your set-up or any objects nearby that could be casting them.

You can keep your shot in colour or to give more focus to the shapes and structure of the shot, convert it to black & white and / or use a slight vignette to draw the eye to the middle of the photograph.

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