ePHOTOzine reader Bob Garas has supplied some of the most inspiring still-lifes
we've seen with subjects ranging from living creatures to fruit and vegetables.
His technique is surprisingly simple yet amazingly good. As he explains...
Words and Pictures Bob Garas
Most of the animals an bugs are found in the woods or fields in my back
yard. After a good rain, the frogs come out so I catch what I need and
put them in our screened in patio until I can set up for the shoot.
Using a Canon G1 on a tripod and two white lightning strobes, I prepare
the set-up. If I want a natural setting, I gather some weeds or flowers
for the field. If I want a humourous shot I gather some props from around
Bob's set up
The main light is overhead the subject, with a small softbox attached
This ensures even lighting over the tabletop subject. The other light
is placed behind and just below the subject so it's out of shot and is
fitted with a coloured gel of my choice. The backdrop is black seamless
paper. The black picks up the color of the gel.
The light power should be high enough to give you a fast shutter speed.
Bugs and animals move quickly so you want to make sure you catch them
with a fast shutter to ensure a sharp picture.
Both lights are about the same power. Adjusting the background light
higher gives a bold, dynamic, colorful background. Lowering the power
give a gradient fall-off effect for a more subtle effect. Turn the back
light off and the background will be black.
The key is to take as many shots as your camera's memory card can handle.
Critters move fast and you don't know when they are going to do something
funny or be in that perfect position.