The still life has been around for centuries, used by artists in order to practice painting techniques. In photography however, we can manipulate many factors in a still life to create a pleasing composition using the elements and principles.
Your assignment is to photograph a still life and create 3 high quality prints* from the shoot. You will manipulate lighting. You will also learn about contrast filters which increase the contrast of your print. One 5x7 print must be mounted on the front of black paper with two 3x5’s on
the back. You must also use a tripod for at least half of your roll.
*A high quality print includes: Full range of values, pleasing composition utilizing the
elements and principles, utilization of a contrast filter, manipulation of lighting. In addition, the print should be evenly mounted on black paper with all edges glued down.
- Analyze your still life
- Manipulate the artificial lighting
- Set up a tripod for your camera
- Shoot a full roll of film (*Make sure your ISO is set at 400)
You must have multiple angles and views of the still life.
- Develop your roll using the developing time chart
- Make a contact sheet
- Come to Mr. Mistler and together we will choose your three best prints
- Print 3-5x7's
- Write a written critique on a peers’ success in this project (handout to be given out later)
- Study filters to be able to understand how and why to use them to increase the quality (contrast) of a print
- Study studio lighting techniques in order to successfully illuminate a still life, focusing on texture and shadows
- Use your knowledge of composition to frame your subject and create balance, harmony, and unity within that composition
- Use your knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design in order to evaluate a peer’s artwork
- What criteria will help you to choose your best three photographs?
- Is the craftsmanship as fine as you had hoped? What can you do to make the images look more refined?
- What lighting techniques have you utilized to create texture, shadows, and unity?
Tips to Get Started:
The eye has a much larger range of sensitivity than film, therefore, beautiful rays may look appealing to the eye but may turn out as harsh white blotches on the film. You need to understand how light affects film. Just because you can see the still life doesn’t mean that it will be reproduced on film.
Lighting tips for beginners
- Work habits
- Quality of photographs
- Unique ideas
- Effectiveness in communicating the idea within the theme
- Variable Contrast
- Studio lighting
- Diffused lighting
- Artificial lighting
- Side lighting
- Front lighting
- Metering for artificial light