Copyright

Still Life Photography: Definition, Techniques & Examples

Instructor: Anne Butler

Anne has a bachelor's in K-12 art education and a master's in visual art and design. She currently works at a living history museum in Colorado.

One of the most interesting types of photography is the still life. Any gathering of objects or random assortment of items can become a still life. This lesson examines the two types of still life photography.

Social Media Shooters

If you're a user of the popular app Instagram, you have probably seen countless pictures of people's meals, which is an example of still life photography. The perfect combination of light and your latte? Also a still life.

When you've decided you want to take a still life photograph, you should then decide which type of still life photograph you would like to create.

Found versus Created

There are two types of still life photography, found and created. Found still life photographs are random collections of things that are arranged without any outside help, meaning you don't move them to make your picture look the way you want it. Some examples of this would be: a yellow leaf against the brown dirt, products arranged in an outdoor market, or even junk that has been placed aside a dumpster.

Found Still Life
foundslife1

Found Still Life
slife 2

Created still life photographs are photographs of objects that you've arranged to look a certain way. Created still life photographs can have a theme, such as objects or colors. Perhaps you like the way a bunch of blue cups look on a table or the contrast of silver utensils on a brown table. As long as you rearrange or move things to get the desired picture, then it is considered a created still life.

Created Still Life
created s life 1

Created Still Life
created life 2

Techniques

Once you've decided what kind of still life photograph you want to take, then you can play around with lighting and angles. If you are taking a found still life photo, then move around your subject until you find an angle you like. There's not a lot you can do regarding lighting with a found still life, but having an attachable flash (or using your built-in camera flash) sometimes helps add extra light to your photograph.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support