The emergence of digital cameras gave birth to different types of photography. Every photography genre has a certain demand for equipment to execute the tasks perfectly. Using only a camera cannot produce the best result. You need other accessories as well. Still-life photography is one of those photography types that requires a specific type of equipment. Some are common in every type of photography whereas some others are specifically important for still life photography.
In this article, I am going to share my experience of using different equipment during still-life photography. You will get a guideline about the equipment you should take while shooting still-life photos.
Choosing the right camera is a crucial factor in still-life photography. The quality of the photos changes dramatically according to the camera model, quality as well. You can choose either a full-frame camera or a cropped sensor camera. You may have to change the budget if you want to move on with a full-frame camera. Or if you buy a cropped sensor camera, then your camera focal length will be different. One more thing to notice, you should be able to shoot RAW images. Only JPEG will not work much.
No matter what type of photography you are up to, a tripod is always a piece of handy equipment to shoot high-quality photos. A tripod helps you to take non-blurry photos. Well, in case you have no idea about a tripod, it’s a three-leg stand used to keep something standstill. You can easily keep your camera fixed on a certain position using a tripod. Besides helping in this regard, you can get benefitted from a tripod in some other ways as well. For example, you can keep shooting for a long time. Without a tripod, your hands will feel numb at some point.
Especially in still life photos, your purpose is to shoot sharp and clear images. To get that, a tripod is the best shelter for you.
Another significant piece of equipment for shooting still-life photography is the lenses. The camera manufacturer makes several lenses for a particular camera. Some are for the amateur photographer while some others are for the pro-level photographers. However, not all of them are suitable for still-life photography. 100mm micro lens will be the best option for still-life photography. One more thing to remember, keep some spare lenses. Who knows, you might need that.
A backdrop becomes an important component when you are shooting with an imperfect background. We all know, photography means creating stories without writing a word. A backdrop will help you to clarify what you are trying to present. It describes your subject better than what it looks like without a backdrop. Well, you can create your own backdrop using the things available at home. The plain color wall in the background is also perfect for keeping the focus on the subject.
Soft light creates a more welcoming look. Soft light makes your subject look natural and captivating. Most importantly, soft light is charming for the eyes as well. While shooting still-life photography, you should try to make your photos look softer. To make it happen, you have to use a soft box. It will modify the light and make it softer for your photos. For still-life photography, it is one of the mandatory equipment.
When you shoot still-life product photos, you will need to shoot some products up-close. In that case, you might lose the focus of the whole product because of the imbalance of light. You can take some of the best photos using a light box.
It is a box consisting of a sharp light in it where you can place your product. It will make every part of the subject visible to the viewer. As there is light from almost every angle, the subject becomes completely shadow less. It creates more captivating shots.
If you are shooting indoors and there is light from one or two sides, you will need a reflector. A reflector will take the light of one side and throw it to others. A reflector creates a balance in the amount of light. It diverts the light where it should be. Moreover, a reflector brings out the real color of any subject. That’s why most food photography is done using a reflector. Because food color is an important aspect.
Another important and specially made for still-life photo equipment is a flashgun. It will automatically fire after clicking. You have to use it when you need to highlight your object. It also creates a shadow behind the subject. As a result, it becomes more natural.
Use a Diffuser
Well, it comes in the field with the flashgun itself. However, you can use it as an external part of your flashgun. It will make the light go dimmer. It makes the light more natural by modifying it.
Tethering becomes mandatory when you shoot food as your still-life photography. Otherwise, your food items may get damaged if accidentally you drop your camera. No one wants such incidents. So, it is safe to keep your camera tethered to your neck.
As a photographer, you will have to be a semi designer as well. You have to edit your photos at least to the basic level. To get that successfully done, you need professional software. I would recommend Adobe’s Light room for you. It works best to edit your whole image. It works as a global image editor. To remove background if needed, to correct color you need Photoshop software as well.
Miscellaneous Things You Need
There are some other basic things that you need. A shutter release, backup drives, back up batteries, several backgrounds, etc.
To Wrap it up
Well, it is easy to buy new stuff for your photography task if you have money. However, most photographers fall into the trap that they need tons of things to get started. However, it is a trap. If you want to start still-life photography you can start with some basic things. However, there is some equipment that is really helpful to execute your job perfectly.