|Still Life Photography in the Carriage House Studio|
I thought I would share a few photography tips I use to photograph still life. I take these photos every month to use in my workshops as painting exercises. They are great for the first day of the workshop for learning how to apply paint with a palette knife. In my October workshops we painted pumpkins and we will paint these in my November and December workshops.
The photo above shows my "photography studio". Actually it's just a counter top in my Carriage House Studio that I quickly set up. You can set up a similar "studio" just about anywhere! I have one of my glass palettes on the bottom (which are normally used to mix paint in my workshops), a piece of hardboard as a back drop and I use my leftover scrapbooking paper for the background. For a light source I attach one of my cheap hardware store lights to a table top easel.
I took about 200 photos during this photo shoot, which is about typical. I constantly move the light source, change the items and configuration of the set up and change the background. I used pears, a pomegranate, apples and holiday ornaments for this photo shoot. I use a manual setting on my 35mm camera that allows just enough light but no flash.
As I take the photos I am looking to capture great light on the objects, shapes, shadows and reflections in the glass. I try to get exaggerated shadows that can easily be painted in shapes in my workshops. I upload all of the photos to iphoto and crop and edit the photos. Here are a few of the finalized photos from my photo shoot. You will see the completed paintings of some of these photos on my blog in the next few days as I start teaching tomorrow in Newport Beach.
I am writing a book about Palette Knife Painting which should be available sometime in early 2013. There is a chapter about photographing your art which includes still life set ups as well as photographing your completed paintings.
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