How can still life photography be good?

In fact, you don’t have to go out to take photos. You can also complete your wishes at home. Today, I will mainly talk about still life photography. Still life photography is opposite to people photography and scenery photography. It takes inanimate (this inanimate is a relative concept, such as fish and shrimp caught from the sea, melons and fruits that have been picked up, etc.) and objects that can be freely moved or combined by human beings as the performance objects. On the basis of truly reflecting the inherent characteristics of the subject, through creative conception, and in combination with photography means such as composition, light, tone and color, artistic creation is carried out to express the subject as a photographic work with artistic beauty, which is called still life photography.

So today, I’ll tell you how still life photography lights up. The lighting of still life photography has great subjective randomness, but it also increases the difficulty of lighting.

In order to improve the effect and speed of light distribution, the following steps and rules should be followed during light distribution.

1.Determine the main light

The main light is the dominant light source, which determines the main tone of the picture. In the light distribution, it is meaningful to add auxiliary light, background light and outline light only when the main light is determined. In the process of determining the main light, the lightness, intensity, coverage and distance to the subject of the main light source shall be systematically considered according to the modeling characteristics, texture performance, light and dark distribution of the subject and the separation between the subject and the background.

For most shooting subjects, lamps with softer light, such as reflective umbrellas, soft lights and fog lights, are generally selected as the main light. Direct floodlights and spotlights are rarely used as the main light, unless they need to bring strong contrast to the picture.

2.Add auxiliary light

The irradiation of the main light causes the subject to generate a shadow. Generally, in order to improve the level and tone of the shadow surface, auxiliary light shall be added during light distribution. The auxiliary light is usually soft light, and its light position is usually on the opposite side of the main light. According to the needs of the picture effect, there may be one or more auxiliary lights. When using various lamps and lanterns as auxiliary light, don’t forget to use reflector as much as possible, which can often produce unexpected good results.

3.Set the background light

The main function of the background is to set off the main body or render the atmosphere. Therefore, when dealing with the background light, we should pay attention to both contrast and harmony.

4.Set contour light

The main function of contour light is to create a bright and bright contour for the subject, so that the subject can be separated from the background. The outline light is usually projected against the light from the upper back or side of the background, and the light level is generally one, but sometimes two or more can be used as needed.


5.Set decorative light

Decorative light is mainly used to decorate some parts or details of the subject. It is a local and small-scale light. The difference between the decorative light and the auxiliary light is that it does not aim at improving the brightness of the dark part, but makes up for the shortcomings of the main light, the auxiliary light, the background light and the outline light in shaping the image.



In the above light distribution process, since the light is a variety of additions, the latter light is likely to have an impact on the previous light effect. Therefore, after the light distribution is completed, it is necessary to carefully examine the overall light effect to see if there are obvious deficiencies or unreasonable places to ensure that the light is the most suitable.


Creative use of light can make your still life shooting more beautiful and impressive! Dare to try it, and look forward to good still life photography!


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The quality of lighting can determine the success or failure of still life texture.

The quality of lighting can determine the success or failure of still life texture.

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