Welcome to My Sunday Stills…….So happy you are here. I am SO excited to be here, I have been wanting to do this for a while, sort of like an extension to my Still Life Workshops, I have finally decided to just jump in, as there never seems a right time to do something - I guess you just have to DO IT. Every week I will bring you a new post, a new theme and challenge for 12 weeks. This will be on both Wordpress and my Facebook Page, with a Dashboard on my website and I hope to even bring in some workshops based on these as well, but more on that next year.
But first, let's dive in...
What is My Sunday Stills all about?
I know you are probably super keen to jump right in, but let's take a moment to look at a few things first. Taking time out for yourself, to just breathe, just BE. Some people do not GET Still Life and that's fine, but for those of us who do, it is a type of mediation, almost a type of self-soothing. Finding props, setting a scene and making those minute little changes are what it's all about, that and LIGHT, gorgeous light. Whether natural or studio it is all about capturing those gorgeous shadows and light. You can shoot light & bright or dark & moody, I am hoping to capture it all here, as well as some tips and tricks along the way. We will mostly be using natural light, well...because it is free! Perhaps this is a style of Photography that you have always loved, but struggle to get it right, have never tried but always wanted to, or something you have always loved and you have lost that Spark, your Mojo, I would love to have you all join the challenges...whatever your level of skill
Take a deep breath….Let’s begin.
First up….Let's talk about a Timeout
“Once you’ve lost it (time) you can never get it back.”
Today I want to encourage you to open your mind, heart & soul to a little ME-TIME, like a self-imposed Time-Out. In this helter-skelter busy world, we all could do with a little me time. It does not have to be a Sunday, it could be any day of the week. A block of time…. to just be and create …that is key to this still life journey. Perhaps find one hour a week or 10 -15 minutes a day, if you have somewhere to leave your subject without it being disturbed...it's not going anywhere on its own. Still Life is a quiet, slow form of photography, no models to direct, you can set up and come back hours or days later, it doesn't matter.
Now, let's Study the Light...
When it comes to our photos...light is everything. This week I want you to study your light, just for now I am talking about natural window light. Find a spot where there is a little bit of room where you can set something up and leave it there. Just a small little nook, it does not matter which direction it faces, or even what room. It could be your bedroom, the bathroom, kitchen, just an area where there is a little bit of space. Then for one day or even every day…. at different times of the day.…study THAT light.
Once you have found a great spot & light source…Set up a small scene…..something super simple, and perhaps keep it small...a flower, a bottle, a few books… on a table, a chair, a stool, a crate….whatever’s handy. Leave your still ‘set-up’…then at different times of the day; say morning, noon and mid to late afternoon and take note of how the light changes on your subject. Take a photo and see the difference. Is it too bright, too harsh, long shadows, dramatic and moody? Now note the time and the light that you liked the best.
Tip: If the light is too harsh, consider a sheer curtain, or fabric… maybe some baking paper to diffuse/soften the light.
But, what gear do I use?...
It really does not matter, just for now, you can use what every camera & lens you have on hand, you can even use a Smart Phone, the important thing here is to study the light, we will get more into specifics and gear later.
Did you capture at least 3 or 4 images of your still life setup? I would love to see them posted on my Facebook page or even on Instagram #mysundaystills and of course on your own Facebook page.
You can use something like Canva, Snapseed or Layout to create a triptych or 4-Up or use Photoshop too of course, check out this video on using www.canva.com.
Bonus Points (only joking I am not keeping score), but if you wish you can repeat this in a different spot, on a different day and see what you think of that light too.
Let's Prep for next week...
The weather here in the Southern Hemisphere is just beautiful, late Spring the days are longer, and warmer, the nights are not so cold, perfect for taking a walk; around the block, in the garden, it doesn't matter. Just head out and see if you can find some bits and pieces for next week’s challenge...
Branches, twigs and sticks, berries or blossoms, leaves and vines…gather a variety of sizes and shapes. The only cost …. your time. If you wish to splurge a little and buy yourself some fresh flowers (and why not...you're so totally worth it) you can do that too. But the aim of this class is to keep it all budget and time friendly and unique.
So till next week, have an amazing week and happy snapping...
~ Julz, xo