Still Life photography is as simple or as tricky as you want to make it. In still life photography you can manipulate background, lighting, angle, and composition so you can literally ‘draw’ what you like.
According to some views on this subject if you create a scene and shoot it that’s Still Life, but if you discover a scene and shoot it that’s a snapshot.
I don’t really get the distinction as far as a Still Life scene goes. Here are some examples of a painter’s still life:
Take a look at the Old Violin by William Harnett 1886 – tell me that doesn’t look photographic and carefully composed right down to the envelope. But it could just as easily be a snapshot the painter took with his eyeballs and got down on his canvas.
How about the, Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber by Juan Sánchez Cotán (1602)?
Is it a ‘snapshot’ or a real Still Life? Did the artist arrange those elements, wait for the right lighting to cast that neat compositional shadow or just fudge it?
Or did he walk past the scene on the way out the door and decide to set up his easel and capture it?
Who really cares?
The main thing is does it do anything for you?
Does it communicate to you in any way?
What does it communicate?
How about the Van Gogh vase of flowers?
Arranged or snapped?
Okay, that’s enough theory. Let’s take some shots!