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5 Tips for Still Life Photography

Carefully Craft the Composition

Developing a sophisticated sense of composition is essential to still life photography. It's so integral that beginner photographers study still life specifically to learn the art of composition. It's not uncommon for professional photographers to spend hours in the studio striving to perfect composition for a single shot. Don't be afraid to take your time and make adjustments as you go.

As we mentioned earlier, photographer John Hedgecoe suggests keeping a table of objects next to you as you compose your shot. He advises photographers to start with the most important object and add a piece one at a time, each time checking the image through the camera's viewfinder. To carefully construct the composition, it's essential to have a sturdy tripod.

Experts say to strive for balance and harmony in composition, which doesn't necessarily mean placing the most important or biggest piece in the center of the frame -- in fact, it's often advisable not to. Rather, the eye should ideally flow from one point or object to another. One dense (or dark) object could work as an "anchor" for the eye, while another adds warmth, and so on [source: Hedgecoe].