The idea of still-life and studio photography can easily conjure up thoughts of complicated studio set-ups with expensive, multiple lights, umbrellas and giant softboxes. In an ideal situation and if you have the money this is certainly the professional way of doing things.
But things don't need to be that complicated, especially when the most dispensable form of quality light is free - daylight. If you can set up in front of a large window in your house then you have the perfect way to get fantastic and professional-looking still-life shots. So if the weather is rubbish outside or you are just bored of Christmas telly, have a go at shooting some simple still-life subjects.
Make a visit to your local art shop and purchase some large sheets of card in a variety of colours to use as both a base and background. Now you can set yourself up in front of the window either on the floor or ideally move a table in front of the window to allow you to work at a good height. As the window light is coming from only one direction, some sort of reflector is needed to fill in any shadows that you will get. You can purchase fold-up reflectors made by Lastolite or you can make your own out of card covered with crinkled-up kitchen foil taped to it.
Lastolite also make mini light tents that help spread the light evenly over the subject. You place these near a window or with desktop lamps either side and place your subject inside. The panels of the tent light the subject with a soft even light without any harsh shadows.
Once you have set up your mini studio, then it's time to shoot some subjects.
© Craig Roberts