Lighting Tips to Reveal Still Life Textures

When it comes to still life photography, it’s necessary to capture the proper details, shape, highlights, and textures to step it up to the next level. Daniel Norton from Adorama explains how you can use your lighting setup to capture the detail of the product while shooting still life. To do this, he uses a wooden box and dice as subjects and two Profoto flashes and reflectors for managing lighting:

It’s important to note that although his main subject for the still life project is a dice box and some dice, he sets up the environment by using some old worn out apple boxes. This adds texture to the final image. Once the environment is set up, it’s time to look at how he adds the lighting.

First of all, once the setup is ready, it’s necessary to make sure that you completely cut out the ambient light. To make sure of this, adjust your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed so that you get only a black frame when you shoot without any of the lights on.

Daniel uses a Profoto B1X with a strip box as a back light to illuminate the background, which is the faces of one of the old wooden boxes. This back light separates the main subject from the background and adds depth to the photo.

He then uses a Profoto B2 and a 2 foot octagon with a grid on it to illuminate the dice and the box. Using a grid helps to avoid light spill.

To bounce light on the side, he uses white cloth as a reflector, and to add more lighting from the front so that the image comes to life, he uses a reflector board.

When the front and the back light are triggered together along with the reflectors in place, you can see that the image comes to life with all the proper textures, highlights, and details.

photo of dice with texture

“When you’re going to photograph something, think of what it looks like and pick a scene or a way to layer that will really emphasize those elements.”

Do you have some old souvenirs or vintage objects lying around at your place? Go ahead and experiment with lighting and textures to grab some fantastic still life images.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever