Best camera settings for still life photography.
Learn how to capture aesthetically pleasing still life photos by balancing your camera’s ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.
Much like still life painting, still life photography draws the viewer’s attention to common everyday objects. Because you are in total creative control of every element from lighting to positioning, this field of photography is great for beginners and experts alike. Let’s explore some helpful camera settings for making the most of your still life photos.
Camera setup for still life photos.
As with any photography, the correct lighting is key to beautiful still life images. That means paying close attention to the exposure triangle and adjusting as needed until you get the desired effect. When readying your camera, consider these tips as starting points:
- ISO: Start with the lowest possible ISO (such as 100 or 200) and increase as needed. Higher ISO settings can add unwanted graininess or “noise” to your photos, so do your best to keep this number low by adjusting either of the following settings to meet your light requirements.
- Aperture: Set your camera to its highest f-number setting (for example, f/22) to allow enough light to expose your object while also keeping it in proper focus. To add an artistic background blur, you can incrementally decrease your f-number and note its effect.
- Shutter speed: Because this is “still” photography, you won’t need a high shutter speed to capture your subject accurately. This gives you the freedom to experiment with the lowest shutter speeds until you have the right balance of light. You’ll just want to make sure to use a tripod to avoid camera shake.
Once you feel comfortable with your camera settings, the sky's the limit when it comes to your creativity. Take your still life photography to the next level by adding more objects and textures, experimenting with new techniques, or even incorporating visual storytelling elements.