Have you ever struggled to light a still life photograph?
Studio lights and flash often create harsh shadows where you don't
Look at the photo above. The light is soft and wraps around
the subjects like natural light from a window.
Would you believe this was shot in my pitch black basement?
I lit this with a technique called
The light was "painted on" with a flashlight!
I show you how to do this technique in my
But I wanted to share more of my light painting photos to inspire you.
With light painting, you get to choose exactly
where the light falls on your subject creating the mood you desire!
to hang on the wall. It makes the photo look like a beautiful painting.
I can make this photo quite personal by using items
that have meaning to me.
The yellow floral pitcher in this next photo sits on my family room mantel.
I used it to create that still life and hung it over my fireplace!
It's highly personal because the pitcher in the photo is
right there on the mantel!
You never have to search for artwork to match a room!
Just light paint a still life with items from that room!
This photo and pitcher are quite a talking point when people enter my family room.
The colors in the artwork match the room because
the items in the artwork are FROM that room!
This photo was used in the Hallmark Christmas movie "Magic Stocking"!
A photo I created in my basement using
a pitcher from my mantel looks like fine art on the wall in a movie set!
I wanted to create a beautiful fine art photo for my daughter's dining room,
so I photographed her turquoise pitcher.
This photos was also used in the "Magic Stocking" movie set!!!
Here's another light painting I created for my daughter's kitchen
using her great aunt's antique bowl.
This photo was used in the Hallmark Christmas movie "December Bride"!
You can really create some masterpiece artwork using items you
already have around the house and creatively painting them with light!
You can create elaborate scenes...try adding a candle for extra glow!
Or keep it simple:
I always edit my photos to perfect the look, often adding textures
to make them look more like paintings.
In this next series of photos, I set up on our ping-pong table in the basement.
At the far end of the table, I strung some pink Christmas lights from my
white tri-fold board I bought at the craft store.
I set up my still life at the other end of the table
far enough away to create bokeh with the lights in the background.
I then used the light painting technique to light the still life.
Setting your still life on a piece of glass will
reflect light, and in this case, the pretty bokeh!
You'll have to play with your camera settings, but I use my
50mm f1.4 lens and start with:
f2.8 (The larger the aperture the better the bokeh!)
2-sec. shutter (Because there is already a lot of light from the string lights.)
Experiment with items further back that will blur into art.
Add more items.
I really love sparkly bokeh in the background!
Have fun experimenting with this highly creative
technique while you're stuck indoors during the dreary winter months!