A Box of Tools and Tricks Every Photographer Should Carry with Them

A Box of Tools and Tricks Every Photographer Should Carry with Them

Still life photography is a preferred form of photography for amateurs and professionals alike. Charles Nucci, a globally renowned professional, has in fact been able to turn it into a career. He is keen, however, to tell people that anyone is able to enjoy this form of photography, even if they do not have a lot of expensive equipment. He believes that it is a form of art that is more related to a state of mind than to the possession of lots of tools. That being said, he has a special box of tricks that he carries with him wherever he is, and he recommends anyone who would like to take fantastic still life shots should do the same.

What Is Still Life Photography?

This form of photography is one that requires a great deal of control, which is why Nucci feels it is more a state of mind. Being able to choose a subject is hard enough, but then the lighting, background, camera angle, and lens also have to be chosen. The only way the composition of this type of photography is changed, is when the object is moved. This is why many compare it to painting pictures rather than shooting them.

Indeed, it is by far the most artistic form of photography, and one in which you can let your imagination and creativity run wild. You can cut, hang, paste, stuff, clean, and more, all for the benefit of that perfect shot. This is why Nucci feels a simple bag of tricks should be on the still life photographer at all times.

Tools and Equipment to Carry Along

You can always pick out a still life photographer from a different form of photographer because they carry around a box. Usually, this is a tool box, which is easy to carry but can hold a lot of things in an organized fashion. Charles Nucci feels the following items should be included as standard within that box:

  1. Surgical gloves, allowing you to pick your subject up without fingerprinting it.
  2. Tweezers, which can remove fluff, hair, and other such tiny things.
  3. A few cans of spray paint in different colors, for the backgrounds.
  4. Sharp scissors.
  5. Sharpies in a variety of colors to hide imperfections like scratches.
  6. Blue-Tack to ensure things don’t move.
  7. Makeup brushes to remove dust and crumbs.
  8. Paper towels to help clean up.
  9. Rods and rope to hang things on.
  10. A water spray to create the effect of condensation on glass and plants.
  11. Gaffa tape, which can be used for a variety of things.

Another thing that Nucci feels should be inside a box of tricks, albeit not something that can be touched, is patience. Most still life photographers fail hundreds of times at taking the picture they envision in their mind. If you cannot cope with the disappointment of that, then this type of photography is not for you.

How to get better at photography

How to get better at photography

Of all the skills in which people want to improve, photography often tops the list. Whether they want to make their memories look better or they have a dream to make money from their compositions, interest in improving this skill set is very high.

John Kleinheinz Fort Worth was an avid photographer for a long time, as he used most of the free time he had away from his businesses to sharpen his skills.

Eventually, he was able to make his passion his new full-time career. Whether you want to become a pro photographer or you simply want to make your holiday snaps look better, the tips outlined below will help you move closer to either outcome.

1) Conceptualize the picture in your head before shooting

When it comes to consistently being able to shoot amazing pictures, you just can’t point at what seems to be an interesting subject and simply press the button.

The first step towards shooting amazing pictures lies in being able to know what they will look like after the fact before clicking the shutter.

When you see something that captures your interest, don’t just haul out your camera and start snapping away.

Take a few seconds to consider what you want in the frame and you want to exclude, and you’ll end with cool shots that require little additional cropping in order to make them look good.

2) Obey the rule of thirds

The rule of thirds stipulates that photographic elements look more compelling when they occur along equally proportional vertical and horizontal lines.

For example, instead of centering a picture of a tree in your frame, set up the shot so that this element is placed along the first or second vertical line and the bottom horizontal line.

Many cameras come with a grid overlay, but even if they don’t, imagining one shouldn’t be that tough. Failing that, make use of the grid lines when cropping images in your editing program after putting them on your computer, and you’ll get your images looking their best.

3) Shoot when the light is right

We get it – getting up at the crack of dawn is hard, especially when you are used to getting up at the crack of noon.

However, the harsh light of midday makes it difficult to make your photos pop, as the sun is directly overhead.

It doesn’t help that everybody and their dog is milling about at this hour too. If you need light shining east to west, you’ll have to set your alarm clock for that hour.

Once you have finished taking your set, you can always go back to bed a couple of hours later. Alternatively, you can wait for the hours around sunset, but this only works well for subjects that get lit up by sunlight coming from the west to the east.

Otherwise, you’ll be limited to shooting sunsets like everybody else, as other subjects will just get washed out by the hostile light conditions.