How to Choose a Photo Backdrop for Still Life

It’s said that an image tells a thousand words. Throughout our daily lives we’re consistently exposed to all manner of information through images. Vivid colours and pictures convey emotion, information and education in a concise way. It could be argued that there are few better ways to get a message across. For this reason it’s not hard to understand the reasons why photography has grown to become so prominent in our society.

Still Life Photography

Still life photography is the photographic recording of inanimate subjects. Unlike other forms of photography like landscape or portraiture, still life gives the photographer an increased capacity in the arrangements of the design and composition of the photograph.

Here are some top tips to creating vivid and striking still life photography backdrops:

Bright and White

By using a plain, clean white backdrop such as a white wall or card allows you to create focus the image around the subject matter. There will be no visual distractions from the surrounding area. Your eyes will be drawn to the subject.

Dark and Moody

Should you choose a black, or similarly dark coloured backdrop you will emphasise the subject matter. By choosing these backdrops you will create a low key shot that emphasises that dramatic and moody feel. This effect creates a stark contrast, especially for those images with vivid colours. This effect works particularly well when the light hits the subject at an angle. Creating shadow will blend into the backdrop and add some depth to your subject matter.

Colour Complimenting

The use of a coloured backdrop that compliments the colours of your subject matter will create a subtle and pleasing effect on the eye. Should your subject include more than three different colours then by matching the backdrop with one of the colours you prevent the visual impact becoming overwhelming. Should your subject matter consist of one or two colours choosing a backdrop with similar tones will increase the visual impact of the image.

Colour Contrast

A backdrop with a completely contrasting colour will give your subject that bold look – and in some cases the background may even become a subject in itself. By using contrasting colour you will create an almost three dimensional look, with the image almost bursting through the picture.

Natural Backdrops

Should you choose to take your photograph in a natural environment you will add life and vitality to the image; have a look around your house or garden, you’ll surely find a number of different backdrops that compliment the photograph. Different textures, colours and patterns will enhance your shot, without taking the focus away from the subject matter. If you’re feeling particularly creative you could always use a wide aperture to blur the background, further directing focus to the subject.

If you take on board these suggestions then you’ll surely achieve that striking image that you desire.