Behind the scenes how to photograph fascinating still life subjects

One of my subjects for the “52 frames” project during May really fascinated me. It led me to take a large number of images to get as many different angles as possible! So today I am going to show you my simple home set-up when photographing still life subjects.

Blackbird egg still life photography

My daughter found this tiny eggshell in our garden. It was broken, suggesting that the fledgeling had emerged successfully. I thought it was so pretty, which the pale blue colouring with brown flecks. I decided it would make a perfect subject to photograph. So it went safely away in storage until I was ready.

My first set up was a simple one. I laid the eggshell on a piece of A4 plain white paper. I taped up the back to create a seamless background.

setting up a still life image at home


I love using my Rotolight for adding dimension to my image. It is a continuous light and I am able to pick the colour temperature which is wonderful. However, simple window light or a desk lamp would have given me a similar setup.

I used a small reflector (silver and gold) with the silver side reflecting onto the shadows within the scene. Again simple cooking foil wrapped around a piece of card would have the same effect.

Playing with angles

The next stage was to move the egg around to capture it at many different angles. By photographing it on a white background it would be of more interest to stock agencies.

Still life blackbird egg

Just for fun, I added a small “nest”. This was a man-made one that I had purchased from a craft shop a few years ago. This gave the image a whole new look and would create an image that I would be able to use in a future art image.

Editing still life images

I like to play around with my images to create a more “arty” look about them. The first of these that I edited was this one, where I added some textures to create a grungy look! I like how the grungy texture is very similar to the pattern on the eggshell.

creating art from a birds egg

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