Day +433: Low Key Still Life

Low key still life- objects against a black background, is a major part of Product Photography, and it’s way harder than it looks. Today was my first real attempt at this style of photography. The key is creating a pure black background (you’re basically trying to take a picture that is pure black, and then lighting the subject with flash. I tried using on camera flash, and then using off camera flash via a softbox- the latter is better.


In the above image, it almost appears that the box of matches is suspended in mid-air, which I think is cool (BTW, they’re for lighting the fire-┬ánobody in this household will ever smoke)!


The direction of your light source is really important in this type of photography as it will create weird shadows or, if you’re not careful, light up the background (a tip- the further the subject is away from the background, the better, due to light “fall-off”).


These truss tomatoes are getting a bit soft, but still “ripe” for a photograph.

And what’s a post without a Disney picture? Here are some Tsum Tsum’s, shot in low-key.


Photography isn’t and shouldn’t ever be boring. By trying new techniques, you can get re-energized and inspired like never before. If you always shoot portraits, why not try landscape, or birds, or whatever else that takes you out of your technique comfort zone?

Happy photographing… Remember, do what you love, as often as you can do it.