Bringing life to still lifes

The Wikipedia definition of still life photography is the depiction of inanimate subject matter, most typically a small grouping of objects. Still life photography more so than other types of photography, such as landscape or portraiture, gives the photographer more leeway in the arrangement of design elements within a composition.

Creating a compelling still life image is demanding in a lot of different ways for us photographers. We need to be able to light the scene in a way that creates the mood and brings out the detail, textures or character of the object or objects. We also need superior composition and styling skills to bring the viewer into the scene and create the sense that the viewer is part of that scene.

That latter part can be very hard. I still continue to make my share of still life images that look still - no life in them. I have been experimenting with adding some small human element to some of my images lately. And I find them to work quite well when done in a subtle way.

Below are two images of the "Bag shot" which recreates the scene of a bicycle accident with a bag of groceries spilled on the pavement. The first image is without any human element and the next with the human element of the bicyclist's foot in the scene.

                                  Bicycle Accident #1

                                 Bicycle Accident #1

                                  Bicycle Accident #2

                                 Bicycle Accident #2

Below is another recent example of a food shot where I think the additional of the human element adds some life to the scene.

   Spicy dumplings and noodles #1

  Spicy dumplings and noodles #1

    Spicy dumplings and noodles #2

   Spicy dumplings and noodles #2

Curious to hear what you all think. Does this work for you or not?