Blueberries and Composition

One of the many areas of photography that has a fun learning curve is the study of composition.  Along with the technical aspects of working in manual mode on the camera, it is equally important to learn placement, angles, and catching light and shadows to enhance your subject.  

I have found that I particularly enjoy working with one focus subject and few props.  Keeping the scene minimal yet stunning can be daunting due to the strong focus on one area.  In order to achieve a nice composition, the most reliable method is working with the Rule of Thirds for placement.  There are cases when this rule can be broken so the best way to learn, I feel, is start simple and shoot from many angles.  

Using my Canon 70D DSLR and a 50mm 1.8 lens, I selected a nice package of blueberries to play with.  Not only do I love their color but the "buttons" created from their stems provide a wonderful texture to the smooth indigo surfaces.

I decided to revamp my small still life studio set up to give me a bit more room as well as opportunity to find new angles.  Using the two soft box lights and my favorite backdrop (freezer paper), I also added a unique four foot piece of countertop which has a great resemblance of zinc or grey weathered wood!   

To change things up a bit with the scene, I decided to use an awesome old wood box I found on a recent junk shopping trip.  This box has wonderful old wood and the tiniest dovetail joints along all sides.  As I worked with this wood box for the first time, I quickly realized the variety of surface potential...


Do you notice how the light and shadows change with the difference in angles?  Also, since my set up currently uses two soft box lights, I love to switch them on and off singly and together to "grab" the scene with shadows and highlights.

What better to add to a scene of blueberries than a blueberry, I did not bake today...I have the convenience store to thank for this muffin addition!


For the last few shots, I wanted to add something a bit more formal to the blueberries...


I would love to hear your suggestions on learning composition with still life shooting!  Perhaps you have a tried and true flat-lay technique or a special way of arranging your props to really tell your photo story?  Please share below in the comments and I will look so forward to hearing from you!

I wish for you a beautiful week with many happy moments.