Last Wednesday (5 December 2018) members were encouraged to develop their photographic skills at a still life workshop – “Table Top Photography” – run by Damon Guy. With the aim of introducing people to the “ins and outs” of working on a table top at home, this was an interactive evening with Damon demonstrating lighting angles, light modification, and various techniques pertaining to still life photography.
Damon has been a keen photographer all his life and believes that photography is all about having fun and getting great images. He is a photographer, writer, webmaster, website developer and teacher. He runs and edits Photokonnexion, a website that aims to help photographers of all abilities learn about making images and have fun. He is also a member of Marlow Camera Club.
This practical learning session began with a short talk. Damon explained how table top photography was about setting up simple situations where the photographer can fully control the light and the scene. It involved minimal materials and simple lighting setups (using, for example, windows, LED lights, torches or domestic lights rather than flashlights and the like) to work creatively and artistically. Ideas for table top work included close-ups, patterns, abstracts, high key, very shallow depth of field, interesting arrangements of objects, similarities, differences, and lots more.
After this brief introduction, it was time for practical work. Damon had set up four workstations, each with its own instructions, so that members could explore different techniques. These were:
- Infinity Wall
- Depth of Field
He also provided a “resource table” with masses of different bits and pieces (ranging from sea shells to coloured drinking straws and candlesticks to polystyrene eggs) to use as subjects, as well as numerous coloured/textured backgrounds.
Members swiftly got down to the business of taking their own photographs. And Damon moved between groups explaining how to position the lights to best effect, how to use light modifiers, what camera settings to try, and so forth and generously sharing the benefits of his great knowledge and experience.
This was a very stimulating and enjoyable evening and, amply encouraged by Damon, members were given an excellent opportunity to try out new ideas and learn (or practice) still life techniques and skills. It was all great fun.
The workstation setups are easily transposable into the domestic environment. So practice and experimentation can now continue at home!
The photography website that Damon runs can be found at http://www.photokonnexion.com/