Still life photography is a powerful art form. It has its roots in the centuries-old tradition of still life painting where sometimes the simple truth of everyday objects is far more captivating and engaging than fantasy. This genre gives the artist entire control over the image’s composition, lighting and subject matter. Today, drawing from a pool of inspiration and inﬂuence, many photographers continue to reinvent this ancient art form. Still Life/product photographer and Fotolia/ Adobe Stock contributor Bogdan Dreava’s tells us a little about himself and how he strives for perfection through his composition in his beautiful still life imagery.
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do and how you came to start contributing to stock?
My name is Bogdan Dreava, I live in Timisoara, Romania and I am a photographer specialized in still life photography. After I graduated from college I started looking for a way to improve my photography and a means to support myself, and I found contributing to stock to be a good starting point.
What draws you to still life photography over other genres?
After experimenting with other genres I found still life photography the most rewarding and fun to make. I like to make images of everyday objects and ﬁnd new ways to tell a story. For me still life imagery is open to interpretation, you can do anything you want, you don’t need approval. I like this type of freedom.
Can you tell us about your creative process? How do you decide what you will photograph?
After I decided on what object to photograph I sketch some ideas and start a storyboard. When I start shooting I try to not be restricted by the storyboard and go with the ﬂow, so my ﬁnal images may look different from the original sketches.
Can you explain a bit about your technical set up and the photographic process?
My camera is a Sony a5000 and use it with a beautiful 35mm Carl Zeiss and 50mm Yashica. I always use a tripod, with manual focus. As a light source I try to use natural light as much as possible, but when it’s not available I use a strobe or continuous light with a big softbox to diffuse the light. I try to focus on making everything in the studio with my camera and to use Photoshop as little as possible.
Can you brieﬂy explain the story and editing process behind these two following images?
A vintage key is very simple and cliche subject, so I tried to make a dynamic composition to make things a little more interesting. I created this image using two photos, one with the key, which was held by a wire and the second one only with the background. After that, in Photoshop, I overlay the images, masking the second image and erasing the wire, or other objects that destroy the illusion.
In the image below, I put an accent on the pattern and decided to make the background a bright yellow for the object to stand out. I used a single strobe for the harsh shadows. I photographed only one envelope and created the repetitive design in Photoshop.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to try his or her hands at this type of photography?
I would encourage every photographer to experiment with this type of photography, because you can test new lighting schemes, compositions or color combinations and then apply it to other projects. It’s a really simple, fun way to describe a situation or a new concept. Also to enjoy the process, the most important thing!