Want a fun project you can do right in your kitchen? How about exploring some minimalism with everyday stuff you have on hand. No need to leave the house, no need to leave the kitchen — you just need a little bench space and a window.
What you need
Grab a sheet of black or white project paper (honestly any color will do). If you have some black or white Perspex of acrylic sheets they are brilliant too. Artists canvas, cardboard, foam-core … seriously whatever you can lay your hands on, just try to keep it a single color. I went for black and white.
Next, you need a subject. Grab some cutlery, teacup and saucer, some bowls, you can even grab some flowers from the garden. Just remember to keep it super simple.
What about light?
You can use natural light — a single window is plenty of light. Use some baking paper taped to the window if the light is too harsh, or move your subject a little further away from the window.
If you need more light you can use a reflector or some tin foil on a baking tray. We are working we much smaller subjects, so it is easy to do this. Prop it up with some books or glasses with water.
Remember if you are working with white on white or black on black, you are looking for good composition and nice form, as well as highlights and shadows.
Look for the highlights
If you are working black on black, look for the highlights. If you are working with a reflective surface, look for those reflections. Working this way is more of an abstract piece than traditional still life, and focus is mostly going to be key.
Work with the composition
When you have very little to work with, it is all about composition. Think about filling the space, centering your object, rule of thirds, diagonal placement, etc. Remember in Lightroom you can scroll through layout guides by pressing the O key on your keyboard.
It is so easy to overburden this style of photography with unnecessary stuff. Just remember to keep it simple.
When you have played with the teacups and saucers, the bowls, the vases and saucepans, how about diving into the cutlery drawer? Grab your macro lens and go for some more abstract images.
Perhaps try a LED Desk lamp for harsh lighting. Work with shadows and highlights. Maybe even some bokeh and reflections in spoons and knives … this can really be so much fun.
Shooting with one small object can be fiddly and frustrating. But if you approach it as a fun way to spend a few hours, honing your eye and your skills, it can be loads of fun. What else can you come up with from the kitchen? Perhaps you could hit up the pantry next!