Shooting Flatlays

in #photographylast month

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I do a lot of different kinds of photography, but one thing I hardly ever do is take product shots of any kind. I'm not trained in the art of influencing and taking aesthetically pleasing images of random items.

There has been this trend called flatlay for a few years already, mainly present on Instagram and lifestyle blogs, but also on fashion and lifestyle magazines, which I don't read much. Flat lays are most often seen done with cosmetics or stationary, but also with food and all sort of small items that can be arranged on a flat surface and shot straight from above. I find these kind of pictures extremely pleasing to the eye, and so do a lot of people. Pretty things make me happy.

I've been meaning to give it a go myself for a long time already, and finally did a trial run today. Let me tell you, this is wayyyyy harder than it looks. Picking items that go well together, arranging them, getting everything in focus without a tripod and only natural light. People who do it well make it look sooooo easy.

The only flat surface that I had to use for these, is a small marble tray, so it was a bit limiting in terms of what items I could fit in it. I would have liked to include more items, I think that would look better. I do need to get some black and white boards, which I will pick up from an art store once it's less windy outside. The other major problem is shooting with natural light and handheld, I had to push the ISO and use a wider aperture than what I would have liked. I was shooting with an 85mm lens in order to not get distortion, but that meant I needed a smaller aperture to get everything in focus. A tripod with that extension thingy that can be used so I can shoot straight from above is on the shopping list, quite high up there too. My current tripod is on its last leg, quite literally. I do need to pick up some Blu-Tack too, it was really fucking annoying trying to keep the round items in their place. Looking at these, I realised I should have tried to open up the shadows by using a reflector, or at least a white sheet on the side.

Next time, this was a trial run. I do have to say, this was quite fun.

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Really pleasing to the eye. Especially the first photo. Is flatlay photography supposed to be shot with minimal shadows or is it matter of opinion? I'm thinking I should give this a try too because I looooooooove organizing stuff according to size and color and puzzle-like ordinance. But I have no idea what pretty things to photograph. Nuts and screws? Nails and springs? :D

Yes I do think it would work better with smaller/softer shadows, but no shadow at all would be a no no. You should most definitely give it a try, and I think nuts, bolts, screws and whatnot would actually look pretty cool shot like this. Maybe against a black background? You could even go super artistic with it and make some cool shapes with the nicknacks.

Darn! You gave me more ideas and did the unthinkable, encouraged me. Damn you! You know what this means. If I can't do that today, during daylight, I will think about it all night and can't sleep and tomorrow first thing I will have to start photographing and I will discard everything else important like my moms birthday and eating and feeding the cats. Oh wait, that last thing is not an option when trying to sort tiny objects. Feed the cats or they will retaliate and I no longer have nothing to photograph.

Perhaps I will give it a try. :)

Hmmm, how to do this with bicycles....... 😇

I think you'd need a really tall crane and a big parking lot, and lots of bikes! :D

That or I do a helicopter fly-by over Amsterdam.....

Dream big!

Snap! I use dreamy skin also!

Hmm, nah not really. 😁

I did a flat lay of my culling loadout for hive once...Looked shit compared to yours, but was cool to see all my kit laid out like that.

Anyway, have a good weekend Eve.

I'd be happy to arrange shiny little bullets and other paraphernalia into an aesthetically pleasing flatlay for you :D

And then we'd go shoot them!