Bringing a little outside in the studio

Bringing a little outside in the studio

Are you looking to bring a little outside indoors for a photoshoot? I recently did a faux window ledge still-life setup in the studio, just for fun.

My final window ledge still-life setup

The original idea

The original idea came from a friend of mine, while I was visiting. She has no windows in her studio and wanted to stage a window ledge setup, so that it looked like a still-life was set up on a window sill. It should also be partially looking onto a garden, with natural light streaming in.

The studio setup

As you can see from the images above, there was a little bit involved.

  1. Two glass doors (could be window panes or headlight) were attached to a trolly securely.
  2. We then placed a brick wall backdrop in the background. You could use a real brick wall or anything else for this.
  3. We hung a windchime and placed flowers (on a stool) behind the windows. We also added a birdbath, but you can’t really see it very well. We also hung some ivy and rose trellis to give the illusion of a lovely garden.
  4. Next, we needed lighting. We used a Neewer LED light bank turned down quite low. We placed this up quite high (on a ladder) and angled it down, just like the sun would be. We also used a reflector to bounce a little of that light back onto our scene.
  5. Finally, we were ready to stage our window ledge:
    – I placed a black shawl to cover the timber ledge
    – A lantern (this could have had a candle burning)
    – A little bird statue
    – Cups and teapot
    – Blue fabric (could be a cushion) to match the bird statue, just for balance.
Dark and moody version with rain
Dark and moody version with rain

Camera settings

It was all pretty basic from there. I set my camera up on a tripod (the new Peak Design travel tripod), as it was still pretty dark. I used my Sony a7RV, Tamron 28-75mm lens. ISO 100, f/5, 30mm. As my shutter speed was quite low (0.6 seconds) I used a 2-second timer.

We also did a dark and moody version without the reflector and sprayed the window with a water bottle to simulate rain on a window.

So, what do you think, is it believable? Have you got any fun indoor/outdoor photo ideas? Why not share them in the Photofocus Community?