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Keep Still

This assignment ran from Jul 5 to Jul 12, 2019.

In recent months, I’ve noticed an influx of still lifes being uploaded to Your Shot. This inspired me to run an assignment celebrating the art of still life photography. Constructing or finding a still life scene might seem easy, but all the same principles in light, composition, and visual narrative apply.

The first thing to know is that a still life typically depicts inanimate objects. The characters in your still lifes can be plants, food, objects around your home, or items you have carried with you throughout your life.

Seventeenth-century Dutch-style still lifes are a great place to start your visual research for this assignment. You can also peruse the Editor’s Favorites in the “still life” search results on Your Shot. A few more examples to get you started:

KashMira Tembulkar
Gina Bochis
Valerie Taranto
Francesco Del Greco
Yuliy Vasilev
Hannah Johnston
Gloria Maready
Marie Salmeron
Brenda Snape
Toni Minchev

Use the skills you’ve learned from other assignments—like how to use light and composition—to create or find a strong still life scene to photograph. You are completely in charge of a still life, so feel free to style your objects in order to craft the photograph. Use this as an opportunity to try something new and make photographs that will help you keep still.

Good luck. 

Curated by:

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot
Assignment Status
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Published Aug 9, 2019.
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Kristen McNicholas

Kristen McNicholas

Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot
Kristen is an Associate Photo Editor with the Your Shot team. She interned at the White House Photo Office under the Obama Administration as well as Education Week. A proud RIT alumna, dessert enthusiast and Finger Lakes, NY native, Kristen is excited to guide your photographic journey!