Still life in Photography

A theme cherished by the fine arts, still life is not the prerogative of painting! Photographers have also tried their hand at this practice. 

Irving Penn, Rose Blue Moon, London, 1970 © The Irving Penn Foundation


If it may seem cold, even dusty, still life can be terribly modern and impertinent. As a master of fashion photography, Irving Penn abandoned haute couture models to immortalize food with humor. Strong images published in the American edition of Vogue along with his photographs of flowers reveal the ephemeral beauty of tulips or poppies withering under the lens. 

Irving Penn, Iced Soups Flash Foods, Vogue, July 1977



Inspired by Renaissance canvases and 17th century still lifes, the photos of the duo Renards Gourmets, partners of the Yellow Korner galleries, surprise by the poetry of their staging and the strength of their composition. Light and textures are worked with an attention worthy of the greatest painters for resolutely epicurean images!


Renards Gourmets, Amanite des Césars © Yellow Korner



Still life allows professionals and amateurs alike to sublimate colors and textures. By looking at an inanimate object, a photographer manages to reveal its full narrative power. In the manner of Viktor Polson's photographs, the still life allows to give back its letters of nobility to objects crossed day after day.


Viktor Polson, Sunset © Yellow Korner



This sacralization of the everyday is perfectly illustrated by Edward Weston's famous cabbage leaf shot, which reveals a sensual and strange beauty, worthy of an antique drape.


Cabbage Leaf, 1931 © Edward Weston, Center for Creative photography, The University of Arizona Foundation, Adagp 2019



Still life in photography is alive and well! On the film, the object seems to palpitate, to come alive to transmit emotions, like a portrait. If nature or culinary photography are subjects of choice, an infinite range of themes can be highlighted.


Try your turn at still life. The immobility of the subject will allow you to test different angles and settings, ideal to progress in photography. Your most beautiful still life photos can then be printed. Timeless, a gallery frame will bring elegance and luminosity to your photos. Your prints on photo paper can then be magnified by the wood or aluminium frame of your choice. A cardboard passe-partout will give depth to the scene for an effect worthy of an art gallery!


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