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Tutorial: Simple Subjects

Many photographs I take of simple objects are ones with involved/intricate backgrounds, usually in their natural setting. (For example, if I were to take a picture of flip-flops, I would most likely place them on a boardwalk or a sand with the ocean in the background.)But what about those times when you want ALL focus to be on the subject, with just a simple white background? Here's what to do when you want to capture small, inanimate objects against white, and you have no fancy photography equipment. (Hey, I don't either, so don't be jealous of me!
I use a sketchbook with plain, smooth white paper, placed in front of a white wall, just under a window.

I lay down flat in front of it with my camera, and experiment shooting at different angles. Don't let any floor, window, or sketchbook binding get into the picture!—you want JUST white in the background. Try using different angles, shadowing, and closeness until you get to the desired perfect-ness :) Also, if you're photographing food or some other object with crumbs/pieces that may fall off, make sure you blow off any unintentional objects from your work-surface before you shoot. Then, snap the picture!

Experiment from different angles:

Don't forget the rule of thirds! I usually place my object in the upper, right-hand third.

Variations with slightly different backgrounds:

Texture: For this picture, I hung these beaded earrings over the side of a blanketed chest, which was against a pale-colored wall. The background is still predominantly white, but he flowered texture of the blanket adds an extra visual dimension to the photo.

Dark Background: This antique piggy bank was residing in the corner of a dark wood desk, begging me to click a picture! The light colors contrast well with the alternatively colored wood. This works best with light-colored focal points.