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This tutorial is not about lights, it’s not about fill cards, it’s not about cameras, tripods, or models; it is about fixtures. Not those ceramic things on the ceiling you screw a light bulb into but fixtures that hold the subject (or subjects) you want to photograph in the position and attitude that you want them in when you photograph them. Sand, material, cast iron angle plates, steel blocks, armature wire, hunks of wood, and blobs of FunTak can all be fixtures and this tutorial shows you how to use them to position your still life subjects the way you want them positioned. Although there are a variety of items used as fixtures in this video, you should not be limited to using only them for the fixtures you create to hold your subjects. 

As the tutorial points out; sometimes the best fixture is nothing more than a length of gaffer tape crunched up with the sticky side out. Some of the techniques described in this video are featured in Steve Sint’s upcoming book: Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style; release date January 07, 2013. 

Tutorial Supplies Checklist

  • Solid Black Foamcore
    This 3/16" solid white Foamcore comes 30"x40" and is perfect as a table top backdrop. Also great for framing and presentation and to make small reflectors.

    Grey Gaffers Tape
    Grey Gaffers Tape- 2" x 50 yd. All of our professional gaffer tape comes from Shuretape formerly known as Permacel.

    White Sand 50 Pounds
    Use to create the perfect set or scene. Need sand for a school project? Well we have it. Perfect for your Window Display.

    Set Shop Utility Cutter
    Set Shop Utility cutter is a great tool for cutting paper products. Fast and simple to use.

    Set Shop 5 in 1 Screwdriver
    Set Shop Screwdriver has more than just one purpose. You can switch the bits, and flip the cylinder piece that houses the bits.

    Fun Tack
    Fun Tack is not a wax, but this man-made nontoxic putty-like material behaves a lot like wax. It does not melt or leave any waxy residue and it can be reused over and over again. Great for modeling and model making. This is the real Blue Tak by DAP not the imitation (Also sold in a box of 12)

    22 lb Sand Bag Black
    These classic double zippered saddle-style sand bags are available in Black or Blaze Orange. 22lb when filled with sand. (Sold Empty)

Steve Sint

Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style

Steve Sint has spent a great deal of his life walking down aisles backwards. Over a 40 year career, he has photographed over 4,000 weddings, taken over 2 million photographs, and shot over 1 million portraits for his own studio and others in the New York metropolitan area. As a commercial photographer he has photographed thousands of executives and still life subjects. His client list includes, or has included, the American Broadcasting Company, Time Inc., Hearst Publications, Yves St. Laurent, AT&T, NCR, National Semiconductor, Miller Freeman Publishing, MacGroupUS, and Hachette-Filipacchi Magazines. His photographs have appeared on the covers of over 60 national magazines including LIFE, Omni, Stereo Review, and Modern Photography.

As a columnist and contributor his words and photographs have also appeared in Studio Photography, Lens Magazine, Modern Photography, Popular Photography, View Camera Magazine, Railroad Model Craftsman, and he has authored 7 books on photography. In his most recently published book, Digital Wedding Photography: Art, Business, and Style, he shares his experience with his readers in the breezy, knowledgeable, and accessible style his writing is known for. At this point in his career he limits his assignments to 50 per year for a select New York clientele, photographs and writes about things he enjoys, and still finds time to lecture on professional photography, create and produce tutorial videos, conduct workshops on wedding, portrait, and still life photography, while still finding time to work on his model railroad.

His newest book, Digital Still Life Photography: Art, Business, and Style, was released in January 2013.