Carmen Norman: Still Life Tutorial, September 30th 2020

Keswick Photographic Society continues to hold meetings via Zoom. Although it would not seem possible to give a practical demonstration via this medium on Wednesday 30th Carmen Norman, one of the Society’s members, did just that.


The topic for the evening was still life photography and, had we been able to hold a normal meeting, we would have taken our cameras with us and under Carmen’s expert tuition we would have attempted to produce our own images.  Although not quite the same as trying this out for ourselves, Carmen kept us amused by demonstrating from her own studio how to photograph a strawberry as she dropped it in to a glass of water. Her set up was very simple. She used a light tent with a black background with a couple of desk lamps as the light source and the glass of water was placed on a mirror to provide a reflection. As Carmen dropped the strawberry, she took several shots in quick succession using the motor drive on her camera. This ensured that she captured the strawberry in mid air as well as the splash as it entered the water.


She then demonstrated how she processed the images by first selecting two that she liked and then combining them using Photoshop software.  This enabled her to include the strawberry as it fell through the air, as well as the splash when it entered the water, in one image. She repeated the demonstration several times using different shaped glasses and lighting.

As well as the practical demonstration Carmen showed us a number of other still life images that she had taken using the same light source and tent. These included images showing flour being sprinkled over a cake, which had proved to be rather messy,


and another of a light bulb with sparklers in the background.  She encouraged members to have a go themselves at home, to experiment and above all to have fun.


The evening was very informative and entertaining and we look forward to seeing members’ own still life images inspired by Carmen’s talk at a future meeting.

Carmen runs landscape photography courses, workshops and photo walks in the Lake District and is an accomplished photographer. More information about Carmen, her work and the courses she runs can be found on her website