Still Life Pasta: Simple One-Light Shoot

This class is the first in a series of still life photography tutorials showing how to shoot creative imagery that could be used for wall art and even stock photography.

In this first class Karl uses a basic food ingredient you’ll find in many households to create a simple flat lay arrangement. As he talks you through his idea you’ll see how he overcomes problems such as creating depth in the image and keeping items in position. He also shows a simple trick for overcoming the effects of the inverse square law when working on such a small scale.

Using just a single light you’ll see how Karl controls the exposure and shadow density as he uses a combination of fill reflectors to create a warm, sunlit feel in the shot.

Ideal for home studio shoots and photographers working in small spaces, this simple shoot is a great way to get creative with minimal equipment and the final result is something you can easily add to your portfolio or even sell.

Class objectives:

  • How to shoot still life photography
  • Still life photography tips
  • Photography ideas using one light
  • Creating layers & depth in flat lay photos
  • Understanding the inverse square law
  • Using fill reflectors to control shadow density

You can watch the post-production for this shoot here.

Other classes you may be interested in include our Natural Decay Still Life, Floral Fine Art and Lighting Control (The Egg Challenge) classes.

If you have any questions about this class please post in the comments section below.


  1. Hi Karl.

    I hope everything goes well for you and the team ^^

    Using a bigger softbox farther will create the exact same light “gardness” , we agree on that, right?

    But, considering the Inverse Square Law, won’t it change the lighting of the scene? What I mean here is, won’t it lighten a bit more the right part of the photo?

    As the light is farther, we should see a lesser decrease of light, am I correct?

    And finally, considering the box being far away, won’t it change the size of the shadows making them longer? If yes what would be the correction to bring? Could Bringing the box higher and angle it down be a good solution?

    1. Hi Kamien, yes having a softbox further away would reduce the imbalance of exposure from top left to bottom right and it would become more equal, however the shadows could remain the same if you used a bigger softbox further away if that softbox ‘looked’ the same size from the subjects viewpoint and it was in the same apparent position which would also mean it would need to move up as it moved back.

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