Still Life Workshop (Barry Chidlow)

By | 22nd November 2023

22nd November 2023

My Still Life Journey

Barry opened this workshop with a little about himself first and his reason for moving to Worthing in 2016. His family. This theme comes up strongly in Barry’s Still Life Compositions. His father’s old tools was Barry’s inspiration for his initial images and they still play a key role and he brought a few along for the workshop. His Son, who is also a photographer and videographer, helps push Barry with this creative endeavour, and even his Grandchildren helped with some of his initial backdrops.

As a Canon user Barry subscribes to EOS Magazine and last year they ran a piece featuring some Still Life compositions by Glen McClure ( Following that article, a YouTube video and a Readers Challenge set by EOS Magazine, Barry decided to “have a go”, using his father’s old tools as the subjects. Whilst he used a rudimentary set up in his garage, he created a beautiful image which won the Readers challenge and featured in the Magazine.

Flush with this success Barry decided to build a better studio, and with input from his Son, he collected more gear to make the process a little easier and now uses Godox lamps. He also created a composition using his wife’s garden tools and after sharing it online received a lot of praise and supportive commentary on it (even though he admitted he hadn’t seen some of the points raised at the time of making the image).

We then started the practical demonstration and Barry discussed a little about compositions. We then moved onto the Key light demonstrating its impact and comparing with and without a grid. Then a backlight was added and the effect without and with different coloured filters was discussed. A fill light was then added, to the right of the composition (with a “Snoot”). The purpose of which, was literally to fill the right hand side of the composition with a little light to reveal more detail in the composition. Then, a bounce white card was used to add a little soft light from the left (bouncing light from the fill light). At each step Barry demonstrated how much thought and effort was needed to balance the existing light, as well as the new source of light. Demonstrating a very iterative process.

Barry successfully demonstrated his workflow and processes when creating a composition and we then had a discussion about how members might create their own Still Life compositions, as well as the dangers of acquiring interesting items when out on your travels. Especially where to store them, away from our loved ones.

A thoroughly enjoyable session and here are the images from the Workshop, demonstrating their progression towards the final composition (starting point/ambient light, key light, back light and fill with a little editing in LR). Please click on any image to expand.