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Light Your Food

Lesson 4 from: Food Photography: Capturing Food in Your Kitchen

Philip Ebiner, Will Carnahan

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Lesson Info

4. Light Your Food

Lesson Info

Light Your Food

So lesson three is all about lighting. Now, lighting is really dependent on the kind of style that you're going for for these purposes. We're going for a natural kind of inviting style, um which is typically the norm, you can go into a darker, more contrast your night life kind of style, but we're sticking to natural light and very uh soft light coming in. So in order to do that, we have our north facing window, which is right, gonna keep our light consistent all day, which is gonna let us shoot. Um We're not gonna get any harsh lights coming in from the sun. Um Everything is diffused in this particular place. There's actually a white building outside there and the sun's hitting it, which is bouncing even more light in. So for us, it's kind of nice having this really calm light. Um on a cloudy day, it would be just as nice and having some nice soft light in, we're gonna play with two different types of diffusion and two different types of uh bouncing light and negative fill. So let's s...

tart off with just the regular light that we got right now. Let's see. What we got. So I'm gonna go ahead. Um, and we'll talk more about camera composition later. I'm gonna go ahead and take a shot right now. I'm at a 28 iso 400 I'm shooting at 100 and 25th of a second. We'll get more into camera stuff in the next lesson. But for now here's our shot. It's a pretty nice even lit, soft light because of the window. Now let's add a sheet. What I'm gonna do is just a very basic again, stuff that you can find in your house, white bed sheet to diffuse the light even more. What I'm doing is just hanging it up to cover the entire window and this is gonna allow the light to still come in, but it's gonna keep it softer. So now the lights diffused even even more, we're gonna keep the same settings on our camera there. And so now you can see going back between the 21 is a little bit brighter has the shadows a little harsher, you can see under the plate and the other one, it's a little bit softer. It's also a little bit darker because we didn't adjust our shutter. We're just gonna open up a little bit with the shutter, take another shot. And now you can see the difference between the two. You can see they're still around the same brightness, but the light is a little bit more diffused and a little bit softer. Another thing that happens because of the sheet is the color temperature has changed just a little bit and so you can correct that later or you can kind of decide what kind of lighting that you want. I think for this one, I would probably go with the diffused light because it just looks a little warmer. It looks a little softer, it looks a little more inviting. It's just a nice, vibrant um kind of idea. If we wanna add a little bit more contrast, I'm gonna add some neg fill, which means I'm gonna keep the light coming from over here and try to like shape some kind of darker sides on the, on the, on the contrast side, on the right side and that'll allow for some more shape and more sort of contrast within the food itself. So for that, um we went and bought a dollar black foam core. Uh And basically, it's really just to suck up the light coming from the other side of the room, depending on where you're shooting. There's no real close wall on that side for this light to bounce off of. So this isn't gonna do much, but depending on where you are, you can take this and get it as close as you can to the food without actually getting it in your shot. And I'm just doing it by hand right now until I get into my frame and then I'm gonna back out and I'm gonna go ahead and take a photo with the same settings and take it away. And now you can look at your, your difference between photo and other photo. There's just a little, little tiny bit of darkness in it that adds a little bit more contrast that I think looks a little bit more professional. Notice on the fork. If you go back and forth, the fork has added this nice dark layer of contrast. And also it adds a little bit more shadow coming in in the background and on the napkin, which I think looks way more professional. So let's go ahead and figure out a way to fix that so we can take a real shot. So, what I'm doing now is I'm just using a chair that we have in the apartment to basically figure this out. And basically this is around the spot that I put it at and it's basically adding this contrast that we talked about. I'm gonna get a piece of tape from here to here and it's gonna lock it down. I'm gonna put that tape there, put that tape there. This is very, very diy rudimentary. This thing is very light. A little piece of tape like this goes a long way and now we take our shot and great so that darkness is still there. The contrast is still there compared to our shot beforehand, which is a little bit brighter and a little bit less contrast. Again, this is style preference. So another thing if you wanted to make it brighter is that you can add a bounce card depending on how much light is coming in. Basically, you replace the black with a bounce white card to add in some more light. So the only reason I would use this is if we didn't have enough light coming in and you wanted to light the front a little bit more, we're in a pretty ambient room. So it's gonna be kind of hard to show you this. But with the bounce card, you can kinda see that I would take this and try and bounce this light onto here to kind of add some more, some more brightness and some even lighting. So again, I'll put it right here and take our shot. This bounce card will basically fill out the atos on the other side of the food. So it'll be less contrasty and more even this style is, you know, something that you may like more than the contrasty style, but check it out. Look at how dark and contrasty it is with the black fill versus the positive white light coming in as the bounce card fills in. This is really just tools for you. If we were to take down the white sheet and use the bounce or, or change any sort of configuration, um you'll be able to achieve different styles. So really playing around with that and finding what you like the most is really gonna help define your food photography and the way you like to shoot. So that's lighting um is very basic diy bounce and soft lighting very quick. I know if you have any questions, feel free to ask us and we'll get back to you. We now wanna move on to what kind of cameras you're using right now. I've been using a mirror camera, but let's talk about iphone and phone, cameras versus professional and prosumer cameras.

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