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Lighting for Food Photography: Beyond Natural Light

Lesson 3 of 4

Using Strobes with a Tart

 

Lighting for Food Photography: Beyond Natural Light

Lesson 3 of 4

Using Strobes with a Tart

 

Lesson Info

Using Strobes with a Tart

before I change this out, I want to bring this back and want to show you one other thing. So I want to do something very close and stay and show how when you get very tight on something, even the same lighting might need to be modified even further. And it's at the idea of size really matters in some of this that wasn't meant to be any kind of off color joke. But if I positioned myself with something shiny like this, I'm looking for what I call Sheen or shimmer or glimmer off the top of the shiny surface. So this works for soup, and it works for stuff that has glaze on it, and it works for any liquids. There is a balance point between too much shimmer and just enough, and it's about where you position yourself. And this is where I come at something from a 3/4 angle. So here's my completely backlit angle. Here's from my side lit angle, and now I'm here in this 3/4 angle, and I'm looking through the lens at the light from the modeling light shimmering off the top of the surface. And once...

I feel like there's a good balance. I'll take the shot and see what it looks like. But the reality is it's going to be somewhere in this range right about there, and that's close. And there's two reasons I like this approach. It's picking up the spectral highlights that you get off the top of the food. But it's also this really stark directionality of the light. And when you do it that way because you're not completely backlit, where the whole background is blown out, you're twisting that angle a little bit and you're getting that 3/4 angle coming across the food. You still got the beautiful shimmer and shine, but also really, really exemplifying this daylight look of directionality. So the recorder for something like this is a perfect approach Now. It might be a tiny bit sharp for me, so I may just give it just a tiny bit more just a tiny bit more aperture because with a macro lens, you could get really close and still get a nice fall off. If I was trying to get this close with a normal lens, the fall off would be considerably different. So if I'm in that same spot and I want to show you one that seems like to me, might have too much shimmer. Let me say this here where I'm standing right there. I'm picking up too much shimmer. But it might be partially because I'm picking up the shimmer from the daylight that's leaking around the side of this thing. So but it waas clearly too much, and that's now. There's still something appealing about that, but it's just not quite right. It's just gotta be a little bit more nuanced so that those highlights don't completely overwhelm what you're doing but getting very close. Let me go back to the original shot where I'm here and I'm seeing just enough. And I added just a little bit of aperture there moved to five. It's a little bit of a different angle, but again, it's something that I would play with and work on and find whatever how many shots you take of the same thing. 2030 40 before you find the balance that you like. But that's again where I want to be in terms off recreating daylight with a strobe light, and this is pretty much the so far the best way I found. I've done it multiple ways and this is definitely the best way. So Questions? Yes, I would like to ask where you focus when you take a shot like this when you're okay. That's a good question, because I'm using a really shallow that the field. I try to find the front edge off what I want to highlight on. So let's say this shot. I'm focusing sort of right, sort of in the middle to the to the right edge. I may actually do that from a number of different perspectives, so I may shoot it closer to the front edge, move a little bit more toward the middle and then test it out and see how it feels. So if we were doing this in a real setting and I was shooting for a job, I would probably bracket that with different focal focal lengths, where I'm closer to the front edge than more toward the middle than more toward the back and then test it out and see what feels right. So, like to me looking at that shot, as opposed to the one we took two shots ago, Yeah, I mean, that's that's really soft, and it would probably I would probably move that focal point to the very front edge of this and then let that kind of fall to the middle. Or possibly add two more depth the field. Because when you're working with strobe lighting, it's giving you much more range to move that depth of field out a little bit more. Enter. We do have a question from Ryan Tanaka, who's joining us from L. A. You know Ryan from Facebook. Question is, could you use beat bites in this sort of scenario to recreate daylight as well, or are they not gonna be strong enough? I've used them. It's not going to give you is much range because obviously the power is different. But if you're in a pinch and that's the light you have, I would suggest absolutely trying it. And what it might mean is getting closer to the light. It might mean turning it up to the highest power available. It might mean a little less diffusion material, but it's about a balancing act, so I would say absolutely try it with speed lights. I've done it not to the greatest results, because also the light temperature on a speed light is a little different. But I would say if that's the light you have, then that's the one you should use. Yep. Anybody else? Questions about the set up? Yes. By the way, my name is Inca. From snipers. What other lenses do suggest us to use, like 105 macro be okay or 24 70? Well of these, Yes, I use I have all of those lenses in my bag. And with me, Um, the 24 to 70 not so much. I'm not a big fan of using zoom zooms for this. But when I do big wide overheads which I do on occasion like we did for the that's not motion that you saw, I use the lens like that. But I am much more Ah, attuned to fix lenses. And mostly the and 100 millimeter macro lenses are sort of my go to right across the board for my traditional food work. Now, when I branched off, that different lenses apply. But for the most part, those 50 Mac rose I could shoot all day with those So anyone else? Yes. Hi there. My name is just, for example, if you're calling in the restaurant or apart asking through a short flight, you know when your clients are coming up, you bring any speed, light or other lights. Just rely on the light that you have in the kitchen. You know, it's a place that's a great question, because I've had the opportunity to have to do it both ways. So I always would first of all, scout the location to see if there is any daylight opportunity. Now, if you're shooting at night, that's not an option. Then, of course, the next thing I would do is ask. Can I bring lights with me? I'll keep it small. Keep a small footprint. I won't take over your whole dining room, blah, blah, blah Because you know, when you're working in a restaurant, it's a much touch your situation than when you're working in a studio. Um, so I would first check out, try to shoot in daylight, see where the best part of the restaurant is for daylight and if that exists, second, ask if you could bring lighting. Third, push your eyes so as hard as you can and keep your fingers crossed that mean? That's pretty much it. Sure, in general, I know the question was asked in this specific set up where to focus but say you have, like, a lot of cupcakes or something. Is there a particularly US pathetic place to focus, like in the front in the middle? You know, I've done it a lot of different ways, and I usually try to focus on the hero, whichever one is the hero. I try to center my frames around the hero now, sometimes the hero is in the middle of my frame, and sometimes it's fun of my frame. It all depends on how I want to treat the hero, so I like sometimes to give that option of showing it, because here's the thing. Ultimately, what you want to do is direct your viewers I to your hero. How you get there is up to you, meaning aesthetically, if you like surrounding the hero with other stuff and letting all of those fall out of focus so that your hero is front and center. Or maybe that hero is a little off to the right or off to the left because you liked that aspect a little off balance aesthetic. Absolutely. I don't know that there's a hard and fast rule to it, but I would say the first thing is, identify a hero and stick with it and then work your entire approach around the hero.

Class Description

Join New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani as he shares how he uses strobe and steady lighting techniques for your food photography. 

In this class you will learn: 

  • How to mimic natural light by using artificial lighting 
  • How to incorporate strobes into your food photography based on your budget 
  • How to use LED’s for a steady light technique to be used in stills or motion tabletop food shots 
Andrew will explain how he incorporates both new and old technologies to create the best food image. By the end of this class, you will be able to create light artificially that reflects your daylight style seamlessly.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

A fascinating introduction to the ways Mr Scrivani uses artificial light, this course provides an outstanding companion piece to his more comprehensive course on food photography. Brilliant work, as always.

Carol Glisson
 

I enjoyed this class so much that I searched for other related classes by Andrew Scrivani and purchased two more. A nice guy, a good communicator, and obviously a very skilled individual. It was a good investment for me because I learned a lot. Greatly appreciated, I will keep my eye out for more :)

Emma Sammels
 

Interesting. Looks like I have lots to learn. Thank you!