Cook up some tasty photos of cutlery and cooking utensils for your kitchen wall. You only need simple kit for this photography project, but the results are seriously artistic
Photo ideas don’t get much simpler. All you need to create photo art like this is a simple home studio and a collection of kitchen utensils. No fancy studio lighting or extreme macro gear required. You could even shoot this with a compact.
It’s amazing what you can photograph at home with a little bit of imagination and creativity. We’ve already shown you how to make fine-art food photos and create minature landscape pictures (out of mashed potato). Now it’s time to turn the contents of your cutlery drawer into photographic art. Take a regular kitchen fork, for example – we use them every day, but how often do we take the time to stop and admire their beauty? Probably never for most of us, and that’s where we’re missing a trick. With the right lighting, composition and treatment, everyday objects can become exciting photographic prospects.
The set-up’s simple. You need nothing more than an angle-poise lamp and a piece of white card to make a straightforward but effective tabletop home studio. Getting the lighting right requires a bit of trial and error, and it will take some experimentation before you nail it. Use your DSLR’s LCD to get a good idea of lighting and switch your picture style to black and white, so the LCD displays a mono image. This is a superb ‘pre-visualisation’ tool, and if you’re shooting in RAW (which we recommend) your files will still have all the colour information anyway, should you change your mind later on.
How to create kitchen photo art
1. Find an angle
To create strong shadows, use an angle-poise lamp so it’s easy to alter the direction of the light. Use a piece of white card to make a scooped backdrop and experiment with the angle of the lamp.
2. Camera settings
Shoot in RAW and set your DSLR to monochrome so the images on the LCD appear in black and white – most cameras can do this. It’s a great pre-visualisation tool, and your original file will still have all the colour information anyway. Working with a tripod-mounted camera enables you to use a low ISO setting for maximum quality. We used mid-range aperture settings (f/8 – f/11), but experiment with different apertures until you find the balance of blur/sharpness you prefer.
3. Processing the images
Create a Black & White adjustment layer in Photoshop and experiment with the colour sliders. Then create a Curves adjustment layer and make a generous ‘S’ curve for a hard look with strong contrast.
Everyday kitchen objects can come to life with simple but creative lighting. Frame up the shot with your camera free of the tripod to find the best compositon.
Increase the impact of your pictures by framing them as diptychs and triptychs. You can create your own templates in Photoshop, or simply download our readymade 25 free triptych frames and drop in your own images.