During the shoot
Jason’s first assignment for his Apprentice is to get to work on an egg – or, in this particular case, a whole trug full of them. Their simple three-dimensional shapes are ideal, he argues, for learning about the direction and intensity of light needed for food photography.
Using window light
Using window light creates a directional light source, and often it is necessary to reflect light back into the shadow side, even if you are using a diffuser.
We tried three different set-ups to see the effects we could get using simple light modifiers, comparing the results to a reference shot that used the direct window light.
In the end, the diffuser alone gave the right amount of modelling for our composition. By experimenting, and reviewing the results on a laptop, you can be sure you have the best set up for your shot.
Using a tripod is always recommended for food photography, but there are times when you can work quicker and find better angles by shooting untethered from the tripod. For this shot Mick tried both approaches, but his best shot ended up being taken handheld with his 85mm fast prime lens.
Reflect natural light
With food photography you need to watch every corner of your picture. Here the bottom-left rim of the bowl was lost in shadow, an issue easily solved by bouncing window light back into the area with a gold-coloured Lastolite Sunlite reflector. This works better here than the white foamboard as the reflector can be bent to follow the curve of the bowl.
Frame within a frame
Trays are another useful prop, as these create a frame-within-a-frame in which to construct your composition. There’s no need to show the whole tray, however; the suggestion that it is there is all that is needed.