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Food and Drink Photography

Below are some tests showing the progression of some food and drink photography.


This first images was created to give an minimalistic view on a selection of silverware.

I knew I wanted to create a very monotone look so opted to use black perspex glass instead of a plain black colourama paper. This gave the added benefit of creating some interesting reflections.

The main issues when confronting such a reflective material is that when light bounces of the surface you will very often get a very bright hot spot of light with the light drastically falling off to black.

This first image demonstrates this with the bare flashgun light coming from camera left.

Although I used this as an element in the final image It still has quite a bright hot spot at the bottom of the forks which could have been softened further with a small soft box.

On the next attempt I came to realise the more diffused the light would be the more coverage of the shiny surface would be lit.

I first pumped a high amount of light into the ceiling which gave a good result but little control. Next I used a scrim with a bare speed-light above the items on a 45 degree angle which after some tweaking gave the above result.

This is great and a huge step to how I wanted the final image to look.

Above is the final image which I selectively combined the two images to give depth. Furthermore the closest fork was far darker than I was hoping it to be so I cloned and blended the furthest fork to the front. and finally cleaned up any dust particles though-out the image, added an subtle vignette to draw attention to the centre of the image and added grain which is very much personal preference but I feel it gives the image a more solid fine art look.


For this vodka image I wanted to create a simple high key image creating a void with a vodka Smirnoff bottle taking pride and place in the centre.

Also taking inspiration from the hero perspective I wanted to create the visualisation of the bottle towering over the audience and commanding the negative space on either side of the composition.

This first image was created with a clear perspex glass on a white table and a single strobe lighting up the background. This was done to create the high key look and get very strong and defined edges of the bottle.

The first issue I encountered was that the label was not fully centred along the seams of the bottle, however as I was planning to light my labels separately to the bottle I was able to work a bit of photoshop magic.

This second image came out far better than I expected with a single strobe above the bottle itself to create a dramatic hot spot on the labels. From this image I took the bottle cap and the very bottom label using the blend mode "Lighten" to help it look natural within the final composition.

Finally it came to tackling the centre label. From the past images I saw that again same as the forks to light a shiny surface a more soft omnidirectional approach would be needed. So by tearing up two pieces of paper and wrapping it round the bottle with one single strobe able I was able to create a makeshift ring-light. :)

This created the magic I was going for showing off the golden highlights on the label. The one drawback from this method is that as it is so reflective the entrance of the hole that we are photographing is reflected in the bottle itself. Again another job for photoshop.

Above is the final image with any artefacts cloned out and the edges of the reflective perspex extended. I also zoomed in and using blend modes pained in the gold reflective surfaces that were too dark.

Finally I added a subtle vignette and added grain.



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