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Lights for the small food photography workshop

  
 
jlafferty
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


I agree with you in the abstract, itís the details that matter though. The things Iím advocating for couldnít be cheaper or simpler: a window, done. My wife is a food photographer and has built a career from scratch using just a window and, for a good 90% of her work, just one lens. And now clients will often ask that she forgo her SLR and instead provide them images straight from her phone. So I get the concept of minimalism, I get the idea that ďthese people want to do anything but become experts in gearĒ (youíre painting with a broad brush there

But what others have said, and what Iím agreeing with, and not to press too much because in the end I donít really care if youíre persuaded, is that food photography, and *especially* most food photography since, like, 2008 is about organic mood and style (and when it isnít itís about on axis, hard flash). A light tent is about the absence of style. Itís about objects, and rendering them in a clinical, sterile way absent of intention, commentary, connection to community, whatever. To be quite frank, food photography is about story telling (*wink wink*), it is *not* simply about even exposure. And I think if youíre teaching people, you need to frame photography, especially food photography, as principally about the story their work is telling, the ways we try to draw someone in to anticipating the dish, getting their salivary glands going, telegraphing to them a score of ideas about why the dish was prepared the way it was, who did it, and the context surrounding it (is this a quiet picnic for two or the smash-grabbed remnants of a raucous dinner party?) And the funny thing is youíre right and we agree on this whole line that the gear isnít the key here, but Iíd say the mistake youíre making is that ďitís not about the gearĒ only so long as the gear youíre settling on doesnít run contrary to the purpose of how the photos need to look and feel for the subject at hand.



Mar 08, 2022 at 05:09 AM
story_teller
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


jlafferty wrote:
I agree with you in the abstract, itís the details that matter though. The things Iím advocating for couldnít be cheaper or simpler: a window, done. My wife is a food photographer and has built a career from scratch using just a window and, for a good 90% of her work, just one lens. And now clients will often ask that she forgo her SLR and instead provide them images straight from her phone. So I get the concept of minimalism, I get the idea that ďthese people want to do anything but become experts in gearĒ (youíre painting with
...Show more

Apologies if I inferred that your approach wasn't a very good solution. A lot of excellent fine art, still life images have been taken using a single light source and a diffuser such as velum or even a bedsheet. When I looked at the 10,000-ft view of non-photographers wanting to take smartphone images of food, process the images on their smartphone and post to Instagram, high-quality wasn't my first thought. Many would want the equivalent of food-selfies and wouldn't want to invest several hundred dollars in equipment or the time to do it right.

It would be great if the OP came back and told us his experience with the class and their solutions. In, addition, I like Rico's challenge of getting a light tent just to see if you can get any decent results with them. It would be interesting to play with, but not for production work.

It might work for headshots..... just stick your head in that hole and smile! (lol)



Mar 08, 2022 at 08:14 AM
rico
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


story_teller wrote:
It might work for headshots..... just stick your head in that hole and smile! (lol)

My favorite example of headshot-in-a-box comes from this video:


It has big catch lights to admire, too. Be warned that this is a Mini Moni production, so you might start freaking out. If you do then...welcome to the Cult.



Mar 08, 2022 at 04:12 PM
jlafferty
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


This forum needs a dislike button


Mar 09, 2022 at 01:09 PM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

tcphoto
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


That would likely upset the Snowflakes...


Mar 09, 2022 at 02:22 PM
jeffbuzz
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


I want to push the pause button. But I can't. I want to. But I can't stop watching.


Mar 09, 2022 at 03:53 PM
Kalainen
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Lights for the small food photography workshop


Hi everyone, decided to come back to this topic since I arranged to workshop today and it came out very nice. Above all, I want to thank those who advised me to go with natural light with some diffusers, reflectors and planks. It was exactly what the audience needed and they were in fact very pleased to learn modifying light. I even had household versions of them such as baking paper (which we used to tape the window for diffused light), folio and black/white papers and all. They got excited when I showed some basic lightning techniques and it was really good experience for me too. I'd say this is all because of good advises given here by the knowledgeable FM crowd. So thank you all for helping me out and teaching me new skills as well.


Apr 20, 2022 at 03:59 PM
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