Adding a diffuser helps soften the light slightly, but there are still some harsh shadows and hot spots. Using artificial lighting doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Unless you are shooting landscapes, you can’t wait for the light to be perfect. Use Diffused Window Lighting. A simple guide to using artificial light for food photography (and other things!) However, if you are shooting indoors by a window, as most of us food photographers do when working with natural light, then the source of your light is not actually the sun but the window. My light source was the sun. The great thing is that you don’t have to sacrifice quality when creating the light yourself. But food looks more appetising when it is relatively bright and well lit–or at least the portions of it that you want to draw attention to. In terms of physics, the power of light is inversely proportional to the square of the distance. A useful exercise to understand colour temperature and how it affects the images you take is to shoot the same scene every hour on the hour throughout the day and compare the results. A couple of lights, placed so as to illuminate evenly, but still provide some modelling for texture and … And you wouldn’t want to miss Scott Kelby’s take on the two-light food setup here on the Blog. Or skip the diffuser in favour of a bounce card to help you direct the light to where you want it to fall. The shadows are soft, there are no hot spots, and the light is even across the scene. I was wrong for my first half-decade of doing food photography. There may be situations when you lose control over your shooting environment and have to regain that control by using artificial light. I have an AlienBees B800 flash unit with a standard silver field reflector positioned directly behind and slightly above the food. It also cuts down on the amount of light reaching your subject. To soften the overall scene, I’ll need to add more diffusion to the light. I use them either to reflect the light or in case of the black, to create more shadows and contrast. HELP: Food Photography Lighting Setup for a Beginner. So if we take a distance of 2 and square it, we get 4, the inverse of which would not be half of the original power but one-quarter. It is used a lot in liquor and beverage photography. I love natural light, but it can be unpredictable and changeable. … You can achieve similar results with off-camera flash, continuous lighting, and even simple DIY lighting setups. Portraits and landscapes shot before the sun sets have a beautiful glow to them due to this warmth in the colour temperature. Just make sure you bounce some of that light into the front or your subject with reflectors. Aagesen cautions against direct sunlight for your food photos. It takes a bit of basic physics to understand how light works, and how to manipulate it to get the result you want. AlienBees B800 flash unit with 7″ silver field reflector; white foam board. It might mean shifting gears and working in a way that may have become less intuitive for you over time. This brings out the depth and dimension of your food, and can add a pleasing rim light to some items. You need to work out the yummy trinity exposure for the shot you’re taking in the lighting conditions you have. The key element to creating tantalizing food images is the lighting setup. When it comes to food photography, it is the least appealing light direction to work with. Or sometimes the location I’m working in does not have suitable natural light. The umbrella is large enough to spread out the light fairly evenly, but the shadow on the background plate is still much harsher than the foreground (main subject). There may be situations when you lose control over your shooting environment and have to, Let’s start with a basic natural light setup, which is a lighting setup I use on a regular basis. These days, I rarely work with natural light, so it means that I have to set up my camera differently than I am used to. Backlighting is when you position your light behind the food. By controlling the shadows created from natural light, you can add an element of interest to your product photos. I usually will also add some more diffusion with a. lights to keep the light as close to your setup as possible; the closer the light is to your subject the softer the light will be. This shot above was taken at 7pm with one light. If you put a diffuser in front of the window, then the diffuser becomes the light source, as it is scattering light in order to soften it. Many food bloggers shoot at the same time every day. So much of my Food Photography Masterclass is dedicated to lighting.Of course when I set up all my gear and food photography backdrops the sun doesn't want to come out to play. 1. 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