Food Photography Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by UpperSpoon, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. UpperSpoon

    UpperSpoon TPF Noob!

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    Hi All,

    Unfortunately, I get home after the sun has gone down, so my photography is done predominantly under artificial lighting.

    I inherited one of these westcott Ulight Softbox kits with 2 leds:
    Westcott uLite 2-Light Collapsible Softbox Kit with LED Bulbs - Two-light LED bundle with softboxes and stands.

    And I have been experimenting and working with these over the past few weeks, however I really feel like I am not getting the light i need. I am fairly new to Photograohy so am unsure if its me or the lights.

    I have a few hundred dollars I can put into additional lighting if need be, so any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Here are my more recent experiments with these lights:
    Vegan Carrot Soup - Rich, Creamy, Full Flavored Soup, Full Of Goodness

    I am shooting with a Nikon D750 and Nikkor 24 - 70mm f/2.8G ED

    Sorry for the length of this post, I hope someone can get me all sorted out though :)


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your first purchase should be the lighting bible. After that, I would start investing in some inexpensive speedlights, stands and triggers. Continuous light really doesn't allow for the best results, and more lights are always better. That said, your work isn't bad; a lot better than much of what passes for food photography these days, and your presentation/styling is very good.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I'm actually going to try the recipe.
     
  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  5. UpperSpoon

    UpperSpoon TPF Noob!

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    Umm firstly WOW! Thank you so much everyone for your responses and help.

    Tirediron, thank you very much for your kind words, I really appreciate that. I am definitely going to pick up that book, after just reading the summary, I feel I underestimated how important lighting actually is. As for the speed lights... I thought a flash was a big no no? did I miss something here?

    AstroNikon, lol. It is soo good.

    braineack, I checked out that post. I can tether to my computer while shooting!!!! Can't believe I didn't know that, and I have the bloody cord! it is going to improve my shotting dramatically. But yes, you are for the most part correct, I was shooting with both lights right on top of each other.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A very common misconception. Light is light; it doesn't matter what the source. People frequently think that continuous lights are better because they see fewer specular reflections; the truth is, those only occur because people don't understand how to use them. Because speed lights have so much more power than continuous lighting, once you get over the initial learning curve, they make life much, much easier. You can shoot at or above sync speed (depending on your camera & light), and you can use much smaller apertures for greater DoF.

    This image is 100% flash exposure, hand-held with nothing more than the standard diffusion cap that comes with it for a modifier:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Flash in the studio is pretty easy to work with, but for food like the stuff you're shooting, continuous light would be fine as well. Your shot of the soup bowls and the carrots and celery? NICE styling! I'd say keep working on lighting set-up and reflectors. Get the Light, Science, and Magic book, read that, or other books dedicated to close-up and or product photography. Lights are not as important as knowledge about how to place the lights, reflect light, and how to use "flags" to selectively block light. Small pieces of foil, pasteboard, cardboard, mirror, and modeling clay, wire, tape, and so on-all of those are commonly-used tools for close-ups in food and beverage photography.

    Flash is powerful, but continuous lighting is also fine for product work, and you can drop the shutter speeds pretty slow if needed, to get deep depth of field. Mixing flash with continuous fluorescent lighting might lead to some odd color issues. Flash is typically a slight bit warmer than so-called daylight; many fluorescent lights have odd spectral mixes, and also, do not match up all that well with most flash units.
     
  8. UpperSpoon

    UpperSpoon TPF Noob!

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    thanks so many guys. I am going to head on down to my local camera shop today and take some Speedlights for a test run.
    I believe it is definitely something I am going to need to learn to use soon or later, so may aswell start now.
     
  9. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Are you doing all if your work in one place? Studio strobes might be better suited for your work because they have the modeling light (like your continuous lighting) and the flash.

    The Adoraman Flashpoint series might be much better than speedlights, and roughly the same cost.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    oh rofl. I cant read. I thought you were asking how to recreate shots like those.

    I was looking at the reflection in the spoons and figured it was two modifiers touching each other...

    like in the video, I think you could benefit from that bounce card he's using to get more light on the front.
     
  11. UpperSpoon

    UpperSpoon TPF Noob!

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    So I went to the shop to get me some flash lighting. It turns out after all your help, that I need to go with spending my money on continuous lighting due to the fact that I am also trying to shoot video. Did not think about that when I first posted. I am just looking at getting a much bigger and brighter led soft box.

    I will probably still get some flash lighting in the future, but for now, on my budget, I need to be able to do both photo and video.

    @Braineack are those bounce cards better than just pieces of white foam core? That is what I am using presently.
     
  12. OldCam

    OldCam TPF Noob!

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    try a reflector. i made one of a piece of cardboard and stuck some alu foil over it, for a cheep try. it worked for me and now i bought one of these ' prof' ones that expand automatically as you unpack it out of their bag.
    place it opposed your flash. maybe under an angle. hope it helps.
     

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