learn by lighting something simple

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by redbourn, Oct 17, 2016.

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  1. redbourn

    redbourn No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Instead of driving myself crazy cooking a meal, photographing it and then eating it only lukewarm, only to find that the lighting wasn't good, and then realizing that I'd have to go through the same procedure again .. "tractor language!".

    I've decided to take some advice that's been offered to me by several kind people here.

    Practice lighting something simple first!

    So I tried something today.

    The light source was on the right and there was a reflector on the left.

    I will make any changes suggested and then replace the props with a cooked meal.

    So what do you think?

    Only about the lighting.

    Thanks,

    Michael smaler lighting test.jpg


     
  2. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Lighting is good but the image subject itself is physically flat so lighting is easier.
    Use one of your plates, use the same background you commonly use.
    Then try using fruit and candies and mix up objects as your food on a plate is multiple shapes and colors creating various shadows and textures. ie, try to recreate the complexities you have in shooting food without using cooked food.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Exactly this! Make a prop meal. It doesn't even have to be food. Some reflective liquid (coffee & glycerine), so random shapes, some linear shapes, various colours... You could even work with packaged food, sort of a 'still life' approach.
     
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  4. redbourn

    redbourn No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very good advice, thank you ..
     
  5. redbourn

    redbourn No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK today I set up a red plate with some props and tried to get the best lighting.

    There was some glare on the plate at around 11:00 o'clock and I couldn't get rid of it.

    Moved the camera and moved the reflector but it wouldn't go away.

    I actually took a photo of if but lost it after formatting before take the food shot.

    Anyway a little of the glare is still there in the food shot.

    So how do you establish where a glare is coming from? And how to remove it?

    I also need to figure out how to make skinless chicken look cooked and not rare. chicken and beets.JPG

    I could drop them into a hot cast iron pan for a few moments to singe them but the dressing would get singed too.

    Thanks for any feedback,

    Michael
     
  6. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you remember that professional food photographers do not use edible food, hardly ever. So use chemicals and such to make it look good.
    As to the chicken, Yes, it looks raw. Mix a wash with food color and brush them darker??
    Remove the reflection in post-processing if it's being obstinate.
     
  7. redbourn

    redbourn No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the reply.

    But my issue is regarding the lighting. I saw an unwanted reflection but couldn't find a was way to block it.

    Jamie Oliver has sold over 250 million dollars of books and as far as I know he and David Loftus only use real food.

    They use somebody to do the plating.

    http://www.davidloftus.com/food
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Don't worry about a tiny little reflection like that. Fix it in post. If you try and get it down to that level of perfection, you will drive yourself bat-s**t crazy.
     
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  9. redbourn

    redbourn No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks.

    But why when I saw the lone plate on the table with the reflection was I unable to get rid of it by moving both the plate and softbox.

    I knew it would show in the final photo.

    Mchael
     
  10. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    Put a piece of food in front of it. Looks like one piece of greenery would have covered it.
     
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  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Looking at the table behind the plate, I see three white streaks which look like it might be a window with vertical blinds, narrow windows, or something similar directly behind. I'm guessing that's the source of the reflection on your plate.
     
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  12. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    And David Loftus is a professional photographer.
    And he has a professional plater also?

    I wonder if they use professional equipment too.
    David Loftus has many "Masterclass" youtube videos. He seems to be very artistic about his images using DOF to soften the image to his liking, using a Medium Format or D4 cameras. Of the few I've looked at he does prefer natural lighting, with reflectors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
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