Recently in my Advertising Photography class we were given the assignment of shooting a few different food items in different lighting environments; namely available light, flash, and continuous tone hot light. The photos below are examples from the latter two, respectively. Chronologically, the first thing that I approached was shooting with the hot lights, as that was my area of greatest familiarity in this setting. With some encouragement from my professor, I found myself breaking away from my usual harsh, 45 degree light that I tend to gravitate toward in the studio setting for a slightly less aggressive shot using a fill light to suppress the shadows. After that shot was done I found myself with two photos that are very similar, that I am fairly happy with, that also “do” fairly different things, all things considered. In the instance of the single light shot, I feel like the photo itself isn’t necessarily as much about the subject as the other may be, which on its own may not be the worst thing in the world, but in this case it doesn’t necessarily fulfill the assignment as directly.
For the third photo, I was experimenting with an off camera flash unit for what I’m pretty sure was the first time. Having not really shot with flash much before at all, this came with an other set of challenges beside coming up with good compositions. The main one in question being shooting with a slow enough shutter speed that the shutter itself didn’t end up in the photo, which I learned the hard way. In a more direct sense, I got to see first hand why flash would be so prevalent in studio photography, especially when the subject is food. Rarely in any other set of circumstances would you shoot at f22 and ISO 100 at 1/125th of a second shutter speed, which was strange enough on its own.