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  #1  
Old May 18th, 2010, 01:04 AM
James Yu James Yu is offline
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Default green mango

green mango with dipping called bagoong

50mm
580exII off camera at 1/16 bare

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  #2  
Old May 18th, 2010, 01:58 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Yu View Post
green mango with dipping called bagoong

50mm
580exII off camera at 1/16 bare
Hi James,

Yummy! It's a good subject to try some different lighting techniques on.

I'd suggest using some backlighting with fill light from the front. When you use a larger lightsource, e.g. a reflection screen, the shadows will be smoother and the setup will look more 3D.

Of course it is also a good excuse to prepare another mango ;-)

Cheers,
Bart
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  #3  
Old May 18th, 2010, 02:38 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
When you use a larger lightsource, e.g. a reflection screen, the shadows will be smoother and the setup will look more 3D.
Bart,

Doesn't it still need a another light to build the 3 D feeling?

and where would you put it? I was thinking about using a large light source to set over all illumination and a smaller high angled light for creating defined shadows and specular reflections so it seems juicy. However, I don't shoot food, I'd just eat it!

Asher
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  #4  
Old May 18th, 2010, 04:05 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Bart,

Doesn't it still need a another light to build the 3 D feeling?
Hi Asher,

I don't think so. In fact a single light might work, but it depends on it's size and other ambient light/reflections. When I was being trained as a photographer I had to first learn to use a single lightsource and understand the implications of angle and size/distance. Only then, to bring subject contrast x lighting contrast = total contrast into the range of the film/sensor capabilities, fill light or reflectors are used. One can tweak by using accent lights (or mirrors or gobos), but that shouldn't influence the exposure too much, it's just icing on the cake (or in this case bagoong on the mango).

Quote:
and where would you put it?
Light from the front will remove all sense of depth, because shadows are reduced/removed. Light from the side creates maximum light+shadow. Light from the back will give more shadows than light, but will also add lots of direct reflections and rim lighting thus accentuating the juiciness. A large lightsource will produce smooth shadows and produce more fill due to ambient reflections, and one can even steer that by using mirrors/alu-foil as secondary lightsources or reflection screens (even colored ones).

There is lots of room for experimentation, but food photography is a specialism (and to make food look really good it may need to be prepared by using surrogate materials that one shouldn't eat...).

Cheers,
Bart
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  #5  
Old May 18th, 2010, 10:13 AM
Charles L Webster Charles L Webster is offline
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I'd suggest using the one speedlight from above and behind to create some specular reflections to make the food glisten and a simple bounce card in front for fill.

I've lit several food shoots this way and it gives very acceptable results easily. Very suitable for use in busy restaurants.
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  #6  
Old May 18th, 2010, 10:18 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Asher,

I don't think so. In fact a single light might work, but it depends on it's size and other ambient light/reflections. When I was being trained as a photographer I had to first learn to use a single lightsource and understand the implications of angle and size/distance. Only then, to bring subject contrast x lighting contrast = total contrast into the range of the film/sensor capabilities, fill light or reflectors are used.
Bart,

and the book you recommended several times, The Science off Light and Magic has been my best lighting reference. I reread it as a Bible. It also works as good or better then 10 mg of Ambien when I get to sleep!

In lighting, first I follow the advice to set the overall illumination then I build dimension and mood. Shooting people is very different, except for lips which fashion magazines lke to show as deliciously moist and juicy, LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
One can tweak by using accent lights (or mirrors or gobos), but that shouldn't influence the exposure too much, it's just icing on the cake (or in this case bagoong on the mango).
For this, continuous light or the use of modeling lights proportional to the power of the strobe, seems most practical. For product one can use inexpensive incandescent light and a blue plastic filter for correction. One easily get's great results with jewelry and small product with such simple setups and white card and aluminum reflectors.

Food however, as you point out, is a specialty and a little harder to make desirable!

Asher
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  #7  
Old May 18th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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Hi James,

I love food photography, I have studied it and practiced it for a couple of years now. In terms of lighting, the observations made by Bart are right on the money, those are the core concepts of lighting for food.

I would add a couple of things:

The camera angle and the bullseye composition work well in this photo.

The styling looks very casual, it is not polished to perfection (more on that below), that´s ok, but you have to align the whole thing in the same direction. IMO this particular dish would look great with window light as key, fresh mango salad and natural light, perfect. By the same token, the light blue in tyhe plate over black bg looks sophisticated to me, cold (and not appetizing), however that's rather subjective and culture-dependent.

Styling is a whole area of expertise in itself, easily the single most important part of food photography. Bad styling equals bad photo. Even for a casual shot, these mango slices look dry and the drips of sauce are too "shy", they seem to have fallen by accident, not as part of the design. If you really want (or need) to polish the styling, you´ll need slices neatly cut, selected among dozens and dozens of samples (from selected mangoes), watch their shape and relative proportion to each other, make them look moist and fresh, carefully place them on the plate to achieve certain visual effect..., and this is just for mango slices on a hero dish.
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  #8  
Old May 18th, 2010, 08:11 PM
James Yu James Yu is offline
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Thanks for reply guys... its a informative reply.. well i have to practice again.. :)
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