Because I don’t just go to eat a banana and go ‘Oh I might just take a photo of this before I eat it!’.
It may amaze you to know (actually, probably not…) that food photos that look good on the internet take time and practise. LOTS of time and practise. You should have seen mine when I started… (I’ve shown one recently, I don’t need to again!)
I spend actual hours just putting down some fruit or leftovers and taking photos of it just to get better (like I said in my Facebook post earlier this week, I truly believe no one ever stops learning with anything).
Earlier this week? I practised taking photos of my bananas using my Lowel Ego lights which I purchased about 4 months ago and have had NO time whatsoever to get the hang of using them properly. I have never taken photos with artificial light but I’ve now learned that just because I work from home, it doesn’t mean I am able to schedule my whole life around the perfect day light…
Every day at the gym (well, most days), I end my session with 10 minutes on the bike to cool down and load up a YouTube video that can teach me something. In the days leading up to this day, I was watching videos on how to use artificial light for food photography (and kind of regretting not investigating and then investing in an actual-proper flash setup, but that’s OK..).
So this is my disclaimer – I am not an expert! I am a video watcher (and you can be too).
Hi there, dining table.
Hi there! You’re not a banana?
Wow, she has an Android, WHO HAS AN ANDROID?
As you can see, I don’t have numerous unlimited tables – I paint/bash/sprinkle/scratch/glue things to/rub semolina on (a story for another day) pieces of MDF. There are such beautiful, professional, super-talented people making great food backgrounds but for a long time I didn’t really have the income for it (especially as it was just a hobby), so this works.
Anyway, to the point – this setup took me a pretty-little while to figure out so I wanted to share it.
This room was very poorly lit – day time but curtains totally shut. I shuffled the lights around a lot (I have two). From behind, opposite sides, on the front diagonal – they all produced different results. On this day, one on the back right corner of my set and one a little distance from the left side worked.
(Note bounce cards on right – the small bendy one came with the Lowel Ego lights).
TRIPOD TRIPOD TRIPOD TRIPOD TRIPOD TRIPOD Bbbbrrrrr…. RAH! (In the Panda tune, obviously. Does anyone even know what I am saying?).
& we’re back to a banana…
I think it would be VERY hard to shoot with these lights without a tripod (if you ask me with my 1 camera, 1 lense and 1 collection of not very experienced-experience). I like to shoot at 100 ISO whenever possible so that would contribute, but although the light is there, to get that bright-white look I did need quite the slow shutter speed and my hand is 100% Not Even Slightly that steady.
Is this post about banana or pasta?
1/6, as in, 1/6th of a second. SLOW.
You can kind of not-really see what this photo was like straight from the camera, but I was still very much practising and it was not the best example, so back to the banana.
Even slower. Lower F-Stop.
Saying the words like I have an idea.
And the reveal….
I got a bit spooked in that way where you look at something SO MUCH that you are sure it’s actually really super terrible and so badly lit and so artificial and SO unprofessional that you might as well sell your lights on Ebay right this second.
But then! I asked my gorgeous friend Merowyn (click here to see her super well-lit photos) and she promised me at least part of it was in my head and made me feel better enough to share this story with you.
EDITED – (A little Curve manip’, brightening etc in Photoshop … I might have gone too far… but I hear Lightroom can do similar).
What do you think? Are you a fan?
Or do you look at it and think ‘OH MY that is some bad lighting…’.
Seriously, I’d love to hear.
THE REASON WHY YOU DON’T SEE MUCH OF ME ON SNAPCHAT AND INSTA STORIES –
Because when this girl is taking photos, she’s doing it in tights, her oldest stripey jumper and a bad pony tail.
In the extremely unlikely event someone reading this has found it because they are considering buying or have bought Lowel Ego lights, my verdict is they’re worth it (well, I imported them, they are super expensive in Australia – email me if you want more info).
This is the danger of showing more of myself – I ramble.