Food Photography Lighting – High Key


food photography of french toast

Food Photography Lighting – High Key

What is high-key lighting for food photography

If you ask ten different food photographers, you’ll get probably get tend different answers about what it is exactly, that makes for high-key lighting. It’s very subjective, but here is my definition and it’s not all about lighting.  For example, you just can’t have high key lighting when the subject matter is dark in nature.  It just don’t work.  If you talk about high-key lighting, you have to have a high-key subject.  If you don’t, I don’t really know what you have.  Like I said, it’s subjective… :o)

The subjective, has to be light, the surface has to be light, and the props have to be light.  Clear s good too, but if the objects are in the frame, the lighter the better.

Another thing that makes for a good high-key photo is the lack of dark shadows.  The shadows need to be relatively open, with lots of fill light.  Dark shadows are not a good thing in this case.

Most of the time, high key lighting is characterized with “over lighting the background to a point to where it will sometimes go to pure white.

How it makes you feel?

To me, High key food photography lighting brings to mind, early morning.  I think I know why too.  It’s because being so light it makes you almost squint, like you just woke up or something.  And that’s probably why I think this type of food photography lighting works so well for breakfast type dishes.

Image Title: French Toast
Client: Giant Eagle Markets
Camera / Digital Back: Arca Swiss 6×9 View Camera with Phase One P45+ Digital Back
Lens:  120 mm Schneider Kreuznach
Shutter Speed: 1/125th second
Aperture: f 8
Lighting Equipment: Norman strobes with Chimera soft boxes
Main Light Source: Norman Strobe with Chimera small box

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