Advanced Food Photography Lighting – How to light a hoagie
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Food Photography Video Outline Notes:
Welcome / Introduction
Advanced Food Photography Lighting: My name is Michael Ray and I’m a professional food photographer. This video is part of my web site, foodportfolio.com, where I share tips and tricks of professional food photography. In this video, I’ll explain how to light a hoagie. The shot I use as an example is one I did recently for a local grocery store chain and is not very exciting, but if you’re trying to learn more about food photography lighting, I think you’ll find it very informative. The simplicity of the shot helps you see exactly how and why, I did what I did…
Explain how this video happened
I didn’t create this photo with this video in mind, so I don’t have any behind the scenes photos of the shoot. What happened is that after the shoot, when I was going through all the images and I realized that I had a really detailed sequence of photos that illustrated just how a professional food photography shoot progressed. I would flick from one image to the next and I could see how the images developed as I added more and more lights.
I’m always looking for blog content, so I thought I’d show the sequence on my blog and write about it. Then, as I was working through the images, I found it a little difficult to get them in the right order. Some of the differences between shots was pretty subtle and it occurred to me that showing them side by side, or one image above the other, really didn’t do the trick. Then, I thought that fading between the images, better showed the changes. So that’s why this is a video and not one of my regular blog posts.
Light #1 – Placing the mail light
Scraping light for detail
Light #2 – Creating an edge light to give it life
Probably out of order but there…
Watch out for double shadows
Light #3 – Lighting in layers
Above and behind (large) reflective surface
Something relatively new for me
Light #4 – Adding front light 5:00 and above camera axis
More than just fill
Lighting in layers
Second mail light (think shape)
Mirrors #1 – Adding detail light
4:00 and above camera axis
Give shape to the detail
Light from above camera axis
Mirrors #2 – Adding a little sparkle detail light
3:30 at camera axis
Gives more shape to the detail
Okay to light from beside as opposed to below
Mirrors #3 – Adding a little light to the details
7:00 above camera axis
Before it’s over, ask what it needs
Look in the deep shadows
Don’t overdue it…
This is hard to do…
That’s how I lit this hoagie, but I’m sure every professional has their own way of doing it. There are no rights or wrongs in food photography. It’s too subjective for that. There’s just more and less successful ways of doing something. And I realize that you’ll probably don’t have all these lights and mirrors, and that’s okay. What I’m hoping you came away with, is the importance of seeing light. Seeing light is what for photography is all about.
Take away points:
◆ Light for shape and then texture.
◆ You need to learn how to see light, what’s it’s doing.
◆ Experience will teach you right from wrong
◆ It’s okay to fail / it’s an experiment
◆ Lighting is easy, learning to see light, is the hard part.
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