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photographing

food

WINDOW
l i g h t in g

is s ue 1

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Window Lighting

In This Issue

The Tungsten Studio

13

The Picture Frame Diffuser

An inexpensive, small, and portable diffuser that fits on


your counter

The Big Stack

An introduction to the tungsten countertop studio and


shooting pancakes

A Bloody and Blocking

Controlling where your light falls with a bunch of Bloody


Marys

Directing your Lighting

A closer look at changing your lights direction.

A Doughnut 2 Ways

2 different looks on one subject.

22
25
29
32
35

Introduction

Light Makes Shadows

An introduction to the Window Light Set-up

The Daylight Studio

5
8
12
13
16
19

Light & Onions

An exploration of hard and soft light.

Light & Carrots

Digging deeper and further understanding quality of


light .

29

The Table Top Reflector

Portable, lightweight, and perfect for the shooter


without a free hand.

White on White

Understanding why what you and your camera see are


different.

Shaded Window Light

Photographing Food is written and shot by Taylor


Mathis. Taylor is a food and lifestyle photographer
based in Charlotte, NC. He blogs about food and food
photography on Taylor Takes a Taste and is the owner
of Taylor Mathis Photography.

Exploring reflective surfaces and qulaity of light.

Any questions, comments and concerns can be sent to

Backlighting Beer

Executing a theme and trying a new lighting style

contact@photographingfood.com

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The window on the right is our key


light. Notice how the shadow falls
on the left side of the orange. With
a one light set up, the shadows will
always appear on the opposite side
of the key light.

Light Makes

Shadows
Understanding and learning how to
control these shadows is the goal.

The lighting examples


in this issue are all done with
what I call a window light set
up. You dont always have
to use a window. It can be
an open garage door or an
artificial light source. In a
window light set there will
be only one light source called
the key light. This key light will
come from only one direction
and the light source will be
perpendicular to your set.
This set up will always
create one set of shadows
that fall opposite the lit side
of your subject. If your light is
on the left then your shadows
will fall on the right. If the light
is on the right, your shadows
will fall on the left. If the light
is behind the subject you will
see shadows in front of the
subject. And if the light source
is in front of the subject? You
guessed it, the shadows will fall
photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t

behind the subject.


These shadows can be
very harsh. To lighten them up,
you can use a reflector to reflect
light back onto the subject
and fill in the shadows. This
will lower the contrast of your
image. You dont need anything
fancy; a piece of white foam
board is perfect. Experiment
with the distance between
the reflector and the subject.
The closer the reflector is, the

more fill and the lighter the


shadows will be.
The amount of fill you
add is up to you. Move the
reflector closer or farther
from the subject until you
find the right amount of
fill for your image. Every
example in this volume will
have different shadows. Look
closely at how they behave in
different situations and with
different subjects.

Notice how the left side


of the orange has a
shadow on it. With no
fill card, this shadow is
prominent and dark.

This orange has a


reflector placed close
to it. The white foam
board reflects light
back in and fills in the
shadows. Notice how
there is less contrast
than with no fill.

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The
Daylight
Studio

Opening your garage door creates a


beautiful daylight studio.

ou dont need expensive


lighting gear to take
beautiful pictures of your
food. Using the power
of the sun, you can
create captivating and mouthwatering
images.

A daylight studio can be created
in a variety of locations. Your daylight
studio should have light coming in
from one direction. A window in your
kitchen, living room, or bedroom are

great options. Look for a window that


has an unobstructed view and lets
plenty of light in. Ideally, you would
want a north or south facing window,
but any window light can work. The
quality of light will depend on the
time of year and time of day, where
you are in the world, the direction that
your window faces, and the weather.
The light available to you will change
throughout the day, so experiment and
try different windows at different times

photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t

of the day. If you dont have a window


available to you, dont worry. Try your
garage!

When a garage door is open, a
large directional light source has been
created. This directional light is perfect
for an instant studio. The large area of
a garage will give you plenty of room
in which to work. In the following
examples, I will demonstrate how to
take beautiful pictures using a daylight
studio.
4

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HARD Light

All Images and Content Taylor Mathis

When shooting with daylight, use the


daylight white balance mode.

& Onions

Harsh shadows, edges, specular


quality, over exposed hilights, not
appetizing

Not all light is the same. Some light will have
a hard quality to it while other light will have a softer
quality. You can determine the quality of the light by
looking at the shadows cast by your subject. If the
shadows have sharp defined edges, then you are
dealing with a hard light source. As you can see from
the pictures, this direct sunlight entering the garage
creates hard shadows, blown out highlights, and an unappetizing look to the food.

When dealing with foods, glassware, or other
props that have a reflective quality to them, hard light
will leave you with small specular highlights that can
blow out very quickly. With a blown out highlight, the
camera records the highlight as pure white with no
information. These blown out highlights can cause
problems with exposing the image properly especially
in images with a large tonal range.
If a hard light source is causing your food to look
unappetizing, you need to change it! Dont worry, this
is easy and inexpensive to do. Flip the page to find out
how.
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Notice the blown


out highlights and
harsh shadows on
the onions.

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soft Light
& Onions

Soft shadow edges, diffused quality,


controlled hilights, beautiful food


A soft light source will make your dishes look delicious! Soft
undefined shadow edges are a sign that you are working with
a soft light source. On an overcast day, the sun shining through
the clouds will create a soft diffused light source. If there are no
clouds in the sky, you can make diffused light by placing diffusion
material between your subject and light source. This will create a
nice soft diffused light source. On the next page, you will see what
the onions look like with a white bed sheet used as a diffuser.

Find your
Hang your
Make any
diffusion material diffusion material Adjustments
I like using a thin white
Raise the garage door.
bed sheet as diffusion material.
Experiment with different
Attach the diffusion material to
materials such as wax paper,
the bottom of the garage door
parchment paper, or other white
using A clamps. If photographing next
translucent fabrics. Any white and
to window, attach the fabric to a curtain
translucent material will work. To avoid rod or tape over the window.
adding a colorcast to your subject, only
use white diffusion material.

photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t

Take a step back and see


that your material is covering
your set evenly. As you work,
the sun will move across
the sky and may fall outside of your
diffusion area. Make any adjustments
necessary to ensure that your set is
covered evenly.

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Fi n al
S h ot

Camera Settings
ISO: 1600
Aperture: f/5
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
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When working
in a daylight studio the
quality of light will change
throughout the day. As I
have mentioned before,
there are factors like time
of year, weather, direction
that your window faces,
and time of day that will
effect the quality of your
light. In this example, I am
using the same garage
door and set up as in
the Hard Light & Onions
example. The difference
is that it is now later in
the day and the sun has
changed positions in the
sky.

As the sun moves
across the sky, from east
to west, it will change
the quality of light that
comes through your
window or garage door. In
the Hard Light & Onions
example, the photos were
taken around 1:30 in the
afternoon. At this time
of day, the sun was at an
angle that allowed for hard
light to shine through the
garage door. I didnt like the
look of this hard light, so I
used a diffusion material to
diffuse the light.

It is now later in
the day, and the sun has
now started to go behind
the roof the house. This
angle and obstruction
by the house provides a
semi-hard quality to the
light.

The time of day


will effect the
quality of your
light. Experiment
with different
times to find what
works best.
On the next page,
you will find the final
version of the image.
Notice how the shadow
line on the left is hard
and defined, but not
as hard and defined as
in the onion example.
Also, take note of the
highlights on the carrots.
They are bright, but
not blown out like the
onions.

Semi-Hard Light
& Carrots
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Fi n al
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Camera Settings
ISO: 2000
Aperture: f/9
Shutter Speed: 1/250 second
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
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This Tabletop
reflector reflects
light back onto the
subject, filling in the
shadows.

Super Soft light


& Carrots

A large diffusion source close to the


subject creates beautiful soft light.
In this example, I am
using the same semi-hard
light source, but have added
a diffuser to it. Using the same
large bed sheet from the Soft
Light & Onions example, I
have created a softer look for
the carrots. The sun shining
through the sheet illuminates
it and makes it a new light
source. The larger and closer
this diffused light source is
to the subject, the softer the
light will be. You may notice
that I have placed a Tabletop
Reflector on the left side of
the subject. This reflector
will not be in the image. The
reflector will reflect light
back onto the set filling in
the shadows and reducing
the intensity of the shadow
that falls on the left side of

the bowl. If you are looking


for a light and soft feel to your
image, using a large diffused
light source, reflector for fill,
and a light colored background
will help in achieving this.

On the next page, you
will find the final image. Notice
how the shadow on the left
side of the bowl is subtle and
less defined than the shadow
in the semi hard light example.
Also, take note of the difference
in the intensity and length of
the highlights on the carrots.
Reflective surfaces reflect
what they see. When a large
white diffusion panel is placed
close to them they will see this
source and leave a long white
highlight.

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Camera Settings
ISO: 2500
Aperture: f/9
Shutter Speed: 1/60 second
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
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The
Tabletop

Reflector
Simple to make and
perfect for the shooter
without a free hand.
The Tabletop Reflectors V shape
allows it to stand up by itself
while reflecting light back onto
your subject. This makes it perfect
for when you have to shoot by yourself
and dont have a free hand. Its small
collapsible size makes it a great travel
companion. To make this reflector you
will need 2 equal sized pieces of white
foam board and duct tape.

The pieces of foam board can be


any size that you like. If you are
traveling, size your reflector to fit
in your camera bag. Make sure
the two pieces are the SAME size. Line
up two of the edges.

Trim a piece of duct tape to the


length of the two edges. Hold the
edges together with one hand.
With your other hand, lay the duct tape
along the top of the edges. Run your
fingers along the tape and the edges to
ensure they are stuck together.

Fold down the edges of the tape


onto the outside of the foam
board. Plan on traveling with your
reflector? Cover the outside and corners
of the foam board in duct tape. This will
increase the reflectors durability.

Trim off any tape that may be


hanging over the edges and your
reflector is complete! Stand it up
on a table and open it into a V shape.
Placing this reflector on the shadow side
of your subject will reflect light back in
and fill in the shadows.
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Correct Exposure
with

White on White
What you see and what
your camera sees can be
different.

Are you using the correct
exposure given to you by your camera?
Have you ever noticed that the whites in
your images dont turn out white? If you
are having this issue, you are not alone. To
illustrate the white on white, I am using
a white set, white props, and a white
subject. Here is how to solve the problem.

The base of my set is a white


folding table. The background
is a sheet of white panel board I
found at the hardware store.

I attached the background to


a light stand using an A clamp.

There was hard light coming


through the garage door.
Notice the harsh shadow on the
opposite side of the cup. This is
not the quality of light that I want for my
image.

To diffuse the light, I used


the same diffusion method as
the Soft Light & Onions example.
I hung a bed sheet on the bottom of the
garage door.

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After stacking my white doughnuts on a white plate, I am
ready to shoot. Everything in my scene is white, and I want my
image to be a bright and vibrant white. I set my camera to the
correct and normal exposure. Click. The result is the picture
that you see in square 1. The whites arent white. They are grey.
If you have ever taken a picture in the snow, I am sure you have
encountered this same issue. When a scene is filled with white,
the cameras metering system will read the scene as grey and
will think that grey is the correct exposure. To fix this, you will
have to increase the exposure. You can increase your exposure
by increasing the ISO, shooting at a wider aperture, or a slower
shutter speed.
In the images below, I increased the shutter speed in 1/3
stop increments until I began to blow out my highlights. The red
indicates blown out highlights. When shooting white on white,
you want to preserve all the detail in your subject. Blowing out
your highlights loses that detail. For my camera, +2 2/3 from the
normal camera exposure is the correct exposure for this image.
The picture is a bright white and the highlights arent blow out.
On the next page is a larger version of the image.

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Camera Settings
ISO: 800
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/50 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

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Fi n al
S h ot

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Shaded Window Light



Lets move from the garage to an indoor set up. This set up uses a sliding glass door as the key light. Many of you
may be shooting in a similar situation. This window faces east. Look at the top image of the scene outside. Do you see the
shadow line outside of the house? Notice how the sun is brightly shining on the fence and not on the stone patio. If it was
earlier in the day, the sun would be shining directly through the window. In this shot, the sun has already passed over the
house and the window is now in the shade. This shaded light is softer than the direct sunlight you would find earlier in the
day. If you have a window like this, try shooting at different times of the day to find when the light is best for you.

Look at the two images below. Notice how one has diffusion material and the other doesnt have any. Do you see
how the reflective slate background acts differently in each shot? On the next page we will further explore these differences.

NO Diffusion

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Diffusion

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Reflective surfaces reflect what they see. In this


image the slate background and the martini glass
are both reflective surfaces. They will behave
differently in diffused light and non-diffused light.
Under diffused light they will see the solid white
sheet. In the non-diffused light they will see the
glass window.

Can you see the


differences in the
highlights on the glass?
Which do you prefer?

This is the same slate


background. Can you see
the differences?
Which do you prefer?

Diffusion
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No Diffusion
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The one I prefer

Camera Settings
ISO: 1000
Aperture: f/4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/80 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
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Backlighting Beer

A backlighting set up:


Notice how the light is
behind the subject.


You have seen photos with the key light placed on the
side. Lets try something different. Place the light behind
the subject. Backlighting your set will cause shadows to fall
in front of the subject and the back of the set to be brighter
than the front. When shooting liquids, backlighting allows
light to shine through and illuminate the subject.

Decide on a Theme and Execute a message



With every shot there are
dozens of themes that will each
convey a different message. The
clearer your message, the more
successful your image will be. I want
to set a scene that you would see in
a bar. I have scattered the peanuts to
show that some were dropped while
grapping a hand full. For the beer, I
want it to be bright, almost glowing.
Instead of a full head of foam on
top, I want to show the legs of the
foam that stick to the glass as you are
drinking. To make these legs you
pour part of the beer in and then use
a spoon to remove the foam.


When shooting beer, a room
temperature beer will produce more
foam than an ice cold one. If you are
trying to achieve an icy frosted glass
look, use dulling spray to give the glass
a frosted look. Storing the glass in the
freezer and then pouring a warm beer
will not work. For this shot, I didnt
want an icy glass look, so I used a clean
beer glass. When selecting a glass
remember to use one that works with
your theme. Beer wouldnt be served in
a martini glass.

Pour the beer until it is about
1/3 of the way full. There will be a thick
head of foam on top.

photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t


Let the foam settle. Using a
spoon scoop out the foam and place
it into a bowl. Scoop, pulling the foam
up the side of the glass. This will leave
legs behind. Leave legs on both
sides of the glass.

Set your exposure. Increase the
exposure from what the camera says
is normal. Choose an exposure that
gives the beer a bright glowing look,
but doesnt blow out any highlights.
Notice that with our backlighting
set up the shadows fall in front of
our subject and the beer has a nice
glowing look.

19

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Fi n al
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Camera Settings
ISO: 1600
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/50 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
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The
Tungsten
Studio

o you work during the


ideal daylight shooting
hours? Do short winter
days hurt your shooting
time? Do you have a
house full of children and the only time
that you can take pictures is at night?
Do you live in a small apartment with
poor window light? If you answered yes
to any of these questions then I have
the solution for you.
This tungsten counter top studio
will allow you to shoot at night. Its

compact size is perfect for the smallest


of shooting spaces. Its inexpensive
pieces make it perfect for all budgets.
The tungsten counter top studio
system centers around a 500 watt
tungsten work light. You can find these
lights at your local hardware store
for around $6-12. They are easy to
assemble and bright enough to light
your whole counter.

A word of caution. THIS LIGHT
GETS VERY HOT. You should never leave
it on unattended and keep out of the

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reach of children. There is no on or off


switch. Plugging it into a power strip
that has an on and off switch will give
you the ability to turn the light on
or off. Again, THE LIGHT GETS VERY
HOT, do not leave it on for extended
periods of time. I arrange my set
with the light off and turn it on only
when I am actively shooting. If you
keep these practices in mind, you will
find no problem creating beautiful
images at night.

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The

Picture Frame
Diffuser
An inexpensive, small,
and portable diffuser
The second piece to the tungsten
counter top studio is the diffuser. This
diffuser can be made from items that you
probably have around your house. It is
small, lightweight, and can quickly fold
up for storage. With this diffuser you are
able to create a window for the light to
shine through.
All you need is a picture frame,
Velcro, a white undershirt (that
you can cut up), and black foam
board. The size of the picture
frame will dictate the size of the window
that you create. For this example I used an
11x14 frame that was made out of plastic.
You can use whatever frame you like as
long as Velcro can adhere to it.

Place 10 pieces of rough Velcro


on the frame. Place one in each
corner of the frames face and two
in the middle on the face of the 14 inch
sides. Place the remaining four pieces on
the corners on the edge of the 11 inch
sides.

For the diffusion material, use a


thin white fabric with the ability
to stretch tight when pulled
across the frame. A white undershirt
will work perfectly! Cut the fabric to the
size of your frame. Place the soft Velcro
pieces on the corners and middle of the
shirt so that they will line up with the
rough Velcro on your frames face.

For the frame to stand up, you


will need two rectangles that are
the height of the frame. Measure
and cut a piece of foam board so it is the
size of your picture frame (11x14) and cut
this piece in half creating two rectangles
that are 11 inches high. Place two soft
pieces of Velcro on each rectangle so
that the line up with the rough Velcro on
the frame.

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To assemble your diffuser


pick up the shirt and attach
the soft Velcro to the rough
Velcro on the face of the frame.

Pull the shirt to cover the edges


of the frame. Aim for a tight
flat surface when the fabric is
attached. Adjust the fabric size
if needed.

10

Attach one of the foam board


sides.

Attach the second foam side.

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9
10

Stand the frame up. If it is


lopsided make an adjustment
to the side boards. The frame
should stand up by itself.
Your frame is ready to be lit!
Flip to the next page to see
the difference this diffuser
makes.

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green landscape
the way to go

Bare
Light

The 500 watt work lamp packs a very bright light in a small
package. Remember that this light will heat up while you are using it.
Without any diffusion, the light is a very hard light source casting hard
shadow edges. Look at the shadow cast by the orange cup. See how
it is hard and defined? This is similar to the quality of light seen in the
Hard Light & Onions example. For a softer more pleasing light, place the
picture frame diffuser in front of the light.

Diffused
Light


With the picture frame diffuser placed in front of the light you can
see a distinct difference. Look at the shadow cast by the cup. Notice how
the shadow is softer and less defined. This diffuser will cast a beautiful,
soft light over our set. In the next few examples, I will show you how you
can use this lighting set up to create beautiful images when natural light
is unavailable. When using the diffuser, remember not to place it too
close to the light and to use the work light only when shooting.

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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

The countertop
lighting set easily
fits on your kitchen
counter. I am using
a painted board as a
background.

All Images and Content Taylor Mathis

The Big Stack

In this example, I will walk through using the tungsten counter top studio to shoot a stack of pancakes. When using this lighting set up for the first time, you will need to adjust your cameras white balance setting. In past examples,
we have been shooting with daylight and your cameras daylight white balance mode or auto balance mode will work
fine. When working with a 500 Watt work lamp as a lighting source adjustments need to be made.

The countertop
lighting set easily
fits on your kitchen
counter. I am using
a painted board as a
background.

No lighting

Daylight Balance

Tungsten Balance

This first image is what the


plate looks like with an auto white
balance and no lighting at all. This
was shot only using the overhead
lighting that was in the kitchen.
Notice how it is flat, directionless, and
unappealing.

This image is of the plate with


the work lamp turned on. Notice the
difference this makes. The ridge on
the plate is defined and overall looks
more visually appealing. There is one
problem though. It is orange! This
is what happens when shooting a
tungsten light source in the daylight
white balance mode. If using the
auto white balance mode you will see
some orange tint, but not this severe.
The solution is to change the white
balance mode in your camera to
Tungsten.

This is the same image as


before, but with the cameras white
balance mode changed to tungsten.
When using a tungsten light, you
must shoot in the tungsten white
balance mode. Notice how the white
plate is now a vibrant white! When
you go back to shooting something in
daylight, dont forget to change back
to the daylight white balance setting.

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Buyer: Patraporn Tardtong (moowantardtong@gmail.com)


Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Placed on a counter top, the picture


frame diffuser and work light make a
workable studio in even the smallest
of living spaces.

If you live in a dorm


room, small apartment, or
anywhere else with limited
shooting space, dont worry.
Using the tungsten counter top
studio, you can quickly create
a studio on your counter top.
Above is the lighting set up for
the pancake stack shot. The
light is situated on the left side
with a reflector on the right.
Here are a few tips for
styling your pancakes. Take

your time when cooking your


pancakes. Use a measuring
scoop and cook them one
at a time to ensure they are
similar sizes and browned to
your liking.

Stack

Adjust

Garnish

Once your pancakes are


cooked, choose the most
visually appealing ones.
Save the one with the best
browning and most ideal shape for
the top. Carefully stack them one on
top of the other until your stack is at
your desired height. Choose the most
circular edges to face the camera.

Make any adjustments that


you need to. Turn any edges
that you want and ensure that
your stack is not leaning. While
adjusting, look at the stack from the
same eye level and perspective that the
camera will shoot from. Check the final
arrangement through the camera.

Once youve arranged


the pancakes, add the
garnish. Using a spoon, I
place the pecan garnish on
top of the stack and let them tumble
over the edges. Look through your
camera to make sure that your
arrangements will show up in the
shot.

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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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1,2,3... POur
Your lighting, exposure, and pancakes are all set
up. The final step is the syrup pour! When you think
about pancakes, you know they arent complete without
a pool of syrup cascading down the sides. After all, why
would you stack them if you didnt want the syrup to run
down the sides? When pouring the syrup, you have one
chance to get the shot right. To ensure that you capture
that perfect pour, use a tripod and a remote. With one
hand hold the remote; Pour the syrup and with the other hand. Click away and capture as many pictures as you
need to get the shot. When shooting multiple pictures,
your focus can shift between shots. When the lens is
on autofocus, it will refocus with each shot. Moving the
syrup around could cause the lens to change change its
focus after each shot. To ensure that your pancakes remain in focus, switch your lens to manual focus. This will
prevent it from refocusing while shooting. With the lens
in manual focus, focus on the front of the pancakes. Your
focus will not readjust while shooting. Below are the 12
shots I took while pouring the syrup. On the next page is
the final shot.

Consequat. Duis aute irure


dolor in reprehenderit in
voluptate velit esse cillum
dolore eu fugiat nulla
pariatur. Excepteur sint
occaecat cupidatat non
proident.

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Buyer: Patraporn Tardtong (moowantardtong@gmail.com)


Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Fi n al
S h ot

Camera Settings
ISO: 640
Aperture: f/4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/160 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
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Buyer: Patraporn Tardtong (moowantardtong@gmail.com)


Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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A Bloody and Blocking


With black foam board, you can control where light falls on your set. This
allows you to draw the eye to one part of the set.


Above is a picture of a set being lit by a 500 watt
work light behind the picture frame diffuser. The light is on
the left hand side causing the shadows to fall on the right
side of the glass. Notice how the light covers the majority of
the set. The lights range begins to fall off and darken in the
back left corner. The bottom picture shows what the final
framing of the image will be.

No Blocking

photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t


Above is the same set as the image to the left, but
this time with a piece of black foamboard placed in front
of the picture frame diffuser. Look what happens to the
light over the set. Do you see how the back half of the set
is darker than before? Blocking the light with foam board
prevents light from directly falling on parts of the set.
Below is what the lighting will look like in the image.

Blocking

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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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With the lighting set up, it


is time to style the set. I am
going for a crowded, dark,
and moody Bloody Mary
Bar. Blocking the light in the back of
the shot will draw attention to the
Bloody Mary in the center and help
create the dark and moody scene.
Play around with different props.
Try adding different numbers of
glasses.

Turn on the light and


see what it looks like lit.
Remember to look through
the camera and make any
adjustments to the position of items.

3
add ice.

Salt the rims of each glass.


Run a lime around the rim of
the glass then twist glass rim
on a plate of salt. Carefully

photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t

Add beer (Bloody Maria) or


vodka/water (bloody Mary).
Carefully pour the Bloody Mary
mix. Stir.

Add garnishes and make any


last adjustments that you
need to make. Style from the
angle that your camera will be
capturing the image.

30

Buyer: Patraporn Tardtong (moowantardtong@gmail.com)


Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Fi n al
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Camera Settings
ISO: 640
Aperture: f/9
Shutter Speed: 1/30 second
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Directing

Need a new look to your images? Try a new direction with you lighting. You can place

your

Front lighting, back lighting, left side and right side light lighting are the four basic

LIghting

the direction of the lighting is changed.

the light anywhere around the subject, but there are four main directions to light from.
directions. Below are examples of each. Look at how the look of a set can change when

Front LIghting
In this type of lighting, the light is placed infront of
the subject. Notice how the background is darker than the
foreground. Shooting with this type of lighting set-up can
leave your images looking flat.

Right Side Lighting


In this set-up, the light is placed on the right of the
set and the shadows fall on the left. The reflector is on the
left side to fill light back into the set. Notice how the set is
brighter on the right side and light falls off towards the left
side.

photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t

Back Lighting
This is one of my favorite lighting set-ups. The light
is placed behind the subject with a fill card in the front.
Notice how the shadows fall in front of the subject.

Left Side Lighting


This is the same as the right set-up, but with the
shadow and light on different sides. The light on the left
causes shadows to fall on the right. The reflector is on the
right side to fill light back into the set. Notice how the set is
brighter on the left side and light falls off towards the right
side.
32

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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Back Lighting
Here are the same wings with backlighting and a different camera
angle. The light is not directly behind the wings but slightly askew.
Notice how the light reflects off the wet sauce and the shadows fall
in front of the wings. In the next image I will move the light farther to
the left.

Camera Settings
ISO: 4000
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/160 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Back Left Lighting


While there are four main directions from which you can light, there
are an infinite number in between. Here is what the image looks like
when the light is moved more to the left. It is now between left side
and back lighting. Notice how the shadows fall differently in this setup.

Camera Settings
ISO: 4000
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/160 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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A Doughnut 2 ways
2 camera angles, 2 lighting directions, 1 subject

As you have seen throughout this issue, there are a variety of ways to light your subject.
I encourage you to try all of these methods and experiment to figure out what lighting best
fits your photographic style. If you like harder, edgier, images then hard light may be what
you gravitate to. If you like soft inviting images then super soft diffused lighting may intrigue
you. When shooting, dont forget to experiment and try new things by changing your direction and camera angle. Below are two images of the same doughnuts with the two different
lighting patterns.

In this shot of the doughnuts, I am using left side lighting with the 500 watt lamp and
picture frame diffuser. The soft light created by the diffuser spills over the set. On the right
side is a large piece of white foam board. The foam board reflects the light back onto the
set filling in the shadows. This nice even lighting is great for highlighting the number of
doughnuts in the image.


In this second shot of the doughnuts, I have moved the light behind. This backlighting
leaves a brighter background with a darker foreground. Notice how the shadows fall in front of
the doughnuts. Notice how changing the camera angle reveals more of the doughnuts shape.
This soft backlighting casts a soft and flattering light over the doughnuts. This image has a
foam board reflector filling light back in. If you are looking for more contrast, you can remove
the reflector.
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Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Fi n al
S h ot

Camera Settings
ISO: 2500
Aperture: f/10
Shutter Speed: 1/200 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro

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Buyer: Patraporn Tardtong (moowantardtong@gmail.com)


Transaction ID: 5PK966686A454951S

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Fi n al
S h ot

Camera Settings
ISO: 640
Aperture: f/3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/200 second
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro
photographing FOOD I s s u e 1 W i n d o w L i g h t

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