Taking the advice of Scott Libolt (a colleague photographer/Art Director and dear friend), I decided to experiment today using available light to produce food photography with the intent to give my images the appearance of occurring more naturally in the true “Still Life” style.
By carefully crafting the set in front of the glass brick window in my studio and defusing that light source with translucent white velum paper and re-directing that same light back onto the subject with just a few delicately angled thin mirror cards, the resulting image is quite satisfying. Plus, it had the additional benefit of minimizing the equipment load that is often problematic for locations shoots.
Now this is not going to work for every situation, but given that if the venue where my next location shoot takes place has the adequate window light, I may be trying this technique there. It would sure beat dragging all those studio lights, power cords and soft boxes out onto location. If I can replace them with nice lite weight reflector cards and a couple of stands, that would be great! Not to mention freeing up some time ordinarily spent setting strobe light ratios. This technique should give me even more opportunities to fine tune the details in the plated subjects.
©2015 Eric James Swearingen
I used to drink coffee from those cups