Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk
Thread started 28 Jan 2015 (Wednesday) 23:44
Prev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

First Commercial Food Shoot

 
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Nov 19, 2015 00:07 as a reply to post 17780277 |  #31

Like you, I rarely use natural light for commercial food shoots. I prefer to own my light rather than depend on changeable light. Natural light for food can be great for bloggers but when you are being paid you need to be able to make tiny changes through an evolution of an image and know you will get the exact same light (except for the changes you dial in) every single time. Some commercial studios have professionally designed daylight studios with windows covered in diffusion material with the ability to add additional scrims if more diffusion is needed. With artificial light you can create your own perfect light every time. With good batteries, recycle times are less than a

I'm not sure why you say that it's hard to shape light with a flash but easy with a strobe. Light is light is light. Sure, there are a lot of modifiers available for studio strobes but you can buy (or make) virtually identical modifiers to fit your flashes, whether that is soft boxes, grids, snoots, scrims or strips. One challenge that is evident is the lack of a modelling light. That is the main reason I'm looking to upgrade to studio lights. Flashes does not equal poor equipment. The just get a bum rap due to poor use in many cases.

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8598/16546984848_a6f7871cc0_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rdcC​7d] (external link)wardc_150212_-4471 (external link) by Ward Cameron (external link), on Flickr

This was taken with a large softbox behind the pancakes and a smaller one to the front right to add fill and specular highlights. Additional reflectors and lights can be added as necessary to add any accents needed. Some foods need a great deal of tiny bits of lighting to really make them pop. Hamburgers are a great example and I'm still working on mastering them. With strong backlighting, the fillings often fall into deep shadow. Additional lights are needed to bring out the details in the front of the burger. Here is an example.

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5825/21351857674_8073de190b_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ywMR​p9] (external link)wardc_150812_0230.jpg (external link) by Ward Cameron (external link), on Flickr

I preferred a slightly more toned down front lighting but the client wanted it brighter. I think that makes it look a bit flat but the client gets what the client wants.

As for studio strobes. I'm oggling a few. It would help reduce the experimentation to get the light that I want by providing modelling. Off camera flashes though are light cheap and portable. I will definitely continue to mix flashes with strobes as I build my kit.

Here are some tasty wings:

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5763/21984389251_fae6a28e01_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/zuFJ​ZZ] (external link)wardc_150812_0116.jpg (external link) by Ward Cameron (external link), on Flickr

and just for fun an I heart wine pic.

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8605/16112247364_339c908064_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qxMt​Nm] (external link)wardc_150225_4850_edit (external link) by Ward Cameron (external link), on Flickr

Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)
fotopaul
Senior Member
fotopaul's Avatar
388 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Stockholm/Sweden
Nov 19, 2015 02:22 |  #32
banned

wcameron wrote in post #17789347 (external link)
I'm not sure why you say that it's hard to shape light with a flash but easy with a strobe. Light is light is light. Sure, there are a lot of modifiers available for studio strobes but you can buy (or make) virtually identical modifiers to fit your flashes, whether that is soft boxes, grids, snoots, scrims or strips. One challenge that is evident is the lack of a modelling light. That is the main reason I'm looking to upgrade to studio lights. Flashes does not equal poor equipment. The just get a bum rap due to poor use in many cases

Light is light..water is water, but if someone piss in it.. you get the idea. :-) Never claimed it was hard, i stated it's a challenge in comparison to strobes.

The flashtube in a speed light and a strobe is not equal they are optimised for different patterns and output. Yes you can get speedrings, adapters and DIY to mount most stuff to a speedlight, (with varying success) but they are rarely as effective in light distribution as circular flashtube that is positioned correctly without any leek or spill.

The strobist movement has done mostly good and inspired people to use their speedlights in more creative ways. But sometimes it simply gone to far, to the point people use speedlights just for the sake of it. A good example of that is Joe McNally using a xmas tree of speedlights in the dessert. A single battery pack would have been cheaper, faster and offered him more power...

Try a wider shot @ F/13+ where you want to light a part of a set table, the amount of speedlights, speedrings, batterypacks (for faster recycling) will not be that cheap or mobile anymore.

BUT as i said a lot of things can be done with speedlights, this was not a post to put down speedlights. But anyone failing to acknowledge the difference and benefits of strobes when it comes to modifiers, power and recycling time simply lacks experience.


Instagram (external link)
Blog (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Nov 20, 2015 08:33 |  #33

Interesting...I had a studio visit yesterday from a group of students in a professional photography program. They're taught in school how to use speed lights, and many of them make really beautiful pictures using them. When they say my strobes, they wondered why I use them vs, smaller and lighter speed lights. I spent a little time talking about the kind of work I do, and what the capabilities of my lights were. At the end I think there was universal agreement that for the kind of pictures *I* take, speed lights simply wouldn't work for my particular requirements.

I have a friend that literally wrote the book on speed lights, and he travels the world making remarkable photographs, with his lighting all carried in a small case. When I travel on-location and lug all of my heavy strobes I often think how nice it would be to travel lightly, but in the end it simply wouldn't work for me.

Horses for courses.


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Nov 24, 2015 01:26 as a reply to fotopaul's post |  #34

Hey Paul. Sorry if I sounded dismissive. As a strobist I've felt the same way so I tend to be a little defensive. I disagree that speedlites are limited in their capacity to light a scene. I totally agree with you that studio strobes are a thousand times more efficient and flexible by providing the ability to actually SEE the light before you take the image. I really notice this when I'm employing snoots to add a finicky, hard to control, light.

I disagree that a "circular flashtube" offers any benefit but that is just my opinion.

I'm a fan of Joe as well as David Hobby (the original Strobist). If my defensiveness detracted from your message I apologize. Thanks for your contribution.


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Nov 24, 2015 01:36 as a reply to Foodguy's post |  #35

I agree with your students but only so far. They are right that speedlites can offer equivalent light - at lower cost. As I actually do it in the field, I really wish I had a few studio lights that I could blend WITH my speedlites. I think it's folly to invest in ALL studio strobes unless you have the ongoing business to support them but I would love a few studio strobes to help me aim a snoot at a burger so that I could get the perfect light without taking dozens of images and moving it an inch to the left...right...left and so on. Shooting food is incredibly precise and the lighting needs to reflect that. For my main and front light I will continue to use speedlites until I'm way more flush financially.


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
fotopaul
Senior Member
fotopaul's Avatar
388 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Stockholm/Sweden
Nov 24, 2015 02:51 |  #36
banned

wcameron wrote in post #17794839 (external link)
Hey Paul. Sorry if I sounded dismissive. As a strobist I've felt the same way so I tend to be a little defensive. I disagree that speedlites are limited in their capacity to light a scene. I totally agree with you that studio strobes are a thousand times more efficient and flexible by providing the ability to actually SEE the light before you take the image. I really notice this when I'm employing snoots to add a finicky, hard to control, light.

I disagree that a "circular flashtube" offers any benefit but that is just my opinion.

I'm a fan of Joe as well as David Hobby (the original Strobist). If my defensiveness detracted from your message I apologize. Thanks for your contribution.

No worries!

However i encourage you to measure you'r self, it's measurable and it's not really a matter of opinion as it is a fact.

A shoot thru umbrella with a speedlight will give quite a hotspot, and a much quicker falloff compared to circular flashtube that fires thru a reflector made for this very purpose.

Take a spot meter and try it and you will see.


Instagram (external link)
Blog (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Foodguy.
Nov 24, 2015 14:39 |  #37

Admittedly, I have very little first hand experience with speed lights. My primary reason for not considering using them is the small amount of light that they emit. I like to use very low iso's (25) and since I use a view camera, I typically have a fair amount of bellows draw requiring that much more additional light to get me in an aperture range that I prefer to work with.

I tend also to like a very large, even bank as a main light combined with fresnels for a harder 'edge' (in most cases) though I have a variety of different sized bank lights, depending on the specifics. So while not based on experience, I suspect that Paul's description of speed light's tendency to produce a 'hot spot' is *probably* right....but that's only a suspicion based on the speed light's smaller flash tube and reflector... and not that a hot spot that shows on an umbrella or other modifier is necessarily a bad thing, I guess it depends on what affect it has on the item that it's lighting. My bank light shown below has a variety of internal diffusion panels as well as multiple light heads (it's a plexi front). There are times when I'm looking for absolute 'even' across the surface and there are times when I'm looking for more fall-off from center to edge.

From a practical standpoint, I'm also heavily 'invested' in strobes (from both quantity as well as history) and with more modifiers that I can count, from soft boxes, grids, snoots, reflectors, silks, ellipsoidal zooms, etc., etc., there's an infinite (well practically anyway) variety of light quality, size, shape etc., that I can make, depending on what I want to achieve.

This is *part* of the collection, I *think* there's a few missing from this photo ;-)a-


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.

Typically used with this as a 'main' light source-


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.

My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

LOG IN TO REPLY
PhotosGuy
Moderator
PhotosGuy's Avatar
74,827 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Joined Feb 2004
Middle of Michigan
Nov 24, 2015 15:47 |  #38

wcameron wrote in post #17794845 (external link)
I agree with your students but only so far. They are right that speedlites can offer equivalent light - at lower cost. As I actually do it in the field, I really wish I had a few studio lights that I could blend WITH my speedlites. I think it's folly to invest in ALL studio strobes unless you have the ongoing business to support them but I would love a few studio strobes to help me aim a snoot at a burger so that I could get the perfect light without taking dozens of images and moving it an inch to the left...right...left and so on. Shooting food is incredibly precise and the lighting needs to reflect that. For my main and front light I will continue to use speedlites until I'm way more flush financially.

That sentence reminded me of the time I worked at Boulevard Photographic. (external link) While we primarily shot cars for the "Big Three", we also did other agency work. One of the guys there was Mason Pollock who shot food primarily on 8" X 10" transparency film. I used to stop in at his set in one of the studios to see what he was doing as he tweaked this light & that light throughout the day to get everything just right. It was an eye opening experience! There was no Photoshop back then, & I wish I had one of his images to show, but...

Recently I ran across Jonathan Pollock (external link) who may or may not be related, but he also shoots food among other things, & his results are very similar. Anyone who wants to shoot anything should really click on that link & look at his work.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

LOG IN TO REPLY
fotopaul
Senior Member
fotopaul's Avatar
388 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Stockholm/Sweden
Nov 24, 2015 16:05 as a reply to Foodguy's post |  #39
banned

That's some serious punch! :-)

Good luck getting speedlights putting out the equivalent light.. :-D


Instagram (external link)
Blog (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
wcameron
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Canmore, AB, Canada - The Heart of the Rockies
Nov 25, 2015 00:49 as a reply to fotopaul's post |  #40

I've never needed tons of light for food but I can stack speedlites and scrims if need be. Often I have the opposite problem. Since I want to shoot with shallow depth of field I have occasionally found myself having to use ND filters on flashes. Because I want a large light source I also want my soft boxes to be close to the food. This some times leaves me with an excess amount of light.

At this point though, Since I don't have studio strobes. I'll defer to Foodguy on the power aspects of lights. As a starter and a strobist I still have a lot to learn on this subject.


Ward
http://Facebook.com/Wa​rdCameronPhotography (external link)

Canon EOS 5Ds, Canon EOS 6D, Rebel XTi, Sony RX100, GoPro Helmet Hero

LOG IN TO REPLY
Foodguy
Goldmember
Foodguy's Avatar
1,323 posts
Joined Mar 2012
Having too much fun in the studio
Nov 25, 2015 15:16 |  #41

Hope my post didn't come across as a 'mine is bigger than yours...' :-P

It was more to illustrate what I'd said earlier -horses for courses- and so much of it simply 'depends' on the particulars. A lot of my work is single plates and for that I use a substantially smaller set-up. When sets and environments grow and change the need for additional light grows and changes with it.

For me, one of the things that keeps photography interesting is that there's lots of different ways to skin the cat.


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

LOG IN TO REPLY
fotopaul
Senior Member
fotopaul's Avatar
388 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Stockholm/Sweden
Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by fotopaul. 5 edits done in total.
Nov 25, 2015 16:25 as a reply to Foodguy's post |  #42
banned

Seriously you needn't worry at all, if anything you can school most of us here when it comes to food photography.:-)

I started with speedlights, but got into studio strobes quite soon after i got them. Over the years i'v grown my studio gear and slimmed down my speedlight gear. Now i have only two speedlights , but i got around 12 Elinchrom compacts, and 3 batterypacks along with a pile of modifiers.

I'v compared speedlights against strobes extensively over the years, both in real shooting situations but also measure and tested quite a bit.

A few things the years have taught me.

1. Unless you buy potato mashers, speedlight isn't really that much cheaper. (had as many as 8 Nikon speedlights at one time)
2. Portability is nice, but once you using the speedlights with studio modifiers, booms scrims etc. your not that mobile anymore regardless.
3. Power is limited and limiting, no matter how you slice it. A speedlight is around 100ws and sometimes not even that depending on how successful you can mount a modifier
4.Recycling times is troublesome if you blast full power, i.e to get a decent output from a medium softbox
5. Depending on speedlight overheating will be a problem sooner or later, especially when shooting at full power.

I shoot quite a bit of food for restaurants at the restaurants. Unlike when i shoot for ad-agencies and we shoot in a studio this requires setting up gear on location. Now if speedlights would do the job, i would have no problem using them but in 99,999% cases they simply don't.

Here is a quick setup clip from a smaller shoot i did quite recently.
https://youtu.be/sNG6C​Jd7qKs (external link)


Instagram (external link)
Blog (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
PhotosGuy
Moderator
PhotosGuy's Avatar
74,827 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Joined Feb 2004
Middle of Michigan
Nov 25, 2015 19:12 |  #43

fotopaul wrote in post #17796718 (external link)
Here is a quick setup clip from a smaller shoot i did quite recently.
https://youtu.be/sNG6C​Jd7qKs (external link)

Thanks for the link. Can we see a link to the finished shot now?


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

LOG IN TO REPLY
fotopaul
Senior Member
fotopaul's Avatar
388 posts
Joined Jul 2015
Stockholm/Sweden
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by fotopaul.
Nov 27, 2015 02:33 as a reply to PhotosGuy's post |  #44
banned

I'm afraid no, as this was taken for a ad campaign, which hasn't run yet. So i can't post it here.


Instagram (external link)
Blog (external link)

LOG IN TO REPLY
turnmybassup
Member
Joined Mar 2008
Abilene, TX
Jan 07, 2017 17:19 as a reply to PhotosGuy's post |  #45

back up top, its been over a year, could we see the photo that you made with that setup? this is a very informative thread, btw!




LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

13,017 views & 29 likes for this thread
First Commercial Food Shoot
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Food Photography Talk


Not a member yet? Click here to register to the forums.
Registered members get all the features: search, following threads, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, settings, view hosted photos, own reviews and more...


AAA

Send feedback to staff    •   Jump to forum...    •   Rules    •   Index    •   New posts    •   RTAT    •   'Best of'    •   Gallery    •   Gear    •   Reviews    •   Polls

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS 1.4version 1.4
made in Finland
by Pekka Saarinen
for photography-on-the.net
Spent 0.00253 for 6 database queries.
PAGE COMPLETED IN 0.04s
Latest registered member is andrewwong927
788 guests, 309 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6106, that happened on Jun 09, 2016