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Photography – Light

This is how your food should look like, sharp and crisp colours.

This post is related to the food presented here but obviously it’s no recipe. I just thought I share my thoughts on food photography especially my issues with it. Let me start with what I use, which is probably very simple to some other bloggers out there.

What I use so fare:

Camera: Nikon D3100
Lens: 18-55mm which came with the camera
Tripod: not the most spectacular one

Obviously, these are the basics that any photographer needs and you can add many more things as you progress. There are many things that make a good picture like light and composition (I don’t know half of it that’s for sure). My biggest issue is light and here is why: My kitchen faces east, which is great in the morning but not so nice when baking in the afternoon or evening.  Additionally, I live in Canada, which again is nice in summer time but not so in winter time because sun is rising late and going down early. The lights in my kitchen are rather yellow so when taking pictures it results in terrible colours. Using the flash results in white out and bad colours once again.

This is how it looks like when I only have my kitchen light on. *help*

As a result I almost never take pictures while I am baking. The light is just not acceptable and my pictures will result in disaster. It’s really sad actually because I saw what other bloggers can do and I would love to do the same thing. Yet, my regular baking situation just does not allow for it. (There is also little counter space available which makes the whole thing more unsuitable for pictures.) As a result, I will only take pictures of the end product and hope that I will have sunshine in the afternoon to do so.

This was taken Sunday morning at about 9 am.
The light is not strong enough to show through closed blinds and too much for open blinds, not very pretty but not too ugly either.

Solutions:

I know that you can buy regular light bulbs with a different frequency (I just call it like that, I am sure there is a perfect technical term for that.) which will give more natural light and thus better colours. I will have to look for that and hope that I can get my hand on some. It might solve my issue, as least a bit.

I also know that some people use a white tent. Basically, it’s a box that is lined with white walls and ground in which you place your product. Placing a good light source on top and it should give good light to take good pictures. Here is a nice DIY tutorial on how to make that: White Tent DIY. I haven’t made one yet but I should soon. My issue with this is thought that I might not have a good light source. (A major light bulb searching session seems to be coming my way soon.)

Candy corn in the evening with the room light on.

Candy corn in the afternoon light the next day.

Lastly, I once stumbled upon a blog who had much the same issues as I. Her solution was the Lowel EGO Light and wow, what you can do with that. This looks perfect to me for everyone who has limited space and serious issues with light. I can not find that original blog anymore but I found another one which pretty much explains the whole thing. Check out Steamy Kitchen for that. She even gives you a link to Amazon, which I probably will use to get my hands on that light. There is a store in my town and I will check that too.

Lasagna, which I made in the afternoon, kitchen lights, nothing else.

A piece of that lasagna in the opposite room where I had natural afternoon light.

As I read several blogs and suggestions, there are people who use big lights, much like in a studio. That wouldn’t work for me, there is just no space. I think replacing the lights in my kitchen, making a white box and eventually buying a Lowel Ego Light will do the trick during those winter months. If you have any other suggestions, let me know what and how it worked for you. I am sure looking forward to more information on how to handle light.

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About andreamacleod

Take a KitchenAid Artisan machine, a young wife, time, creativity and mix it well. You end up with endless options of baking goodies from German torte to North American cupcakes. Follow me on my baking and cooking adventures and throw in your cent or two. There are no limits!

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