How I Had Love With Vegetables For a Whole Night
I do professional food and product photography in Hong Kong and Macau. Sometimes the photographs look very good, attractive yet very simple, but you cannot achieve desirable result so easy.
I love vegetables. Really. But making good photography of food, or any products is a tough task. Here is the short story of my "Shiny Vitamins" set of photos.
Whenever you will try to make a good looking photographs of any food, any products, you face a lot of problems, such as: where to shoot, how to shoot, how to set up your scene, light, background, etc.
I'm starting to post to my blog advices for 'Product Photography' along with my growing up portfolio of such photographs.
Today I am going to tell you about the process of taking sexy looking shots of vegetables. We won't dive deep into details right now, because I'm preparing detailed learning course of such kind of photography, so be in touch and don't miss these future lessons on my website.
When I decided to take a good shots of vegetables I went to the local market to choose ones. Thankfully Hong Kong food markets are the good place to pick what you want. Here you can find good choice of colorful tomatoes, bell and chili peppers and other greens. I wanted only great looking products, with smooth and colorful outlook, so it was turn to 'not so easy' task, because tastiness and great look are frequently not the same things. Market sellers offered me good vegetables for salads and side dishes, but not for photography. I have found only three bell peppers on a whole market which were suitable for shooting. These vegetables, when you are choosing them, should be quite rigid and durable, and have bold colors at the same time. They also should look fresh, and it is often not so easy to prevent sellers packing service, and to keep the vegetables from jamming and losing of their attractiveness.
Finally all the vegetables arrived to my home studio in good condition. Next step was to prepare the place for taking photography. Below you can see some details of my setup for taking pictures.
My equipment included:
- Two umbrella softbox 60x90cm with stands (one is behind the plastic screen)
- One softbox 50x70cm with continuous light (laying on the floor under the table)
- Silver reflector for lighting up the bottom of setup
- Plastic translucent screen 100x200cm with stand
- Black paper background
- Two stone tiles with apparent surface texture as a base for composition
- Two Youngnuo YN560 IV manual speed lights with wireless triggers
- Fujifilm X-E2 camera equipped with Fujinon XF55-200mm lens
Because I had good lighting (three light sources with bouncing surfaces and reflectors) I could take shots with exposure of 1/200 s, and F8-16 aperture. All photographs are made from hands, because I want often change the positions of view, so relatively short exposure and good lighting allowed me to prevent any motion blur in pictures.
The whole process took around 8 (eight) hours, starting from choosing the photography subjects, preparing the setup, placing the vegetables into nice still life outlook, setting up the lighting scheme, taking shots, downloading them into computer and editing with Adobe Lightroom. Most of the photos came out of camera very good, so I even did not open Photoshop to make fancy editing.
Sincerely Yours - Leo Zank.