This past weekend I’ve been back photographing food, finishing the new promotional material for The Cape, Grand Cafe…this time though considerably more prepared than last time when the ‘brief’ was changed on the day of the shoot.
This time however, just like the last still meant photographing in a working restaurant as opposed to the studio which brought with it the challenges of limited space; so…adaptability was the name of the game.
With a client brief to produce images that were fresh, clean and simple with the focus on the food and not a ‘scene’ we opted for the same White Seamless look that I use in the studio, but on a miniature scale.
The ‘Miniature’ White Seamless
To create the look we were after first of all meant a little furniture removal, opting to use a wooden table in one of the corner’s of the restaurant as a starting point:
- The white seamless came in the form of an A3 sheet of pure white paper taped to the wall using Gaffa tape allowing for enough of the paper to curve onto the table.
- For the reflective ‘floor’ I used an A3 sheet of foam board that had a shiny plastic coating on either side. However the problem with this was that the surface was still quite porous, so as the food was going to be placed directly onto it I decided to make use of the clear plastic sheet and place that ontop also.
- The white seamless paper was lit using two Nikon SB800’s; both of which were fitted with Gobo’s to prevent lens flare. Lighting the background this way had the same effect as it does when used in the studio i.e. light reflects back onto the shiny ‘floor’ lighting it sufficiently to turn it brilliant white.
- The food was then lit with the combination of a Speedlight into a Lastolite Ezybox to the rear and off to one side (10 o’clock position from camera) and a Speedlight into a reflective umbrella was positioned directly opposite.
- Finally I made use of white pieces of cardboard which were positioned where needed to add a little fill to some of the shadows.
Getting it right ‘in camera’:
The above image shows how the photographs were ‘out of camera’ as I was shooting tethered into Lightroom on my MacBook Pro.
Shooting tethered as I’ve said before is something I’m doing more and more whether I’m in the studio or ‘on location’. The advantage of being able to see the images on a much larger screen than that on the back of the camera enables you to see all the little things that maybe you wouldn’t have picked up on so any minor tweeks can be made and you’re 99% of the way there ‘out of camera’. The only adjustment applied at the capture stage is a preset I’ve recorded in Lightroom to reduce the ‘Red’ Channel by 25% as Nikon’s do tend to run a little hot in that area.
Taking the extra few minutes to get the images as close to complete ‘out of camera’ really is worth it as in this case all that was needed to finish the images off and make ready for the client delivery were a few minor tweeks in Lightroom such as increasing the ‘Blacks’, ‘Fill’ and adding a little ‘Clarity’ and ‘Vibrance’ and finishing off with a little ‘Sharpening’…all in all taking no more than 1 minute.
Any questions or comments as always feel free to make use of the comments section below,