1 family. friendly food. » Food photography: I can see/using reflectors

Challa bread

Last February, still using a point and shoot camera, I decided it was time to learn a thing or two about food photography. I never planned that photography will become a hobby but I enjoyed blogging and taking photos more and more. So, I signed up for a photography group class and then scheduled a private class with the photographer and asked him to teach me some stuff. I had no idea what I was asking and I didn’t understand what he was talking about. That’s because my knowledge was close to zero.

One of the first things he showed me was how to use reflectors, like in this photo below


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So far I’ve heard of 5 colors for reflectors: white, silver, gold, black, and translucent. He showed me the effect of the first three on the plated food but I just couldn’t see it. What was he talking about? I didn’t get it.  Because of that, after those classes, I still did not use any reflector. I tried it for a little while but since I could not notice any difference, I stopped.

Jumping forward a few months, out of the blue one day I realized that I learned how to see. I still need to learn a lot about light and lighting and color… but… I can see! I can see the light!

Last weekend I baked Challa bread (the recipe is from this book which is one of my favorite cookbooks by one of my favorite chefs) and all of a sudden I became aware that I can actually see the difference. Can you see it?

(Hint: focus on the left side of each photo)

Without a reflector

without reflector

With a silver reflector on the left side

w silver reflctr on left

With a white reflector on the left side

w white reflctr on left

Which one do you like best?

It seems to me that without any reflector the bread looks too dark on the left side, with the silver one it is too bright, and with a white one it looks more natural. I wonder how it would have been with a golden reflector. I haven’t tried it yet. 

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In addition, I’m still playing with my new lens and liking it. Here’s another example of the difference between the 50 mm lens and 60 mm lens. Everything’s the same in the setting, I used a tripod and did not move it or changed the angle, and only switched the lenses.

With 50 mm lens

w 50 mm lens

With 60 mm lens

w 60 mm lens

As you can see, the 60 mm brings the object closer to you when you stand in the same spot. For more about this, read my previous post Food photography: What is “food porn”? and more about lenses


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Categories : Food Photography

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