Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Souper reflector!


Haven’t had much of a chance to update the blog recently so I thought I’d put up this post about how I often use a wee reflector for food shots.  The shot above isn’t anything to do with that though, I was just really happy with it :)  I had noticed the reflections of the blinds in the glass partition and I knew I wanted to use them somehow.

I placed a flash with a Honl grid on  just out of the frame camera left pointing at the subject’s face and another bare flash on the floor behind him pointing up.  I did have to clone out a hotspot just above him but other than that there’s minimal pp on this one.  I used my trusty Sigma 150 macro lens which I find is a great lens for portraits!

Anyway, here’s the picture of the soup that we will be most likely running in Home Plus Scotland…


The specular highlight on the soup (the bright reflection on the surface) was deliberately placed to give a visual indicator of the ‘texture’ of the soup.  I used only natural light here as there was a small window camera left and without the reflector the soup looked quite ‘flat’ and not as appetising.  My first attempt with the reflector was this…


The specular highlight just isn’t prominent enough for me and basically looked like an accident, so I angled it to get more of a direct reflection to get this…


For me this was too much and it made the soup look much thicker than it actually was.  So after another adjustment I got the picture I was happy with.  The main reflector I use is just a gold coloured cake board that I bought from Asda for under £1.  They are brilliant because you can get different colours and they are easy to carry around and replace.  I know many studio based food photographers use small mirrors but as I travel about and shoot food on location these cake board things are ideal.

I’m looking to expand my food kit soon by adding more props.  Trip to Ikea beckons I think!  Or if anyone has any tips on cheap props I’m all ears :)


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Home Plus Scotland food ‘taster’!


Just another wee ‘taster’ (excuse the pun!) from an upcoming Home Plus Scotland (HPS) magazine feature.  HPS are changing the food pages to make more of a food ‘section’ and so the fantastic chefs at the Braehead Cook School have agreed to help us out with recipes etc.  HPS are going down the route of more seasonal ingredients which is a great idea.  Anyway, had a long but good shoot today and if anyone’s looking for a nice day out or even a present with a difference I can totally recommend the cook school courses (I’ve been on one and plan to go again!).

Here’s a couple more pics from today…




I used mostly natural light today although I was tempted to get out the softbox, but I made do with a small gold reflector which is great for adding a touch of specular light.  For example, I used it just out of the frame on the above shot of the chocolate sauce.  Without it the light on the chocolate looked a bit dull and boring.  It also added a bit of nice highlights to the edge of the slate.  I shot this composition because the chocolate mirrors the slate edge a bit.

Once the feature has run I’ll probably upload a small set to flickr and post a link here for anyone who’s interested.

Ian :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Home Plus Scotland sneak peak!


Just a sneak peak for a house shoot we did for Home Plus Scotland magazine the other day.  It was a lovely house with a lovely owner.  It’s also been styled by an interior designer that we’ve never featured before and it’s always nice to meet new people in the business.  I thought I would post just a few of the ‘detail’ shots as a wee taster for any of the HPS readers that might be tuning in…




I actually didn’t use any lights on this shoot as it was a pretty miserable day outside with loads of cloud and rain.  Luckily there were plenty of large windows to let the light in and the clouds gave me quite a nice soft, even light which is my preferred kind of light for interiors.

The full shoot has some lovely images, particularly the kitchen, so be sure to pick up a copy of Home Plus when it comes out (middle of next month I believe!).


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Water drop shots


Had a terrible week and I needed something to take my mind off things, so I thought I’d try some water drop shots.  After about 300 shots I had at least three that I liked.  I quite like the shot above because it’s not clear that the whole cd is under water, and it’s like the music is exploding from within, well at least that’s how I see it.

The other two are…



These are processed way more contrasty than my normal stuff but it' seemed to suit the pics.