January 26, 2015 - Lighting, Styling & Prop, Framing & Composition

by Francine Way


It took me a whole week to go through chapters 3, 4, and 5. Mainly because I did not have many of the equipments and supplies that the chapters' projects required. Purchasing and making some of them from scratch took a bit of efforts and time. 

Chapter 3 intends to educate its readers on lighting, the different colors of light, their effect of photographs, and how to manipulate it with reflectors. Three projects were laid out on page 76. The first one is to compare a basic food setup in two different types of light - daylight & tungsten. Below are the pictures I took to complete the project:

Daylight

Daylight

Tungsten

Tungsten

As seen above, the color hue in the daylight picture is more neutral (less orange) than the tungsten one. Compared to the actual colors of the items photographed, the daylight picture is closer to reality. 

The second project in chapter 3 is to use the highlight alert & histogram to detect overexposed photographs. I took the pictures below to complete this project:

Regular

Regular

1 full-bar overexposed

1 full-bar overexposed

2 full-bars overexposed

2 full-bars overexposed

The third and last project in this chapter is to use a reflector to light the shadowy front of the backlit subject. I took the pictures below to complete the project:

Without a reflector

Without a reflector

With a reflector

With a reflector

As we can see from the above pictures, by using a reflector, the light bounced by the reflector fills in the front of the image on the right and brighten its shadows. 

Chapter 4 intends to educate its readers on food styling and props. Three projects were laid out on page 113. The first project is to compare a dish that is styled against a dish that ready to eat. Below are the pictures that I took to complete this project:

Ready to Eat

Ready to Eat

Styled

Styled

Comparing the 2 photographs, it is obvious that the styled dish picture is more appealing. 

The second project is to compare fake ice against real ice. Below are the pictures I took to complete the project:

Real Ice

Real Ice

Fake Ice

Fake Ice

Comparing the two images, the fogginess in the real ice picture doesn't exist in the fake ice picture, resulting in the latter having a sharper, more appealing image. 

The third and last project in this chapter is to create a tabletop. I took a large piece of cloth and wrapped it around the a foam board to make my own. I also made my own reflector out of a cardboard I cut out of a box and some good old kitchen aluminum foil. Below are pictures of them:

DIY tabletop

DIY tabletop

DIY Reflector

DIY Reflector

Chapter 5 intends to educate its readers on framing & composition. Four projects were laid out on page 145. The first project is to find & create triangles. I use garnishes to create a triangle in an image. Below are the before and after pictures that I took to complete this project:

Before (without triangle)

Before (without triangle)

After (with triangle)

After (with triangle)

Comparing the 2 pictures, it is obvious that the one with the triangle is more appealing. 

The second project is to frame & use different perspectives. I took the pictures below from different angles and perspectives:

Vertical

Vertical

Horizontal

Horizontal

3 quarters

3 quarters

Overhead

Overhead

Eye level

Eye level

As we see, the background changes every time the position of the camera was changed - the same changes can be observed with the perspective and overall feel of the image. 

The third project is to use lens compression on an image. Below are the pictures I took to complete this project:

Overhead

Overhead

At 50 mm

At 50 mm

At 24 mm

At 24 mm

At 70 mm

At 70 mm

At 35 mm

At 35 mm

At 85 mm

At 85 mm

I had some challenges throughout this project, primarily in replicating what the author wanted in creating the perception that the depth is less with more focal length. I may try the experiment again the future. 

The fourth and last project is to play with color. Creating a dish with one dominant color and then placing something with complementary color into the scene. In the pictures below, I used the complementary green Italian parsley garnishes on a predominantly-reddish pasta dish. 

Spaghetti with Sausage and Parsley

Spaghetti with Sausage and Parsley

This concludes the projects in chapter 3, 4, and 5. The next chapter will touch on the use of Photoshop workflow in food photography.