We haven’t done a behind the scenes post in a while – so here are the details of this yummy pesto and pasta photo shoot.
I love testing with my friends and work colleagues whenever I can. Testing is vital for any and every photographer. I don’t get to test as often as I should or want to. Testing means you take photographs just for yourself. Hopefully your testing goes well and then you can use these images for your self promotion, and for all your social media channels.
On this particular day, I was testing with my good friend and prop stylist Amy Paliwoda. Amy also did the food in this too. Amy has an awesome prop house in Los Angeles called the Surface Library. So on this day, we shot at her studio with all her fabulous props. For more fun pics of Amy’s studio, see the blog post about her prop house.
The studio has huge windows that face the West. It also has several large overhead skylights that get way too bright compared to the windows, so there is quite a bit of light modification needed because of too much overhead light.
On this particular day, it was cloudy for my two overhead shots, so I didn’t have to block any light from overhead for those.
Below is the image from the set above. Amy has these beautiful metal backgrounds created and then rents them out.
Also, you can see that I am shooting tethered. My computer is attached to my camera via a USB cable. As I shoot, we see the image within seconds. It’s really the only way to shoot food.
Here’s a close up of my set up.
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Canon 24-105mm lens set to 47mm
- ISO 100
- F 16 (For overhead shots like this, I want all things in focus from top to bottom)
- Shutter is ⅙th of a second
- WB is set to 6000 in Lightroom
- Saturation was pushed to +11
- My tripod is a 25 year old gitzo with a lateral arm extension on it. For more details on this gear see my post about doing overhead shots.
Below is my set for the first Pesto shot.
In this shot, the sun was getting much brighter overhead and was causing a problem with adding too much light from the top. See the gold reflector on top of the set? That is blocking the light from the skylight above us.
That big black foam core is my minus fill card, I am keeping my shadows dark. If I wanted more light in the shadows, that would be a white card.
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Canon 100mm macro lens
- ISO 100
- F 5.6 (for selected focus/shallow depth of field)
- shutter is ⅓rd of a second
- WB is now 5500
- In lightroom editing – exposure was +.65, so almost ¾ of a stop brighter, I took my highlights down to -34 points, Clarity is set to +10, and saturation is set to +16
Here was our last shot of the day. Same set as above with same camera settings and also same settings in Lightroom as well.
Fresh garnish just makes this shot. It would be so boring without that.
So there you have it! A little BTS for ya.
Are you are on the wait list for the Food Photography Club? We are opening doors next week and only those on the wait list will be invited to join. The Club is a membership site with multiple courses about food photography with live webinars and an awesome user forum.
Also check out my food photography ebooks.
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