Alistair Grant - Freelance Photographer Cambridge | Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 37 - A Light Touch

Freelance Photographer Cambridge - Blog | 37 - A Light Touch

November 10, 2017
bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, St Neots, St Ives and London. Freelance Photographer & Freelance Photography Services in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.    
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   Alistair Grant 

Freelance Photographer Cambridge & London

     
     

bokeh photographic: Blog No: 37

 Freelance Photographer Cambridge Blog Image | Blog 37 | A Light Touch (Bresola Orange Salad photographed during a restaurant service using an on-camera speedlite bounced off an impromptu reflector fashioned by draping a white tablecloth over an upturned chair). © bokeh photographic (Alistair Grant): Freelance Photographer; Food & Drink Photographer; Commercial Photographer, Product Photographer & Packshot Photographer; Event Photographer; Portrait Photographer; Corporate Photographer & PR Photographer; Engagement Photographer & Wedding Photographer and Photography Training Courses, St Ives, Cambridge. Blog 37 – A Light Touch (Bresola Orange Salad photographed during a restaurant service using an on-camera speedlite bounced off an impromptu reflector fashioned by draping a white tablecloth over an upturned chair) | bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Bedford, St Neots, St Ives and London. Blog 37 – A Light Touch (Bresola Orange Salad photographed during a restaurant service using an on-camera speedlite bounced off an impromptu reflector fashioned by draping a white tablecloth over an upturned chair) by Alistair Grant. Food & Drink Photography; Commercial Photography, Product Photography & Packshot Photography; Event Photography; Portrait Photography; Corporate Photography & PR Photography; Engagement Photography & Wedding Photography and Photography Training Courses in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and across the UK.

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A Light Touch

A recurring discussion I have (in terms of one conversation at least once every week) is only working with natural light when shooting Food & Drink Photography. Somehow, the notion that food and/or drink products can only be photographed in ambient light (read window light softened with a diffuser) has become a widely held belief. My approach is simple. If the natural light is good enough I opt for ambient over artificial light sources such as speedlites and studio strobes. The problem is that more often than not the amount and/or the quality of natural light is lacking. This is obvious when working in a restaurant (or an area of a restaurant) where there are no windows, when shooting an evening service or in the afternoon at this time of year when the light disappears rapidly. However, even where there are (decently sized) windows, I sometimes choose flash for reasons of consistency and practicality. For instance, when the weather forecast is for sunny intervals I envisage all the changes I would need to make as the sun repeatedly dis/appears behind cloud. Having established that it is acceptable to use artificial light for food & drink photography the second recurring discussion I find myself involved in is about the ‘best’ lighting kit.

As with anything else the answer is it depends! Considerations such as budget, likely photo-shoot locations and the type of food and/or drink to be photographed all need to be taken into account. I’m aiming to tackle this topic in future blog(s) so for now a generalisation is that the essential kit for food & drink photography is probably less than people anticipate. A decent quality studio head (NB: this does not necessarily mean premium branded) is a good start with the realisation “the higher [power] the better” may not hold true in this case. Time and time again on the bokeh photographic Training Courses I have encountered photographers who have been seduced into buying a powerful strobe only to find they can’t achieve a wide-open aperture for shallow depth-of-field effects as the even the lowest light intensity is too strong. Apart from a robust light stand to mount the head (an expensive studio strobe on a flimsy stand is bound to end in tears) the other critically important kit is light modifiers such as umbrellas, soft-boxes, reflectors and diffusers. In fact, I place as much importance on ‘mods’ as I do on choice of light source. Much of the time and effort I spend ‘finessing’ a shot involves making small but incremental changes to whatever mod(s) I am using.

Although umbrellas, soft-boxes etc. are highly recommended my aim is to demonstrate that even without (formal) mods it is still possible to take a decent shot. For reasons that are too complicated to go into I took this shot of a Bresola Orange Salad during a restaurant service when I wasn’t supposed to be photographing food. Consequently, I didn’t have my usual kit to hand. Luckily the brief called for a simple, clean shot. As the ability to improvise is the sign of a good photographer I used an on-camera speedlite (yes – I occasionally shoot axis flash!) bounced off an impromptu reflector fashioned by draping a pristine white tablecloth over an upturned chair much to the Maître D’s consternation. In my book the use of flash should only be discernible to the expert eye. In addition, lighting set-ups shouldn’t be overly-complicated. Job done.

   
     

Call Alistair Grant on 07775 365507, Email alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk or click Booking Enquiries if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

   
     

bokeh: "the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens"


Freelance Photographer offering Food & Drink Photography Cambridge; Commercial Photography Cambridge, Product Photography Cambridge & Packshot Photography Cambridge; Event Photography Cambridge; Portrait Photography Cambridge; Corporate Photography Cambridge & PR Photography Cambridge; Engagement Photography Cambridge & Wedding Photography Cambridge and Photography Training Courses in Cambridge. Also covering: Huntingdon, St. Ives, Ramsey, St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford, Stamford, Newmarket, Sawtry, Alconbury Weston, Brampton, Hartford, Warboys, Houghton, Wyton, Godmanchester, Hilton, Hemingford Grey, Hemingford Abbots, Fenstanton, Whittesley, Yaxley, Needingworth, Somersham, Chatteris, Ely, Bar Hill, Grafham and Buckden.

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bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant | Freelance Photographer | Cambridge, London, UK

Food & Drink Photography | Commercial Photography & Product Photography | Corporate Photography & PR Photography | Portrait Photography (inc. 'Active Portraiture') | Event Photography | Wedding Photography | Photography Training Courses & Camera Tuition

Tel: 07775 365507 | Email: alistair.grant@bokehphotographic.co.uk