Throwing a little light on the subject

I’m from the K.I.S.S.(Keep It Simple, Stupid) school of photography. The more basic, the better.¬† In the newspaper business, speed is essential and the less complex a photo is to take, the quicker it will go. That’s not to say the photos should be unsophisticated, but they can be done simply, yet effectively.

I used just a single light for these two food shots. I positioned it above and behind the subjects to play up the highlights and bring out the texture of the food. The main problem in shooting this is the placement of the lights creates shadows and the loss of detail in the front of each subject. I could have used another light or two to fill in the dark areas. Instead I used a couple of simple makeshift reflectors and they did a fine job.


(Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 35mm. Exposure: 1/125 sec. @ f/14. ISO: 100)


(Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125 sec. @ f/14. ISO: 100)


(Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 35mm. Exposure: 1/125 sec. @ f/14. ISO: 100)

For the shot of the mashed potatoes I used a white binder that was lying around the office. I just stood it up next to the plate on which the potatoes sat and it bounced light into the shadows.


(Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 35mm. Exposure: 1/250 sec. @ f/13. ISO: 100)


(Camera: Nikon D2H. Lens: Nikkor 14mm. Exposure: 1/250 sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200)


(Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 35mm. Exposure: 1/250 sec. @ f/13. ISO: 100)

In the sushi shot (try saying that three times fast), I needed slightly more fill light. The reflector I made was a little more involved, but still simple. I just used a large sheet of paper. I cut a hole the size of my lens and stuck it on the front. With the reflector attached to the front of the camera I was able to move around and have the same amount of light no matter where I stood.

In both cases a simple reflector was an easy and elegant solution to the problem at hand.

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