Friday, July 11, 2008
Clear stuff 1
The "trick" to shooting transparent or translucent drinks is finding a lighting balance between the light hitting the front (for detail) and the light coming through the back to accentuate the clear nature of the subject.
The usual suspects on this one. There was an art director who understood that limited focus and blown out highlights can actually make food look more appetizing. There was a food stylist to make and garnish the gelatin, a photo assistant to keep everyone happy and a photographer who knows how to light clear stuff.
I'm not positive but Vicky Hayes or Kate Jackette probably styled this one. I like it. It takes an artist to suspend fruit in gelatin for photography. You probably never noticed, but most times the fruit just settles to the bottom. So careful attention was paid to the suspended fruit, making the two layers stay separate, treating the bananas so they wouldn't turn brown, and the beautiful happy mint. Many food stylists have their own pots of mint so they always have adorable cutting available for garnish.
Because red gelatin is translucent and not transparent, we sprayed the back half of the glasses with dulling spray and used one optical spot strobe high up and back to light throught the gelatin, blow out the highlights on the top and light the fill cards. We finished the lighting by bringing in white cards on either side of the camera lens, and moving them in and out until the balance was just right. Digital once again, helps alot because we can instantly see the lighting and adjust it as needed for perfection. It's a lot faster than shooting, waiting for a poloroid, making changes and shooting another test. That's it. One light, two fill cards, limited focus, great food and you end up with a cool shot that can sell gelatin.