Dramatic Food Lightning
Dramatic food lightning is very popular. Like in dramatic portrait photography the same technique can be used on food using natural lightning or flashes using a single light source. So how this type of shots are made? The things to keep in mind are that the camera will always warn you, that the scene is underexposed. Visually check for the look that you are after. If you use a flash strobe with a soft box as your source of light, turn the modeling light on and move the strobe around the subject until you find the look you’re after. If you use the window light for example you will need to move the subject or turn it around.
In the example photos here i used a flash strobe with a soft box on 1.0 power. I moved the light source close to the edge of the table, so the light is coming from a side. Remember also to turn off any other lights that could affect the subject.
Get on top of everything.
Move above the subject, this will require you to basically get your feet on the table. The best way is to shoot it on ground level or on a chair using a wooden board as the table or any other backgrounds. In my case was different, i have this big Oak table and i really like the texture of it. I could have used a tripod and a shooter release but i do really like to have my eye on things.
The white balance doesn’t make any sense if you are shooting in RAW , you can set the white balance in post processing. So doesn’t matter what White Balance settings you will have in your camera if you shoot RAW format. It makes it irrelevant when you edit the RAW file in image editing software, where you set the desired white balance.Experiment with different lightning angles or flash power, expose more or underexpose.Remember that in this kind of shoots most of the image will be underexposed based on the histogram and the camera meter, and of course you don’t want blacks to be pure blacks, which brings us to the last but not less important process which is post processing. Adjust the contrast white balance and exposure until you get the desired look for your dramatic food shoot.
Pay attention to the shadows, try to play with the light and shape the shadows as you want and don’t be afraid to be a little “messy”.Another thing to keep in mind is if you use reflective objects, such as knifes forks or glasses, use a reflector or pieces of paper to fill in those reflections.
The process is simple.All it needs is some experimentation, and you don’t need necessarily flash strobes or any other artificial lightning, you can use simple window light inside your home using the morning and dusk lightning.
Try to see how light behaves on different times of day, from different angles, elevations, intensity, use reflectors such as a simple white board and shape the light as you want.