I have received a lot of emails and questions from people about how I create some of the pictures that you have seen on the blog, so I decided to do a post showing you exactly what I did to create a shot.
My friend Mollie has a bakery. She was baking a variety of assorted goods for the farmer’s market and let me use one of her almond cakes as a test subject. Before I set up a shot I had an idea of what I wanted the final shot to look like. The almond cake is close to square so I could have shot it either horizontal or vertical, I decided that I wanted a wanted a close tight shot so I went vertical. With the cake being yellow I decided to go with a blue background. I wanted a 45 degree camera angle on the cake so that you could see the top and the front of the cake.
The lighting diagram above shows the set up for the shot and what my settings were. The most important element of this was the light. I wanted a soft natural looking light for the cake. I was shooting in a kitchen with awful fluorescent overhead lighting, so I was going to have to create my own light to get the look that I was going after. When I shoot commercially I have a 1600 watt strobe or a travel tungsten lighting kit that I use, but in this case I wanted to see if I could achieve the results I was going for only using one Canon 580EXII. Here are some set shots to show you what I did.
A view from the back. The white reflectors are made form foam board and just taped together with duct tape. Very inexpensive and very easy to make. They are also very lightweight which is a huge plus for when I am traveling. I have one set up on camera right to add fill. The key light is a 580EXII facing the V of the reflector. The diffusion material ( It is a lining from an old softbox, nylon fabric that lets some light through but not all. Creates a very even soft feel to the light.Pocket Wizards were used to fire the flash.
After playing around to get the correct exposure and adding raspberries here is the final shot.
I hope you enjoyed a little behind the scenes view of how I made this shot. If you found this helpful or there is anything else you would like to see I would love your feedback or comments.