Creating mood

So another Eurovision song contest comes and goes and the Scandi fever can subside at least for a year, it would have been a bit much if Sweden had won (was a good song mind) having hosted it last year oh goodness me was it really 40 years ago that ABBA won …etc etc

A couple of fun shots recently made with a couple of chefs illustrating how you can change the mood of a photo with light, expression and some attitude. In addition to the energy and personality of the subject in a photo it has been said that sometimes it’s not what you light in a photo it’s what you don’t light and a closer study of the portfolios of masters such as Gregory Heisler and Dan Winters illustrate this point to the max. Shadows are most definitely your friends.
In fact a photographer can make you look any way he/she wants just with a few adjustments of lights, hands up who as a kid has ever held a torch under your chin in the dark and laughed at the ghoulish image! Yes under normal circumstances faces don’t look great lit from below.
These pictures below were all shot with basically the same lighting which was 2 flashheads to the left of the scene bouncing their light off a big white sheet hanging between 2 trolleys, very simple. A reflector was positioned or removed on the right hand side as needed.

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More on dark food

Some of you may remember this nerdy informative post from a while ago regarding dark field and bright field lighting well it turns out that this in theory I suppose is similar in principle and a quick glance at my recent food shots reveals that the majority of them with a mainly dark background could in fact be labeled as “dark food” what does that say about me?
I promise I will not mention this again…

Comparing apples to apples and the difference between dark and light

Sounds heavy eh? bear with me…

Here’s the apples to apples bit, two shots I made yesterday of the same subject from two different angles, different lens’s as well. Who can guess how the lighting set up was, in other words what kind of light did I use and how many and where were they placed?

 
And now the dark and light, I was looking at notable blogs and came across this one which had great photography in fact it won the Saveur best food blog 2013 in the photography category, called vkreesphotography.com it is a food blog by Vanessa Rees who is in Brooklyn USA and what particularly caught my eye was two of the sections in her portfolio called dark food and light food, on closer inspection it turns out it’s the overall colour key of the image so more dark in the picture especially background is dark food, and lighter background equals light food right?
I have included two screenshot examples from her excellent portfolio below to illustrate the point.

Photo credit: VK REES PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo credit: VK REES PHOTOGRAPHY

Check out her blog and photography portfolio here vkreesphotography.com

Sunny but cold

That’s how the weather man would describe today’s weather, it was as we say “fresh” on the beach this morning and the sea is still frozen out as far as the eye can see.
Good day for staying in, Maggie has taken to the newest creations from Hawkes’ Hounds (more on that here) and now hides amongst them when I get a camera out.

The subject of my still-life project today was these rather lovely wooden table boards, not sure what the official name is here but they are used as sideplates and the spade-like spoony looking things are used to spread butter, really nicely made and from not far from us along the coast in Trelleborg the manufacturer is a chap called Bengt Åkesson
I used a technique to light this picture which simulates dappled sunlight which is something we are particularly looking forward to around these parts!

…and finally

If you arrived here looking for my http://www.nickhawkesphotography.com site I have put that site hosted by livebooks on hold for the moment and re-directed the URL to here. 
Still plenty of pictures to see on my Flickr page too.

Big as a house

For sure if I keep making all this bread and eating it fresh from the oven I will be as big as a house so thinking of houses the other day instead of baking that day we looked for a derelict house to photograph and with a little help from a friend we found one, it has been empty for years and we were lucky enough to meet a man there who remembers it when he was a child, (funny how he didn’t show up in any of the photos) he had lived nearby and told us a little of it’s history, in one room there was this newspaper on the floor, it’s difficult to read because: a) I only had a wide angle lens that day and b) It was in Swedish but the date of the paper was 1944. In estate agents terms the property “has great potential” “retains many original features” but undoubtably “requires some modernisation”

Autumn has arrived

Wind, cool mornings, falling leaves and having the fire lit and dead sourdough starter all mean one thing; a change in the season and Autumn is here, an excellent time to get out with your camera and snap some lovely colourful shots, here’s a couple from today in the studio and yes the bloomer was freshly baked  #can’tstopbakingbread

Did you notice the little fellow from Jurassic Park?

One light

Photographic lighting or more particularly studio lighting can at times be very complex with many different lights/strobes, reflectors, gobos and on and on, a myriad of different light shaping tools all separately adjusted to different power ratios, distances and angles all performing a subtle role contributing to the overall lighting of a scene, set or photograph, but sometimes less is more and great results can be achieved with just one light, these images were all shot today with one light double diffused to appear like natural light from a big window. Click on the images to see them larger.