Photography

Synthetic Lighting For Meals Images Behind The Scenes


On this submit I’ll present you tremendous simple synthetic lighting for meals pictures that I used to take this image of a bloody Mary and mini BLT.

Artificial Lighting For Food Photography Behind The Scenes

Many photographers are intimidated by synthetic lighting, when the fact is that capturing with pure mild is definitely tougher!

Right here’s why. Pure mild (the solar) is shifting all day lengthy! With that motion, your publicity AND your white steadiness (shade temperature) may even be altering on you – all day lengthy!

Oh, and let’s not overlook about all these clouds that come and go, good day all my pretty UK meals shooters!

It’s tremendous annoying! Increase your hand if you’re bored with this!!!

Individuals, you’ll make your lives a lot simpler in case you simply seize a man-made mild and discover ways to use it, so you may cease chasing the solar throughout your home.

You can begin with only one mild and one fill card. See this post for that set up.

Within the picture above, I’m utilizing two lights – however I’m utilizing them to create ONE mild supply.

LED Panel Light For Food Photography

Do you know that ANYTHING white will replicate mild? Yep, even vertical blinds will develop into a pleasant, enormous reflector board/wall for you!

Okay, let’s break down the sunshine. Here’s what’s happening:

I’m utilizing two LED light panels – see this post for more info on those. Every of those LED panels is bi-color. That signifies that I could make them any shade temperature I need inside a sure vary. This makes these lights glorious for mixing with daylight or lights which have a decrease shade temp.

I also can management how vivid they’re – so I made them as vivid as I might right here.

Why am I utilizing two lights?

This can be a method I take advantage of on a regular basis after I need very even lighting on my whole set from entrance to again. In the event you have a look at my picture, the entrance of the picture is similar lightness/brightness because the again of the set. There is no such thing as a mild fall off taking place.

Okay, so stick with me right here – the sunshine within the BACK helps to mild the entrance of the set and the sunshine within the FRONT helps to mild the again of the set. I’m utilizing the angle of incidence, and the angle of refraction right here.

I’m not going to enter all of the physics of this. I’m going to make it easy. Have a look at mild as a straight line. When that line hits a floor, it’s going to bounce off, and redirect that path of sunshine in a special route –  90 levels as long as that floor the sunshine is hitting is flat.

I place my lights in order that the sunshine will bounce off of it in a way that may wash over my set, and my meals properly.

One mild is angled up a little bit increased than the opposite one as nicely. Once more, that is to scrub the world they’re lighting with mild.

artificial light with food photography

These LED lights would not have any diffusion or modifiers on them, which makes them a harsh mild. Because of this I’m bouncing the sunshine. I need to soften the sunshine, so I don’t get harsh shadows.

Barn Doors On an LED Panel Light

I wished to level out one thing that’s on each lights. These are known as barn doorways. Barn doorways are made for the sunshine they go on. So one set of barn doorways is not going to work on a special mild, except it’s the similar precise model and measurement.

Barn doorways assist to regulate the sunshine so that you just don’t find yourself getting direct mild hitting something you don’t need it to.

On this case, I don’t need any direct mild to hit my topics, or my set. I need any mild that’s going to be hitting my topic and set to be the tender mirrored mild coming from the white vertical blinds.

Large Diffusion Panel With White Cover

I’m utilizing a really massive diffusion panel by protecting the white cowl on it, and easily standing it up proper subsequent to the set. That may assist to bounce in lots of mild, and fill within the shadows.

Close Up Shot of the Bloody Mary

Alise Arato styled this drink. We each wanted some new cocktail pictures for our portfolios. Alise used faux ice right here after which used picket skewers to assist prop up the meals garnish, and to assist preserve them in place.

Close up of bloody mary garnish with wooden skewers

We clearly took the image with out the vertical picket skewer. Alise was simply utilizing that to assist poke issues into place. Our chili pepper is leaning again on a horizontal skewer that she then coated with the tomato juice.

So there you will have it. Synthetic lighting for meals pictures doesn’t must be difficult in any respect.


In case you have been curious – listed below are the LED panel lights that I’m utilizing to take this picture. These are my Amazon affiliate hyperlinks, so must you purchase them, I’ll obtain a really small fee for free of charge to you.

Drakast Bi Color LED Panel Lights

This kit was made by Drakast. These lights aren’t low cost as a result of they’ve a excessive CRI (shade rendering index). This implies this mild just isn’t inexperienced, however extra impartial. The opposite factor that provides to the fee is they’re Bi-Shade. You possibly can dial in any shade temp you need inside a sure vary of 3200-6500 Ok.

They’re additionally dimmable so you may dial up or down the brightness that you just want and so they include barn doorways.

You may get cheaper variations of those which are one shade temp and that aren’t dimmable.

Let me know when you’ve got any questions within the feedback beneath.


Need to be taught extra about synthetic lighting? Try my free so that you could cease chasing the solar!

Food Photography Artificial Light | Food Photography Blog

Christina Peters

Christina has been capturing professionally for greater than 25 years now and has specialised in capturing meals for the final 15 years. She additionally teaches meals pictures with workshops and likewise her membership website Meals Images Membership.

Christina Peters

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