Still life Photography - new lighting ?

Changing lighting for Still life ,studio & location.LED light

As an advertising and editorial photographer it is inevitable that you need to have the skills to photograph a good still life,a product shot or even a great food shot.

Since I started way back when Fox Talbot was producing his ‘The Pencil of Nature’ ,I was working in my studio ‘Pictures’ at 164 Deritend,Digbeth,Birmingham .I shot many a product,from GKN screws to White goods,Slumberland Beds and Church’s Brogues ,ASL sprayers and Harrison Curtain Rail .

It was a great grounding to understand light, even with limited resources ,one single light, it is possible to create strong images,if you use your eyes and ‘See’ the light. The simple change of position of a light source by just a few centimeters ,can drastically effect the outcome. Many photographers have a ‘go-to’ light ,and often that is appropriate, but by using continuous LED lights such as the Lupolux or Dedo lights ,a simple still life can be transformed.

I am taking many more Food and drinks shots now days ,hospitality and catering industry require updated images for the menus and website as well as books and magazine articles .Each location I shoot in presents its unique problems, lack of daylight or good quality light , this means that portable lights are required and often the conventional portable flash is perfect ,using either Elincron or Profoto and a variety of light shaping reflectors, softboxs. However the new continuous LED light that have become available are revolutionizing the way studio and location still life and people images are captured.

As clients require moving images for social media, website embedding as well as stills , it is inevitable that photographers shall use more continues light, I have for many years used tungsten ,Omni lights & Redheads were a standard kit to take to many Hotels,Restaurants or other commercial locations. The light would balance well with the warm tungsten bulbs that were found in most locations, now LED or Low Energy bulbs are less ‘warm‘ so newer LEDs are very useful ,although warming (Yellow) or cooling (blue) correction gels are always useful to ‘correct’ the light.

I tell students that they should try as many different types of lights, if they are lucky to be in a university with a good mix of lighting,great, but if not try to create your own signature lighting ,even with LED torches there are great creative possibilities , I have certainly enjoyed experimenting with all the new technology that has recently become available.

Combined with the better generation of sensors on digital cameras ,there has never been a more exciting time to take photographs .

Recent still life and food images

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