A glimpse into the studio

Miso Soup… it’s all in the details

My goal for this shot was to highlight the delicate beauty of all the ingredients in this bowl of soup. I opted to do this by using a clear glass bowl and lighting it from underneath. Here’s a shot of my set up showing a sheet of translucent plexiglass lit from underneath with a single Alien Bee head and a shoot through umbrella. This setup creates a nice even light under the bowl so I can have a uniform white background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note that I have my compendium lens hood on to block off all the extra light from outside the frame (See this post for a full explanation).  When you’re shooting for a clean white background, it’s important to precisely control your exposure. I use the highlight warning flashers on my preview image (or, since I’m shooting tethered, I can also turn on the highlight warnings in Lightroom). I dial up power of the flash slowly until the background just starts to flash as a solid highlight, but no more. This insures that my background is a clear white, but that I don’t have so much light pouring in that it will cause flare.

This gives a beautiful backlight to the bowl of soup which shows the translucent quality of the miso and the broth. However I do need some light on the front of the ingredients so that they are not left in silhouette. I used a gold reflector to bounce some of the light back onto the top of the bowl which illuminates the ingredients and gives them a warm glow. You can see the gold reflector on the left side of this shot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the lighting in place it’s now just a question of arranging everything in the bowl. We used a big pile of noodles as a support for all the other ingredients. The noodles provide a nice flexible base on which to support slices of pork tenderloin and the mushrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a nice animation that shows the tweaking and arranging we did along the way to the final shot:

The Perfect Arrangement!

Photography:  Rob Davidson
Food Styling:  Linsey Bell
Assistant & BTS shots: Nadia Cheema

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2 responses

  1. Yue

    your photo is stunning and you always shoot food in a very creative way, i love the bottom lighting

    April 21, 2011 at 2:45 am

  2. This is a prime example of where “beautiful teamwork” can get you. Sometimes people don’t understand all the intricate details it takes to get an amazing shot.

    May 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm

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