Food Photography BTS: Flash Setup

By | 2016-01-20T17:28:36+00:00 March 11th, 2011|10 Comments

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 ƒ/4L IS lens, 1/125 sec at ƒ/5.6, ISO 100

Yesterday I photographed this delicious green curry with chicken and jasmine rice dish, and decided to use a flash setup instead of the usual strobe/softbox or diffused sunlight setup I normally use. I mounted the flash on a light-stand, set it to manual mode, placed a shoot-through umbrella in front of it and triggered it with PocketWizard FlexTT5 radios. I filled in the front and sides with a reflector and foam-core.

Equipment:

  • Canon 430EX Speedlight on lightstand
  • Shoot-through umbrella
  • 5-in-1 reflector (to the right of the dish)
  • Foam-core “bookend” to the left of the dish

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website, nicolesy.com.

10 Comments

  1. Brycia March 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! The dish in the inset looks beautiful!

    Question – I know you have made some of these “tabletops” for shooting food on. What would you recommend the minimum length be? I hope to make one soon.

    • Nicole March 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      The table-tops I use are about 2ft x 4ft. I just go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy the large pieces of wood they have that are already pre-cut. They just happen to be the perfect size for what I need. In the above photo I just had them cut down a few 2″x4″ beams into several same-size pieces.

  2. Howard J March 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Great BTS look at your food photography, now I’m hungry! I like that false table top, very creative, do you have others?

  3. Mark L March 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Thx for your insights into the art of food photography.
    As someone who want to get more into this side of the business, I am finding your blogs incredibly useful. By the way don’t worry about the mess in your house,you just need to find someone who appreciates that kind of look too. :o)

  4. Mark L March 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    p.s. Can’t wait for your new book to come out, in August is it?

    • Nicole March 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      Yep, August-ish. Watch my blog … I’ll post more details on the book as it gets closer to being printed.

  5. Toyin March 14, 2011 at 4:50 am - Reply

    Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Quick Question – the light from the flash looks like continuous lighting as opposed to a flash mounted umbrella. Can please clarify this for me.

    Thanks

    • Nicole March 14, 2011 at 10:28 am - Reply

      I just looks like that because I triggered the light when I photographed the BTS image.

  6. TripleScoop March 14, 2011 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Hi Nicole do you have your flash on Manual or TTL? If manual can you tell me what was the zoom and power? Thanks!

    • Nicole March 14, 2011 at 10:37 am - Reply

      It was on manual, but I don’t recall the exact setting. Maybe 1/4 or 1/8 power? Something like that.

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