I recently photographed a blender filled with fruit for my stock portfolio and the setup was unique to my usual food photographs so I thought I’d share it here on my blog. I almost always use diffused daylight for my food images (with a few exceptions) so I wanted to go with that and, even though this was a setup that would have worked just as well with strobes, I thought I’d give it a try with window-light to see what I could come up with.

When you photograph glass, or any reflective surface, you need to watch out for stray reflections. If you’re in a room with colored walls and the walls are showing in your surface then you’ll see that color in your image, just as I did with the gold-colored stripe at the bottom of the image, which is a combination reflection of the wooden surface and gold reflector I used for fill. You also want to try to add light to the sides of the glass to outline it so it doesn’t “disappear” into the background, especially if you don’t have anything inside of the glass when you photograph it.

I also wanted a backdrop that was simple, and neutral, so I added a piece of white foam board at an angle directly behind the blender. My focal length was long (180mm) so that at ƒ/8 the DOF was shallow enough so that any imperfection in the board blurred away, and it add a nice gradient to the background as well (I didn’t add any vignette to the final image since it would have introduced banding in the corners).

Here are all of the elements to my setup:

  • Camera: Canon 5DMkII
  • Lens: Canon 70-200mm ƒ/4L IS
  • Tripod and head with Custom Bracket
  • Lighting: Back-lit with diffused window light (North-facing)
  • Four pieces white foam board
  • Small gold reflector for fill light in the front