Monday, October 24, 2011



It becomes harder and harder! After mozzarella we have the intriguing but shy ricotta as a model on our set. Will we win his reluctance to show?

I started this post with a joke but ricotta is really a rather difficult subject to render photographically. Besides being white, with the same problems we had encountered with mozzarella, it doesn't have any texture on its own and it is pretty "shapeless" actually.

After failing miserably twice to style it in some pleasant shape, I preferred to leave it alone with the shape given by his packaging. In the case you'd have to mess with a home-made ricotta my advice is to keep it inside the bowl or basket from where it is drained.

Returning to the my set, the different and softer nature of the ricotta made me modify slightly the lighting scheme used for mozzarella. The main difference is the presence of a fill light, two stops under the key, modified through a rather large softbox relative to the size of to the subject, so to have a fill as smooth and uniform as possible. This obviously led to a slight repositioning of reflectors that, not having to bounce light on the front of the subject, have been moved closer and more lateral to its sides.

The scheme was roughly this:

As you can see I kept the set quite simple: few props, just to give a hint of setting, to avoid that the attention of the viewer could be distracted from our main subject which, as already stated, hasn't a very "strong" stage presence .

I then chose the viewpoint of someone whom is about to sit for eating. Using a "natural" viewpoint helps the viewer to identify himself into the scene, increasing the effectiveness of communication.

(Alessandro Guerani is a professional photographer specialized in food shooting. He lives in Bologna, Italy, and is available for assignments to create the images you always craved. Read the "About me" or contact him using the "Mail me" in the blog menu above.)

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