Friday, October 28, 2011
Today's model is one of the most characteristic food of Bologna: tagliatelle!
Before diving into lighting issues here we had a bit of styling problems. Tagliatelle are wonderful looking, but fresh ones are very long and fragile. To be photographed they need to be styled in some sort of shape while retaining their softness... much easier to say than to do! I also wanted to place them inside an egg container to emphasize their nature of fresh egg pasta so I had to work into a pretty limited space.
After carefully chose the best looking tagliatelle, with the same length and with no defects, I wrapped them around two of my fingers trying to not break them. The trick is to use very fresh pasta that is still very elastic, unfortunately you can't do it with dried tagliatelle that, beside being easily spottable as not fresh, they are also stuck in the shape they already have.
The lighting scheme was pretty easy to decide. My golden rule when I have to make the shot looking natural is to replicate a real lighting situation: here the first strobe in the 60x90cm softbox worked as the key light mimicing a window, the second strobe in a larger softbox and at much lower power worked as a frontal fill like it were a white wall, the reflector on the left was the lateral wall of my house" imaginary"and room. If I wanted more contrast I could take away the reflector, then we'd have a room with the left lateral wall far away from the subject, or I could move away the fill light and/or decrease its power source to mimic a front wall further away, I could also gelled it with some color if I wanted that "wall" to be colored. You see how it's simpler to think about lighting if you start from real ambient situations.
(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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