A good lighting kit is very important in my opinion especially when you take on bigger and bigger projects where you cannot depend on natural light. But when you are starting off in food photography, are learning to mould the light to your specific requirements and your pockets are not deep enough yet, natural light is the best source of light you can play with.
Don't get me wrong though. There are a very good number of talented and hard working photographers who work on big commercial projects with natural light. It takes a whole lot of practice but definitely achievable.
I used natural light for this shoot because i was just too lazy to setup my lights after a hefty lunch and i had a spare chocolate bar lying out half of which i had already eaten. 😊
So lets get to the details.
Camera - Canon 80D
Lens - Canon 50 mm F1.8
Tripod - Neewer
Light Modifier - Foam boards with one side black to block out and control the amount of light reflected.
How do you shape/control light? By using flags, reflectors, gobos etc. In this case i used foam boards with one side that had black so that they would cut the amount of light that was reflected and to guide the light into the area's which i wanted lit. The curtains also helped as well.
As you can see in the camera setting my aperture is 4 since that would be enough because i am so close to the object and it gave me enough depth for my needs. I wanted to keep the ISO at 100 to make sure the image came out really sharp and clean so to have it this way i lowered the shutter speed to let in more light.
Awesome Natural Light
Background: High Res images printed onto 3 mm Foam/Forex Boards
A little dark - because its chocolate.
Here are the edits that i did in Lightroom which are quite standard and can be replicated in Camera Raw in Photoshop if you are not familiar with Lightroom. The biggest modification i made was with adding extra texture & clarity since the bar had so many grooves and lines on it and i wanted this to stand out. But do note that the more clarity you add the darker the image gets and it might not work well in all situations.
Here is my final set of Photoshop edits to clean up the bit and pieces with Masks, Clone stamps, Brightness/Contrast adjustments etc.
And here is an image to show what it looked like in camera to the final image.
Even though the lighting was perfect there was quite a bit i had to clean up to get exactly what i had in mind.
Well i guess i will now get back and finish that chocolate bar.