Projects: Kitchen Art, Take Two

A few months ago I posted an Image Project called Kitchen Art. It was a summary of the photo session that I had done to produce some images of fruits and vegetables for our kitchen. Using our rustic kitchen table as the backdrop, I positioned and lit the “subjects” in a cross-light configuration that really played up the detail and texture of both the table and the veggies. Well a good friend of mine, Carly Wintschel of Kitchening with Carly [1], read the post and it gave her the vision to upgrade photos she had hanging as kitchen art on the walls of her kitchen/dining room.

This wasn’t going to be a standard photoshoot, however,  our plan for this shoot was two-fold. First she wanted to commission images of her favourite vegetables. Second, and most interestingly, this shoot was also going to be part of an ongoing series of teaching sessions that we have had together. It was like being in a teaching hospital, every moment had a lesson in there…somewhere.


The background was composed of a weathered piece of 2X16″ board. We loved the look that the aged wood took on when underexposed ever so slightly. Next I went through the process of choosing a focal length. I ended up choosing a mid length macro lens (90mm) for a few reasons, but mainly to remove the minimum focus distance variable from the equation. That allowed us to get as close up or far away as we liked, and allowed us good background control. The last variable was exposure. Up to this point in our Foodography sessions we had only been using natural light modified with diffusers, reflectors, etc. It was time to kick it up a notch.

I experimented with a few different setups until we narrowed down and chose a two-light cross lighting setup. The main light was to camera left and from behind the food. The fill light was coming in camera right, almost directly across from the main. For some of the shots there was a third light positioned to camera right coming in from behind and a higher position, although it was only used in a few situations. On the main light I decided on a medium-sized reflective umbrella, because we decided we liked the brightness that it gave the specular highlights. The fill light was dialled down from the main light’s level and shot through a white umbrella. I wanted the dominant back light to have a slightly harder quality to it with a bit more fall-off, while the fill light was a bit softer and more even. The other factor in the decision-making process was Carly herself, since she was both a student and the client, so she had a lot of say in the finished product. She wanted the food to be raw, no frills or gimmicks. We kept massaging until we got all the controllable elements to communicate just that.

The result of this session were a two things: the final images that now adorn her Kitchen, and more teaching/knowledge in the never-ending cycle of photographic self-improvement. You can continue reading more about the whole experience over at her site as well.


[1] : Kitchening With Carly is run by a true culinary magician, Carly Wintschel. Our paths have crossed before. I have shot images of her utterly amazing Macaron’s before, in this post, and have worked through a training session with her that we dubbed Foodography 101. Do yourselves a favour and check out her site,, and if you are local you simply must try an order of the Macaron’s {You are welcome for when you wanted to thank me later!}.


  1. Neat to have completed my post and then read your, much more technical post, on the same session! Great post Darryl, and I loved working with you.

  2. WOW!…Great pictures!

  3. WOW!…Great pictures!

  4. Beautiful shots Darryl!! Can’t wait to see the Style At Home issue once it’s out of yours and Jodi’s house …… so cool.

  5. Beautiful shots Darryl!! Can’t wait to see the Style At Home issue once it’s out of yours and Jodi’s house …… so cool.

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