Projects: Kitchen Art

My wife presented me with a challenge. “I want to have a lot of art in the Kitchen (post renovation), and I want you to do it”. It didn’t take long to decide that the subjects would be the very elements that make up a meal. The idea of shooting raw meat was unappealing so I passed and went to the vegetables. How many times would you say that?

The lighting scheme was fairly straight forward. A rim/kicker light consisted of a speedlight zoomed in with a snoot to further narrow the beam of light. Adding even a touch of backlighting does a lot to enhance the illusion of three dimensions. The key light was a 20″ beauty dish. An odd choice perhaps, having more to do with having just getting it and wanting to try it out than a calculated choice compared to other light modifiers. That said there were a few things going for it that played to the kind of photos I was after. First it was going to be very close to the “subject”, and was quite large relatively, so it made for a very soft light source. Secondly the light from a beauty dish falls off faster which makes for some deeper shadows in the background (in the wider shots at least). Lastly a beauty dish has a very unique type of reflection in the specular highlights. That makes for a convincing argument, but really I just wanted to play with it.

The fun part of shooting these type of closeups is the process of tweaking the elements until you get what you want. You can keep the composition simple, or really play with the lines and colours of the image as well as the depth of field and point of focus to take the viewer’s eye through the shot.

Who has custom art hanging in their kitchen (or elsewhere in your home)? What kind of process did you go through to make it happen?

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