Food, Photography and Lifestyle Blog

Strobing, Styling and working with Textures


So I felt I was in dire need of some more practise, as last weeks few shoots at home were less then satisfactory.  



So I started taking my little food stylist Jens along to the stationary shop for some paper backgrounds with textures and a variety of colors. Prices of this are very reasonable, about HK$ 6 per sheet, and its great to have 12 or so now at home securely rolled up in a tube, ready for any time I might need one.


I decided that this time I wanted to skip cooking or producing anything, but just work on the photography side of it, as its less hectic and confusing. Also I made use of the ability to once shoot in daylight, be it very overcast, but that just makes all of Hong Kong one giant Softbox.

In the short future I have to shoot some bottles for someone and as I always had trouble with that due to height etc I thought ok lets get a bottle of the cheapest bubbly I could get, (Emilie and me we both dont like bubbly) I immediately thought of Strawberries, what else to go with bubbly huh and lucky as I was they had some near perfect ones in the Supermarket. Then I also saw some Kiwi berries, tiny little kiwi’s with edible skin, true when ripe they are mushy, when unripe they are sour and hard. Anyway I thought great material to contrast with Big Brother Big Kiwi.


Kiwi (Big Brother & Small Sister)

Kiwi (Big Brother & Small Sister)



Next was a Cup Noodles, how convenient at lunch time! with some bottled Chinese Oolong Tea.

I personally think the cheap paper backgrounds are great to work with, they can really add some punch to the images, especially if you consider that until now I almost shot everything exclusively on white or black backgrounds! Color my life I say!

I did have some big misses again though, some Kiwi berries were left out of the shot and I failed to realize that they would still cast a shadow into the image…..bummer! Also the lighting isnt that great really, in some areas its great but at the right its too light and at the left too dark, especially on the subjects. I think I am in dear need of some stands which can gold up reflectors in any position I need (or an assistant with 10 arms) so I will be looking into getting something hopefully cheap and jolly for that soon. For the Kiwi’s I used the 100 MM Canon Lens.

For the Champagne, I was worried as the bottles are very high but narrow as well…..So I thought to shoot it with a glass besides it, and the Strawberries just in between in front.

For this i chose to use the 50 MM 1.4 so I could get lower and closer in, as I really dont like to shoot this from above, but also dont have a large enough background which goes up, so I could shoot it straight on. There are reflections in the bottle but mainly of the stuff that is in the bottle, you cant really see myself, or any other things in the room clearly so I was quite happy with that.

Anyway I am quite happy with these few shots, except for the cup noodles…that just seems to be a shot of cup noodles and nothing more!


Bubbly and Strawberries

Bubbly and Strawberries


2 responses

  1. Marco, for some very cheap reflectors that you can actually also set down without holding them is foamboard that is wide enough to stand on it’s own. You can buy them here in any regular building market (Gamma or praxis) and if you cut them into pieces you can place them in various spots to lift the shadows. Costs almost nothing. Another great reflector you can set down is a shaving mirror (one that you can turn) It can create nice highlights too!

    March 15, 2009 at 7:53 am

  2. cosmopolitanblog

    thanks that sounds like good ideas!! I will try and use that tomorrow

    March 15, 2009 at 8:12 am

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