How I'm Making A Difference Using A Speed Light In Food Photography

Every food photography image I've looked at, every article I read about food photography, every food photography I admire all illustrate just how important is lighting.  A speed light can make critical difference in lighting.  Yes, natural light is the best but it's not always available or even sufficient.

And that has been a big issue for me:  getting sufficient natural light.  To some degree, I've seem to have solved that problem.  I recently bought a speed light and placed it on the window seal.  The flash is positioned to bounce off the white ceiling or a white foam board.

This first image was taken with a speed light, the second without a speed light:

Ham and Goat Cheese -Redo-0785.png

What's in this favorite snack?

  • Cranberry and walnut bread

  • Rosemary baked ham, thinly sliced

  • Goat cheese

  • And of course, a lovely Riesling wine

The speed light sits on a window seal from where it boosts the natural light.  I used the speed light diffuser and positioned the head to bounce light off a white ceiling.  Paying close attention to the histogram, I was able to avoid white blow outs and get colors that were a little softer and more natural.

In the second image, you can see lots of white blow outs. Colors are flat and hard.  I had tried to compensate for insufficient natural light by bumping up my camera settings.  Nor did I utilize the histogram.

I only have one speed light; still, I find that I'm able to get not only better lighting but also more dependable lighting by boosting the natural light.  Next goal, get more creative with that one speed light!