Want to capture food photographs that will stand out from all the rest? Instead of capturing the typical overhead still shot, you can deconstruct your dish or add some movement to your image for results that are truly eye-catching. For this shot, Seattle-based food photographer Steve Hansen chooses to freeze motion with some mole ingredients.
Strobes are essential in freezing motion. Steve uses two strobes modified by 12x50-inch stripbanks pointed directly at his subject from both sides. Stripbanks create a very directional light, allowing Steve to illuminate his subject precisely. With his lights in this position, Steve has created edge lighting that really emphasizes the texture on the ingredients.
On the left stripbank, Steve has added an egg-crate grid to eliminate some of the light spill on his background. Both stripbanks are fitted with only the interior diffusion baffle to create an edgy, more specular output.
Steve has his assistant pour the ingredients into a bin sitting out of the frame. They do this over and over again until Steve has an image that he’s mostly happy with. He is then able to composite in bits from other shots to perfect the image.