Using a flash for food photography has gotten a bad rap in food blogging circles. This is because people only try using the flash on their camera. If you use an off camera flash you can recreate any type of lighting. The techniques you need to learn in order to control the light from flashes are also useful for modifying naturally available light.
Strobist.com is a great website that popularized the use of hot shoe flashes off camera. It is run by David Hobby, a newspaper shooter turned instructor. While the site doesn’t focus on food photography, it has great lighting techniques and tutorials.
The current practical exercise is on food photography! The Strobist community has uploaded a ton of great examples of food photography onto the site’s Flickr group. Members document the lighting setup they used so it is a great way to get new ideas and see what works.
I had a hard time picking what to upload for this week’s exercise. I ended up going with the photo above of pickled spring onions. I ended up with a couple of other fun shots:
Here is the setup I used…It was a piece of plexi glass, with a flash bounce off below the subjects. There was another flash, fired through a softbox, camera left and behind the subject.