Using Light Reflectors in Food Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (27 of 29)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.5

The image above was created for the Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis lens review by using a reflector and flash light output bounced off of said light reflector to mimic the look of window lighting. It’s a very nifty trick that is useful for food photographers when the most ideal light for food photography just isn’t available during the time of day.

And to be very honest, it’s very simple to do.


Bouncing Strobe Light to Look Like Window Lighting

We’ve shared this tutorial many times before and even did our own video on it, but Adorama has their own when applying this to portrait photography in the video above.

Our video has more to do with food photography and literally just involves you setting the right ISO, flash output setting and aperture if you’re using a manual flash. If you’re using TTL flash, then it’s an issue of modifying the light output one way or another vi exposure compensation.

To get the best results, set the flash’s zoom head to the widest setting using the wide angle diffuser built in. This will make the flash output cover a larger area and therefore give you the softest light. Here are some examples of this in use:

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 35mm f1.4 other photos (1 of 28)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 24-35mm f2 food photos (2 of 2)ISO 10001-13 sec at f - 5.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 24-35mm f2 food photos (1 of 2)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (28 of 29)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 5.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 5Ds review images (5 of 24)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 4.0

Diffusing Natural Light

Photographer Penny De Los Santos recently did a tutorial video with creativeLive on diffusing natural light for food photography. Shea Evans calls her a “Food Culture Photographer” in our interview, and it makes a lot of sense as to why given the images that she creates.

Penny uses reflectors to lessen the light’s effects, bounce light back into a scene or add contrast by using a black reflector. Though the tutorial doesn’t actually show the effects with food, the concepts are still there. Here are some examples of images where reflectors were used to diffuse natural light.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (21 of 29)ISO 2001-30 sec at f - 4.5

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (22 of 29)ISO 2001-80 sec at f - 4.5

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (24 of 29)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 2.2

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (19 of 29)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 4.5

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis review sample photos (20 of 29)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 4.5