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Food Photography Challenge for January

A group of photographers have joined up to do a food photography challenge every month. This month’s food challenge was fruit on white with no props. Now, I freely admit I’m a prop girl when it comes to foodie photos. I’m a frequent stalker of antique malls for dishes, silverware, bottles, etc. So this month’s challenge was…well…challenging for me.

fruit food photography

I shot these in natural light on a day when the sun kept going in and out , darting and dodging behind the clouds. Settings on my camera that were correct at the time, quickly changed to wrong in a blink of an eye. Settings for this shot were 1/100, f 5.0 with my 100mm macro, and ISO 1000. Love how my camera handles the higher ISOs.

Here is a pull back shot of my setup.

set up for food shot

This is simply my desk in my office with a white foam board behind the fruit…held up by some clamps I stole borrowed from my husband’s woodworking shop. The window is directly behind me with the sun coming in at an angle.

I first tried for a bright sunlight making-lemonade-in-the-summer feel. (Even though it’s the dead of winter here in the midwest.) I never could get the exact feel I was going for with harsh sunlight shadows and bright yellow lemons.

One of my many rejects:

lemons in bright sunlight

It also bugged me that I didn’t notice that the slice in front had a crazy smashed in side to it. Changed that up later in my shoot.


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, not one to let all those sliced up lemons go to waste…I rewarded myself at the end of my shoot with this yummy beer:

boulevard wheat beer with lemon

Be sure and check out what the other photographers in our Monthly Food Photography Challenge came up with. Visit Stacey Siegal, a Longboat Key Photographer, to see her take on our challenge.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stacey S January 20, 2012, 7:22 am

    This is a GORGEOUS capture Kay! I love the way you styled it without props. 😉

  • Tiffany | Develop January 20, 2012, 8:29 am

    OMG, I’m dying with laughter over here. I LOVE your reject shot. That is what my lemons looked like and I had to just stop and pick a different fruit. Thank you for sharing! I love your final shot. I totally thought lemonade when I saw it so you’re closer than you think to your original goal. Love the pullback and reward shots too. Fantastic post all around. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the rest of the year!

  • Your Sis January 20, 2012, 8:43 am

    How did you get that one lemon to look directly into the camera?

  • Carey Pace January 20, 2012, 8:54 am

    Oh, Kay, this just rocks. The styling part is so so so so SO very much harder than it looks and you’ve done it perfectly. I love lemons. I love yellow with white. Just perfect. And I love how you included your pull backs, too!!!

  • Amanda Eller January 20, 2012, 9:31 am

    Kay! These are great! I actually like the one with the shadows… definitely gives you that summer, in the kitchen late afternoon feel! You did a great job not having overly bright, saturated lemons too. Very real. I like it!

  • Tammy Bilodeau January 20, 2012, 9:33 am

    What great use of lemons and the seed too! I love that little touch. Great lighting on these and thanks for the pull back

  • Laurie January 20, 2012, 10:13 am

    Your lemons shots are beautiful, and I totally understand the prop thing.. Every time I get a check, I run down to the antique mall too, it is my favorite past time! I look forward to this year.. Of more creativity and uses of pros. 🙂 Thanks so much for joining us Kay!

  • Jennifer January 20, 2012, 10:26 am

    Wonderful lemons! I love how they aren’t neon and crazy but a lovely soft yellow that seems to fit your style perfectly!
    I, too, am addicted hopelessly to props…I think you nailed it sans props anyway!

  • Kim - Liv Life January 20, 2012, 10:42 am

    Thank you for doing the pull back shot!! It’s always a treat to see how other people make their set, and I would never in a thousand years though of that clamp. I’ve spent ages trying to balance boards and papers with blocks behind them only to have them slip half way through a shot. Brilliant idea!
    Lemons are hard, or at least I thinks so. Yours are beautiful! And I’m also so happy to see that I’m not the only one who overlooks a mashed or flawed piece as I happily shoot away.
    Nicely done, Kay!

  • Jen January 20, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Great color and I love your idea of celebrating!

  • Kirsten January 20, 2012, 2:19 pm

    OMG, I love that you used beer in one of your shots!!! That first one is perfect…not too saturated, which is so easy to do with fruit!

  • Allison Jacobs January 20, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Love your lemon shot but I REALLY love your reward at the end! Fun to see the pull backs & read how the shoot went for you!

  • Kat January 21, 2012, 7:19 pm

    Nice to see your pull back. Beautiful lemons.

  • Elaine January 21, 2012, 11:04 pm

    Thank you for posting your steps. And I love the lemons.

  • Jeanie February 5, 2012, 11:48 am

    I’m loving this food photography circle. Your lemon shots are great. Thanks so much for adding the “behind the scenes” info!