(1 to 100 of 396 replies)
strobist PRO 1:36pm, 25 July 2007
Ask/answer questions, share ideas, post your pix - whatever you like.
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(1 to 100 of 396 replies)
Guy Carnegie 11 years ago
Thanks David - Can't wait to get stuck in!
Ken Bauer 11 years ago
Now I just want to ditch work and go take over my kitchen, way to make my day last ten times longer!
muddled downtown [deleted] 11 years ago
Good thing my boss (just like Ken Bauer's I assume) doesn't monitor my browsing behaviour... Especially around Lighting102-time.
Thanks David.
MattAdamsPhoto.com 11 years ago
Quick question... since the "assignment" is for "a catalog cover or in a calendar or on the wall of one of those ubiquitous 'fast casual' restaurants" (as opposed to a newspaper), are we not bound by the photojournalistic ethics that would normally constrain us?

Would we be able to use photoshop or otherwise manipulate the photograph post-production? Is that kosher?

Many thanks!
strobist PRO 11 years ago
Ethically, it is kosher. But the whole point here is to hone your lighting skills, not to paint something in Photoshop. The Photoshop blog is down the hall on your left.
Guy Carnegie Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Guy Carnegie (member) 11 years ago
Using photoshop is a great way af working out what's wrong with your pictures.

Take your picture, and photoshop it until it's perfect - then go back to the kitchen and work out how to make everything you did in photoshop happen in real life - move that background distraction - increase the light in the upper left corner. Diffuse that light a bit more. etc. Just note down the tasks you do while at the computer - you could even print off a draft copy every now and again with some pointers - lighten here - shift this to the left etc.

Sometimes its hard to see what's wrong with a scene until you analyse it on screen or on paper - I guess it slowly becomes second nature - but it certailny isn't yet for me.

I guess it's kind a like "Chimping" on a larger scale - could that be called "Gorrill-ing" or "Orangut-ing"?
greg.newman 11 years ago
@bluphoto7... good point and I think it's called "babooning"
Robertv! (Edinburgh, UK) Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Robertv! (Edinburgh, UK) (member) 11 years ago
I just created my first shots for this assignment. My first ever assignment photos. I hope they don't suck too much!
Strobist Lighting 202 Assignment; CookingBot-o1
(Quickly running out of nice looking kitchen things.)
MattAdamsPhoto.com 11 years ago
Point well taken, David.

I was looking at using photoshop more to deal with background issues, not fixing my lack of lighting skills. I'm not very good at photoshop, which is just fine with me.
maniacal bubble [deleted] 11 years ago
hmph, I am on holiday :-)
... going to have to miss this one (well, I'll do it when I get back, actually, so I hope the teacher accepts a note from my parents explaining why I can't hand in the homework on time;-)
Due to a heavy workload over recent weeks I wasn't able to take part in the learning exercises so for this assignment I chose a difficult object and learned the techniques while doing the photo. I don't think I've quite nailed the double diffusion yet but I'm nearly there. Rubbish picture, I know. I'll be having another go when I'm less tired :-)

Lighting 102: Cooking Light

Set-up shots:

Lighting 102: Cooking Light
BillRhodesPhoto PRO 11 years ago
@A.J. French

where do you go on holiday that there is not any food preparation things around?

or is it lack of light?
KatieMinister 11 years ago
So I just stumbled on to strobist...love the idea, is it ok to jump in to the assignments even if I haven't done the pre-exercises?
Terry Moore 11 years ago
Thanks for the set up shot. I was trying to think of possibilities for suspending a utensil in midair. Your way beats the heck out of fishing line.

Happy to help :-) Here's an old suspension shot and set-up:

Vivitar 285HV levitates

Set-up for 285HV levitation
maniacal bubble [deleted] 11 years ago
OK, just had to have a quick go at this before packing my bags and heading off back to England (Hotel Mamma for 2 weeks;-)

two forks on black

three forks on black

three forks on white

knife and fork on white
susan_c PRO 11 years ago
My first attempt may have to followed up by another at a later stage as this was the only shot that didn't have the knife hideously covered in little bits of dust.


Not entirely happy with it as the handle's blown out but I think the black and white works.
silly cloth [deleted] 11 years ago
whatta ya think?

Mikko Reinikainen 11 years ago
Here is my attempt at using light angle and hard specular highlights for a gritty high contrast look:

Cutlery on black

The texture of the scratched metal that is revealed by lighting can only be seen at large or original size (click on magnifying glass above photo on its page).
kkuja Posted 11 years ago. Edited by kkuja (member) 11 years ago
This was my first test for this assignment. I wanted to see how my idea would work as picture and could I execute it. I took a few different shots, but this was best. Maybe I gather enough willpower to refine this idea more.

Strobist assignment - Cooking (test 1)

Also, maybe I should buy less scrathed butter-knives.
strobist PRO 11 years ago
Wow, you guys are not wasting any time!

Gene Hsu 11 years ago
This is one I did when I was reading the L:S&M metal chapter.

Carving Crossing

The set-up was similar to this. (Hand-held flash)


I'll probably try again with different materials.
ovendelon 11 years ago
My first tests, I'll try some more :) this is addicting.

This one is with flash bounced off a white paper camera left and up.


Flash bounced off the paper above the subject.

kreego PRO 11 years ago
Spoon Salad

Well - there went my evening ;-) In the category "Amazing things that show up with oblique lighting" I have to mention those horrific scratches. I think possibly a mirror would have been better than ... plexiglass.
Joseph Yarrow 11 years ago
I did this one ages ago.....(good for me!)
Quoc-Huy Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Quoc-Huy (member) 11 years ago
Hi there,

This is my first assignment shot hope won't be too bad...
Here is the setup shot:

And the results:

Critics and advices are more than welcome!
yourealwaysbe 11 years ago
For some reason i got excited about kitchen equipment. I guess i like metal and food.

I think i like all the photos in this thread.

Here's my effort for today. I resisted the urge to separate the greys on the bottom row with photoshop. Something to aim for when i reshoot.

The file name is for anyone who likes Deerhoof ;).
andrew_starrs Posted 11 years ago. Edited by andrew_starrs (member) 11 years ago
Here's my go, my first official assignment submission. Woohoo!
Soy sauce Dish and Chopsticks 2
Let me know what you think.
Backwards HAT Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Backwards HAT (member) 11 years ago
Here's my first attempt at this:

Strobist 102_Assignment_Cooking Light_1

I figured I'd try a couple of different textures/surfaces in one shot, and I'm not too unhappy with this for a first attempt (literally 10 minutes worth of setting things up/moving them around to get this). Notice the quality and color of the light change along the blade of the spatula - this is completely due to the curvature of the blade and what it does to the family of angles in the reflections...
briandaly 11 years ago
Whoever thought hangin' out after hours in the kitchen could be such fun?
First attempt:
Zoomed steamer
s w i t t e r s 11 years ago
Here's mine:

Sorry about the lack of info... I was in a hurry and didn't take notes. Setup was one light camera-left with a piece of typing paper over it on 1/4 power. To the right was a large white reflector held at 45-60 degree angle so it was reflecting light both down on the knife and to its right side. Aperture was around f/5.6 - f/8, shutter 1/250, ISO 100.



magicnikon 11 years ago
Well folks, here's my attempt...



Basically, two SB600's firing into right and left pieces of white foamcore...the bottom picture got a red gel.

Dave Schlier PRO 11 years ago
First attempt: a cheesegrater...Blue - handle up I've got some shadows from the handle I've yet to figure out what to do with.

and I came up with some dozies...Through CTO handle down - lovely color, yes?

The setup: Cheesegrater setup I used a flash at 1/32 that pointed into the cheese grater, and used a (generally) flash with a grid to give some harsh, directed light just out of the object, with the hope that the reflected light would light the object. Which it did. With shadows. Doh! The pic has notes that describe each part of the lighting setup.
Swansea Photographer 11 years ago
not the most upmarket utensil but it is a scissors designed specifically for use in the kitchen...

Scissors #2
m00by 11 years ago
after 40+ trial shots with studio strobes, I have decided that my SB600 is *totally* the way to go. It's the only way I can get below f/16 or even f/32. Yeesh :) I'm so glad I've found out how to use a small strobe more effectively. =D doesn't help that the big'uns are absolutely not adjustable (way too old)
Benny Vision Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Benny Vision (member) 11 years ago
My First attempt at this, but i spent alot of time on it and i don't even know how many shots, looking at all the great photos i'm envious.......... does it count if i did'nt use strobes.... I just hope u notice the smiley faces
Happy Spoons
Backwards HAT Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Backwards HAT (member) 11 years ago
Benny - love the smileys! That's awesome. Well done. :)

Had another go (see first attempt earlier in this thread):

Strobist 102_Assignment_Cooking Light_2

Click picture for lighting details.
optimal shock [deleted] 11 years ago
As a newcomer to this just wanted to thank you guys who also post your setup shots, that is very useful.
Thanks again, now....to the kitchen!
G0Da 11 years ago
Ok Im new here so go easy on me, I really appreciate any thoughts and or suggestions.

Strobist 1
Strobist BW1
shinigami68 Posted 11 years ago. Edited by shinigami68 (member) 11 years ago
wow cool stuff everyone .
now if i could just figure out how to post a photo.
bill2750 11 years ago
Here is my first attempt at posting anything on Strobist. I have been in the shadows watching and figured it's about time to join in all the fun. Any comments (good or bad) are appreciated.



Both photos shot with identical lighting
1/32 540EZ camera left with red gel
1/64 540EZ camera right with diffuser
1/128 580EX ceiling bounce with yellow gel
very1silent PRO 11 years ago
Here's a first attempt:
Camp Spoon
I'd love to polish out some of the scratches on the spoon. Any good suggestions on how to polish stainless steel?
Thought you guys might find this funny, the second comment on this photo. I don't think he really gets what Lighting 102 is all about, eh?

Amazing photos being posted here. I hope I get time today to try another idea and maybe produce something that can stand alongside them.
G0Da 11 years ago
Andrew - LOL thanks for sharing that, made me laugh.
jwramp PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by jwramp (member) 11 years ago
Here's my first attempt (been a lurker forever) and I had a lot of fun making a mess of the kitchen :)


Strobist info: Bare SB-600 directly to subject right with a piece of construction paper behind.
heavenly cows [deleted] 11 years ago

The wife is out of town so I had access to the Kitchen. I think she calls this device a colander ;-) Basic lighting: FL-50 Flash set at 1/64th power. Location camera left and slightly behind subject. Famous Shoe support for the flash (don't tell the wife it was on her kitchen counter). Props: strawberries (sacrificed at the end of the shoot to a hungry GWC), colander, and water from a kitchen spray gun. Camera set to F5.6 at 1/200. Basic crop in PS2 otherwise untouched.
wiredfool 11 years ago
My take on this -- inspired by the sensual pepper comment:


I am quite happy that I got something usable and pretty much exactly what I had envisioned by about my third shot, and spent the rest of the time tweaking for composition and just what shape I wanted the highlight, how far down the spoon it should go, and how to keep my thumb holding the cutting board from being reflected in the spoon.
susan_c PRO 11 years ago
You guys totally rock. I'm envious.
ovendelon 11 years ago
Another try with a flatter object


Flash is behind the subject, 50cm above and shot through a white sheet. It was difficult to hold the sheet with one hand and `search` for the reflection and shoot with the other
RemoteCho Posted 11 years ago. Edited by RemoteCho (member) 11 years ago

I'll let you guys reverse engineer it.
strobe_flash 11 years ago
@RemoteCho - one word, "Nice!"
shutterzombie 11 years ago
Wow, great shots so far!

Here's my first attempt:

Autumn Colours 11 years ago
murder in the dark

I took this photo a while ago and I apologise to those who have already seen it but its fits the assignment so thought I would post it ! I'm going to work on some other kitchen utensil photos that aren't quite so dark and moody :o)
GarethDix 11 years ago
I'm gone for half a day and everyone's done the assignment already??
MirandaLPhotography Posted 11 years ago. Edited by MirandaLPhotography (member) 11 years ago

I know nothing about lighting so I am so happy to be doing this course! It took 135 pictures to get to this. I started off using my new Canon 430 flash but the reflection was just too harsh no matter where I pointed the flash, at the back, the front, the side, up on the roof. So I got a lamp instead from the lightbox I made a few days ago and used that. Again, too harsh. It just looked too much like a cliche too, to me. Metal object = must have reflection from light, been done and much better than I could. So, I ended up pointing the light up at the ceiling instead and that gave a nice even light and so I ended up bouncing the flash off the ceiling too. I hope this has given it a quality that is a little original that just a plain reflection. I like how the DOF field and the light gives it a soft tone all over.

Canon 30D, reading light with UV light it, canon 430 flash and a piece of red paper.
MirandaLPhotography 11 years ago
hellknight...the light on that knife is so even! Lovely
MirandaLPhotography 11 years ago
widefool....I really like the idea of your shot!
fancy hydrant [deleted] 11 years ago
@KatieM1128: Jump straight in if you like, but the exercises help to get the techniques in your head
GarethDix Posted 11 years ago. Edited by GarethDix (member) 11 years ago
Leggova "Metal object = must have reflection from light"

not necessarily... if you have a point source of light and it falls within the family of angles then you'll have the problem of those specular highlights...

the curved surface of those tongs create a large area of direct reflection which is probably why you had a lot of trouble... the subject would definately not have been my first choice for a first go because of this. if you tried it with say a knife there's only one angle for the light to reflect (not including the handle) and you might find it a lot easier to get the light you want. The photo looks good though well done!

wow can anyone tell i've been reading LS&M? lol
g2boojum PRO 11 years ago
Oh, dear. I'm planning to work on this assignment over the weekend, but I dare say I'll be too embarrassed to post my pedestrian results along side such remarkable pictures! The results I've seen so far have been just amazing.
MirandaLPhotography 11 years ago
thanks for the comment Cham...my point was not that it would have been difficult to do, but that as the assignment was to do something creative and different, I didn't want to do the obvious :)
CDB Photo 11 years ago
My take on the assignment. This was taken using 1 Nikon sb28 shot through a large diffusion screen.

Think I will have another crack at this later to see if I can get something better.


abrupt science [deleted] 11 years ago
Here is my first attempt, click on the photo to see lighting details.


All comments welcome. I'll be trying a few more with different subjects soon.
herman.stehouwer Posted 11 years ago. Edited by herman.stehouwer (member) 11 years ago
My first (quicky) attempt.
Nothing special but I like the final look.
Used a coffeetable to put the subject on and used a nice pair of (semi-glossy) wooden doors (set in my bookcase).
Because of the glossyness I could use it as a semi-mirror to get some light up there (the reflection of the umbrella).

stokjes  010.jpg

Comments offcourse welcome (both positive and negative).
herman.stehouwer 11 years ago
@remotecho: Large umbrella or softbox on the other side of the subject (straight on) but outside the frame.
Reflective slightly diffuse surface in front of the subject. (aiming slightly down). I guess a piece of paper should do.
timpweb PRO 11 years ago
I went in a couple directions... Here's my first shot.



I'm not sure which to go with for my FINAL... any comments? please check out these shots and the rest of the shots for this assignment in the set... i just can't decide. Thanks!
dalyswe Posted 11 years ago. Edited by dalyswe (member) 11 years ago
Here are my first five entries. Maybe I'll do a couple of more of these.

Silver Sun
Silver Sun

Silver Spoon
Silver Spoon

Silver Eye
Silver Eye

Silver Explosion
Silver Explosion

Silver Egg
Silver Egg

I like the Silver Sun and Silver Egg the most. Not sure which one will be the final entry.
Alexandre Buisse 11 years ago
Here's my attempt:

It's the first time I ever try that kind of thing, so feel free to make all kinds of not necessarily nice remarks.

Setup was: I put the chopsticks inside a big cardboard box, put my only light (a weak yellow desk light) to the left, pointed towards the ground with the hood hiding almost everything, and the flash with a -1.0 compensation was bouncing to the right of the cardboard. I used quite a long exposure to record the desk light, and a small aperture to increase DoF.
Apocrypha 11 years ago
I'm constantly in awe of so many of the shots posted in these assignments and exercises! I spent 3 hours (no joke) doing this this afternoon, trying different things, trying to get the lighting the way I wanted it, and these were what I came up with:

cucumber cut one

cucumber cut two

I've lit the cucumbers seperately from the knife, and it took a LOT of trial and error to get those shots! I ended up cutting out a white cardboard copy of the knife, about double size. I then blu-tacced it to the underside of a large sheet of black cardboard and positioned it so that the strobe firing up into it reflect the white cardboard into the knife blade but didn't reflect off of the top surfaces of the cucumber slices at all.

I thin the results are mediocre, but I did learn a lot trying :) Will try some more ideas tomorrow and see if I can come up with something more "high art" :)
recarner 11 years ago
This thing is a apple peeler. I was going to use a half peeled apple in the photo but I just made a big mess. Luckily I took some pictures before I got apple juice all over the green background.

apple peeler1

I used 2 sunpak strobes, one on each side pointed at the ceiling and a Vivitar strobe into an umbrella above the green machine.
infxualbydesign 11 years ago
Heres my first attempt. dont know if wood is allowed as it doesnt refect much in the way of specular highlights but i am still using the same lighting techniques.
Backwards HAT 11 years ago
Man, there's some great stuff here! I had to have another go at this, and I think these bottle stoppers are the most interesting thing my wife has in the kitchen other than that spatula above... ;)

Click picture for setup details:

Strobist 102_Assignment_Cooking Light_3
I've been accused of having a speculum in my kitchen... so does that mean Backwards has some butt-plugs? :-)

Nice shot of a nice item by the way.
Well here's my not-so-sexy attempt. You wouldn't believe how long I spent trying some crazy crap on my dining room table then I remembered what David said, K.I.S.S.

Backwards HAT 11 years ago
@ Robertv!: thanks for the compliment. I got nothing on the butt-plug comment...every snarky retort I could think of just kept going further into the gutter, and I believe this is a family show.

magicnikon 11 years ago
Take two.

I was inspired enough to take another shot at this assignment tonight. I decided to go with a shoot thru umbrella and foamcore reflectors. I added the plastic over the foamcore base and reflected a gelled strobe off of it. I got the leftmost piece of white foamcore just close enough so that bunny's side was fully reflecting it...overall, as an amateur, I'm very pleased. Comments?


Setup for StroboCookieBunny
basswork 11 years ago
Here's my juicy entry. BTW, the model was tasty.

Ken Bauer 11 years ago
Cooking Light
Cooking Light Setup

I spent about an hour chimping flash values and shutter speed/aperture (apparently I can successfully sync my D50 with my SB600 at 1/640 of a second using my ebay triggers) to get a properly exposed subject while still retaining the nice black background.

No photoshop magic here, just very slight adjustments and cropping in lightroom
gkutas 11 years ago
After a while of playing around for my first ever attempt at flash photography i have ended up with this...
Lighting102  Assignment Take 1
acceptable railway [deleted] 11 years ago
There's some real inspirational stuff in this thread!

This is my first attempt - I'd be grateful for any comments on it... for instance it really bugs me that the writing on the dish is not square on to the camera (wish I'd noticed it before I put everything away!).


This was my setup shot for it...

Cooking Setup

Cheers, and good luck with your assignment.

GarethDix 11 years ago
I had maybe 10 minutes to do this last night... and davids words of KISS kept echoing in my head... so black spatula on a black background with a little light... WB on tungsten... and a 580ex snooted to camera right


and the set up is here

Spatula Setup
Teemu R 11 years ago
My attemps:

Saltmill - Iittala

Eletronic scale

And setup for first one:

Setup for 102 cooking assingment
Matt Cope 11 years ago
Here's the result of quarter of an hour taping bits of paper to broom handles and balancing chairs on the kitchen table last night.. Great fun..

jamesd3rd 11 years ago
One of my attempts in the submittal pool. Still thinking about a final though. I kind of like the effect but would like more depth on the rear spoon. Not sure how put put more light in the back without creating a hotspot.


Stainless steel measuring spoons. SB-28 at camera left and SB-600 at camera right triggered by Skyports. DIY lightbox used with translucent shower liner for diffused material and foamcore as reflector in front. Black reflective poster board used for surface.
Apocrypha Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Apocrypha (member) 11 years ago
Another submission from me. Definitely getting faster at this, only took me an hour of arranging lights and bits of card this time!

Curved surfaces like this are really difficult I find - this spoon reflected so much of the surroundings! I hate to give it an enormous effective light size by bringing a huge piece of white card right up close, and even then I would have liked it to have been larger!
egg & spoon
susan_c PRO 11 years ago
Here's my second attempt. I like this one better. Still a wee bit blown on the handle.

Lighting 102 Cooking
mortonphotographic Posted 11 years ago. Edited by mortonphotographic (member) 11 years ago
Bottle Opener 1

Well, here is my first attempt... This is close to what I wanted, but the chrome balls really show everything and I am not happy with the light tent. I shot this with all 5 of my strobes. I had to illuminate the tent, or it went black. Then I snooted one strobe through the tent, for the hotter speculat spot.

Bottle Opener 2

Just Ss and Gs, I took away the tent. More of the mood I wanted, but the dark areas in Mickey's head kill it.


With a little creative cropping, and some dust managemnet (clone tool), I kind of like this shot. Of course I will get back to it and try some other stuff before I call it final...
strobist PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by strobist (admin) 11 years ago

ericrudd 11 years ago
Here's my first attempt.


And the setup shot...


Did this really fast this afternoon. I need to give some thought on how to keep me out of the picture. I'll try again this weekend.

Hugh Beauchamp 11 years ago
Well chaps, here's my attempt. I'm not sure if I was supposed to be shooting something more reflective! Hope this is OK.

Made In England

Setup shot:

Made in England setup

Behold my beautiful tablecloth...
Francesco Gallarotti 11 years ago
Totally agree with David here... and I love also HairyMatt's work.

On a side not, what i find interesting is the very small percentage of people who are including food in their shots as well.

I am on vacation but I might play around next week on something before the deadline passes... I have some ideas but I am missing a few key ingredients :-)
strobist PRO 11 years ago
Ditto HairyMatt. A lot of people's, actually. Wow.
jamesd3rd 11 years ago
That is what I'm planning for my next attempt. Adding something to "spice" up the shot with the spoons but on a white surface to give it more color and contrast. I had to scrounge through my pantry and find those things you've heard Emeril mention that you have lying around for about ten years. And yes that was a cheap pun.
Leviathor PRO 11 years ago
I'm not very happy with this first attempt:

Measuring Up
Jeho 11 years ago
emmm.... Somehow stuck here :) Can anyone please tell me why my image is not showing up in the search?
Terry Moore 11 years ago
I started out with this image

Lighting 102 Cooking Light Assignment v1

Which when I saw it on Flick in jpg format I didn't like it as much as in RAW. So I did this:

Lighting 102 Cooking Light Assignment v2

Which is closer to how the original looks in RAW.

I wanted to explore this a bit more so after trying a few things I ended up with this:

Lighting 102 Cooking Light Assignment Whisk Still Life

I've got a few ideas about improving this that I'll try over the weekend.
Adrian Midgley PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Adrian Midgley (member) 11 years ago
I'm impressed with the pictures above. Here's my first go. Attempts on a black background were not so good - the towel is too coarse for this, and the tile may be too difficult for me.

Say "Cheese"

Better black

Cheeseknives on black
Quoc-Huy 11 years ago
So many great pics here!
That's really cool.

Tonight I tried to get this into the game:

jeffmoon529 11 years ago
can anyone tell me why my photos don't show up when you search the tags? i'm pretty sure i used the correct tags and made them public. thanks!
Cory.Lum PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Cory.Lum (member) 11 years ago

vivitar 285 HV and LED light.
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