The Grapes of Clark - How I made the shot
Recently I was asked where the inspiration comes from for my Food Photography and how I go about building and finishing the photographs. So, here’s a run down of a my recent shot of 4 grapes.
When I saw the grapes in the supermarket it sparked the idea for the shot. I was pushing the cart, hunched over it, head low, right at the height of the produce, going up and down the aisles when I saw them. The produce section has green shelving where they keep the grapes and the red grapes looked great against it. I wanted to mimic that look in my food photography.
When I got them home, I set up the studio with a white translucent background and a white reflective piece of poly for a table top. The first light was set up behind the translucent with a green gel on it. If you’ve got white translucent and reflective, gels can be your best friend to change them to all different kinds of colors.
The grapes went down on the tabletop and the first shot looked like a silhouette. I added an overhead light in a beauty dish above the grapes and slightly in front of them. The second shot brought out the grapes but also brought back the white of the reflective surface they were on, totally washing out the green from the gelled back light. It was at that point I knew I needed two shots to composite together.
I got the grapes ready. Looking through the bunch I found the 4 best looking and broke off that batch from the rest. Carefully washing them and drying them so as not to bruise them. Then a fine misting spay bottle with a 50/50 water to glycerine mixture provided the water drops. I find that if you spray to the side of the subject rather then straight on you get a much finer droplet.
The grapes went back to the table and the first shot was made with only the back light, providing the green tone across the back and the table top. Then a second shot with the beauty dish light from above to light the grapes. A tripod is paramount as you don’t want the camera to move at all between the two shots.
Then the two shots are brought together in Photoshop to composite them together. For info on that look a little further back in the blog for the videos I did on the Buddha Beer bottle composites. Same idea.
I hope you enjoyed this short explanation. If you have any Food Photography questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.