Daylight food photography tips by Rhowena MacCuish photographing Courgette Soup
As any British seasonal food follower will know that courgettes are a plenty at the moment. So to celebrate the fantastic array of courgettes around last week I made some absolutely delicious courgette soup, adding onions, vegetable stock. garlic, basil, parsley and parmesan cheese and just a touch of half fat crème fraiche.
To preserve the deliciousness of this scrumptious soup I took this photograph. More often than not I find myself working with studio flash lighting which I love because I can bend it to my will, but this time I chose to use daylight and created an editorial style setup for my dish. I carefully considered the range of colours in the shot; green, white and brown. Colour sets of three are a good rule of thumb to follow.
I loved the Bali leaf design on the sides of the bowls reflecting the tone of the set. The flowers which my assistant picked out for me from the florists were a perfect white with a flush of fresh vibrant green. I carefully positioned the table and chairs to include the view through the conservatory doors in the background which look onto the garden.
The main light source came from through the conservatory windows into the kitchen, the slightly overcast day acted as the perfect giant softbox. There are no other natural light sources into the kitchen so I needed to add a little lift to the heavy shadows forming at the front. I used a daylight balanced constant light diffused with a softbox to the side which lifted the set considerably. I still needed a little lift on the shadows to the right of the image but I still wanted to conserve the shape of the bowls so I just added a white reflector bouncing some of the backlight into the scene. I kept the sidelight low at almost 180 degrees to the scene to bring out the texture of the soup topped with grated parmesan cheese.
I hope you like the shot as much as I do.