Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday: Food Photography with Kitchen Lighting

How do you celebrate your birthday?

Every year I have different feelings about celebrating my birthday, but there has to be a cake. It doesn't have to have candles or fancy sugar flowers, as long as it's rich and chocolaty, I am all good. The first time I celebrated my birthday with my man (my lover, that is), he did not know I need a birthday cake. He learned his lesson that year and surprised me with a rich and chocolaty cake that he made.

This year, however, I decided to make my own cake. No this will not turn into a food blog even though I love talking about food. I researched on the best chocolate cake recipe there is and found Beatty's chocolate Cake Recipe by Ina Garten. Don't call me a food dork, but I loved every process of making my own birthday cake.

Although the cake and frosting were heavenly, photographing with the lights in my kitchen required skills. I am not a big fan of flash, or let's say I have not found the usefulness of it. Flash does bring more light into the picture but I hate how it makes thing look "deer in the headlight". I set my ISO to 1600 and adjusted the aperture to around f/5.

Two layers of chocolate cake. f/5.6, 1/13

Boiled frosting. That's whipped egg white! f/5.6, 1/30

Oh heavenly. f/8, 1/13

A dark cloud set over the cake...me. By changing my position, I drastically changed the light source of the picture. f/8, 1/50.

Happy Birthday to me~ f/6.3, 1/25

Then the cloud came back again. f/6.3, 1/40

I changed my position and voila!

I learned not only how to make a heavenly cake but also understand the light source. I am only given so much light and how I should work with it to produce good results. It took me about 30 pictures to figure out where I should stand in the kitchen. Happy Birthday :)

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