So now we’ve talked about lighting for food photography and the general consensus is that more is better, right? Most of the time it doesn’t hurt to brighten up your shots a bit, but there are times when the picture starts to become too “hot.” This happens more often on professional sets since the lights are more powerful, but I’m sure you’ve noticed it when shooting primarily on white plates, too. The edges become blown out and disappear into the background, or all-white objects loose their definition and become impossible to distinguish. Before watching Lou in action, I was clueless as to how I should prevent this from happening, other than bringing all the lights down and darkening the entire picture (which often just led to a dark, unappealing shot.)
Just like you would set up mirrors or white bounce cards, these situations call for black bounce cards. Seeing these set up to bring a bit shadow into this shot of a date cake was one of those “ah-ha!” moments, when it the solution seemed so obvious and yet never occurred to me before seeing it work.
While a well-lit shot is always a necessity, it’s important to keep a balance of light and shadow in every picture, so it’s worth the investment of a few dollars to get a small piece of black foam core.