Ever wondered how food photographers create those really bold images of still life or dark food photography? The answer is so simple, you’ll be shooting away like a pro by the time you’ve read this post.
All you need is a box surrounded by negative fill.
Want To Shoot Dark Food Photography Just Like This?
How To Guide: Create Dark Food Photography (With Just A Box)
What You Need
Deep Box To Shoot In
Negative Fill Cards (Black Foam Core)
Clamps or Sticky Tack (Blue Tack)
For best results use an old wooden box if you have access to one. The texture of the box will add to the image.
Your box should be deep enough that it will create a shadows at the bottom of the box and the subject inside.
The Set Up
The set up for shooting in a box to create dark food photography is just a matter of setting your food in the box, and surround it by negative fill (black foam core).
To set up, place negative fill cards around your box to reduce light bounce into the box.
For this dark food photography set up, your focus should be on the placement of the black foam core.
Negative Fill Card 1
Your first negative fill card should be placed on the opposite side to the light source to reduce light from bouncing back into the box.
Negative Fill Card 2
Your second negative fill card should be placed at the back of the box. I’ve done this to reduce the light bouncing from off my white walls back into the box.
Negative Fill Card 3
The last negative fill card to create dark food photography has been placed between the light source and the subject. This is to reduce the light falling onto the subject.
You’ll want to play around with the distance from the light source of this negative fill card to see how it reduces the light.
In these surrounding images, if you look closely you can see how the light is falling on the grapes in the box.
The result of moving the negative fill card 3 changes how the light is falling onto the subject. Below you can see the box has more light the further the card is from the box. The closer the card is to the box, the less light and more shadow.
Play around with the negative fill card between the window and the subject to increase/decrease light.
From the set up above, these are the shots that I captured.
I love the depth and the dark space. I feel like it draws me in, whilst not detracting from the bold statement of the raw beauty of the grapes and artichokes.
Are you ready to create dark food photography or still life images? Have an old box you’re excited to put to good use now?
I’d love to see what you come up with. Leave a link in the comments below so we can all take a peek at your work!