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. Then you’ll be shooting dark mood photography just like this.
Dark Food Photography: What You’ll Need To Create
To get this look you’ll need the following:
- Deep Box To Shoot In
- Negative Fill Cards (Black Foam Boards)
- 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 shadows at the bottom of the box and the subject inside.
If you would like to read more about light modifiers or not sure what they are? Check out this post.
The Set Up Of Dark Food Photography
The set-up for shooting in a box to create dark food photography is just a matter of placing your food in the box and surround it with 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 setup, 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 of 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.
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In these dark mood photography 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.
Read: How To Manipulate Natural Light At Home
The Dark Food Photography Results You Can Create
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!
RELATED: How to Recreate Moody Natural Food Photography Lighting
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