Studio Shoot 15: Cheese Board

This shoot was based upon the work of Paulette Tavormina and her aesthetically exquisite Natura Morta photographs. I find the complexity in her arrangement detail spell-bounding and inventive, evoking sublime emotions and feelings.

I started by using four lights for this set up. I used two small soft boxes, a light source with flash head reflector with honeycomb filter in the background, I used a snoot with honeycomb filter and made use of reflectors.

My aim was to diffuse the two soft boxes to create a softer light but there was no white material or tracing paper available at the time. I decided to remove one of the light sources which had a soft box modifier, and I swapped the small soft box to a large one on the other light source. I changes this as Using small soft boxes created small pools of light on the bottle, adding a large soft box and using a large board to flag off the light added the long line of light down the side of the bottle. I aimed to use the snoot to highlight the label of the bottle but found that this created a distraction. I focussed the light onto the cheese which highlighted the bottle sufficiently and the cheese with a shadow being created by the knife adding extra detail. I also turned the light source off that was highlighting the background as I found that the dark effect was working best.

On evaluation of my images I found a gradient line of pixilation in the background, I believe this is due to shadows. Also when working in the studio I will aim to use tethering which sends my images straight to my laptop from the camera as it was hard to see the detail on the tiny camera screen. I have now learnt to always evaluate my images on a larger screen if possible before finishing off the shoot.

I also feel as though I need to be firmer with the direction of my shoot. I found that I was being guided too much by others on this shoot, steering me away from developing my own ideas.

However I am delighted with the outcome of my shoot as I like the lighting effects and the arrangement. It is not arranged perfectly, its arranged as though someone has just started to devour the items. I think the crumbs, the chopped up onion and the poured wine adds to this feeling.

I decided to experiment further by adding an additional light source at the front of the set with a snoot and honeycomb filter. I also experimented with the feeling that someone has been present and started to eat the food. I laid the crackers against each other as though they were part of a sophisticated arrangement, then added crumbs, a bite out of the cheese and left a bite size piece of cheese and cracker as though someone will return to continue devouring it. I enjoy being experimental with my work, creating quirky arrangements and trying to avoid creating pictures that may have been seen before.


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