Cooking Up Light

I enjoy cooking. It’s relaxing, rewarding when you get it right, and there are unique and enjoyable opportunities for photography (more about that later). John wanted to be able to cook just like Daddy, so we got a play kitchen last Christmas; unfortunately, we chose it more for price than durability. After only a year it was quite beat-up, so when my aunts graciously provided some money for Christmas presents, a better play kitchen was an obvious choice. My aunts want pictures, of course, which gives me a chance to have fun with light.

Chef John

I was going to be working in close in the playroom, which dictated a wide-angle lens; in this case, my D90’s kit lens. I was all set just to use a single umbrella; fortunately, I realized that would be utterly boring and stopped to think about the existing light in the room. The playroom has two recessed fixtures in the ceiling for PAR30L flood lights. Putting a bare flash in roughly the same position as one of the lights would yield the key, while a big soft source on-axis, or nearly so, would allow me to control the shadows to taste.

I set up my lights, invited my model in, and set to work. For most of the session I let him play as he wanted; this shot was obtained by half-pressing the shutter release, asking him to face the camera, and grabbing a good frame as fast as possible.

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