When Mommy Is Away Getting Food . . .

The Diner

This is what happens.  Daddy starts recording the chaos on camera.  As many onlookers gawk at the sight. 

So we went to the art festival this past weekend.  We wanted to take in all the atmosphere so we decided to have lunch downtown at a new diner.  Pretty good burgers I must say.  I guess the excitement was too much for these boys.  They were really putting on a show for the huge art show crowd.

The Diner

Photographically speaking, there was something cool going on here with the light.  We are in a diner.  It was very brightly lit from millions (ok, lots) of fluorescent fixtures overhead.  The table tops were white.  So no matter where you sit there is instant clam shell lighting.  Reflection from the white table tops fills in the shadows giving a cool studio look.  Even though these were taken an exceptionally busy diner in downtown Melbourne.

The Diner

A Fruity Example

Good Enough To Eat

Just wanted to show a progression that I went through to get the yummy shot that you see at the top.  All the shots obviously didn't look that good.  There is some trial and error involved in getting the right combination of exposure and light source placement.

So I start by setting my camera to it's max sync speed . . . uh not quite.  My camera's max sync speed is 1/250th but with my Cactus radio triggers, I have found that I can only sync at 1/200th.  So that's always the starting point.  Then for aperture I know that I can get f5.6 if my flash is at 1/2 power or f2.8 with the flash set at 1/16th power.  Those numbers are just approximate based on lots of practice shots.

I took a first shot and it looked a little underexposed.  I decided to boost the ISO from 100 to 160 to get a little more exposure without changing the aperture.  I wanted to maintain f2.8 because my 50mm lens doesn't always focus properly.  The depth of field at f1.8 is so narrow that even the slightest error in focus causes the loss of the picture.  At f2.8 the dof gives a little leeway if the focus is off.

The result here is overexposed.  It looks washed out.  We've lost the amazing red of these freshly picked strawberries.

Not So Good

So I set the ISO back to 100 and now we have the delicious red I am looking for.  But I have the umbrella directly over the batch of strawberries.  The shadows are shallow and it looks pretty much like a snapshot.


So I moved umbrella further back to increase the angle and increase the depth of the shadows.  Now it is looking good.  I like the exposure and the light placement.  So now I just worked with composition and perspective to get the cover shot above.