I was in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and I was looking at a Rembrandt painting. It was the first time I had ever seen one of his paintings. I was stunned. I’d never seen anything so beautiful.
The dramatic lighting in the painting was very soft and gentle, with deep and dramatic shadows. Since then I knew I wanted to create images that looked just like that.
My food photography is full of life. My colors are extra vibrant, and my shadows are extra deep. Lighting is a large component of what makes my food photography so dramatic.
Dramatic lighting is a powerful tool in a food photographer’s arsenal. It helps to add a bit of a story behind a picture and can be used to evoke a feeling. With dramatic lighting, you can make your food shots look artistic.
In this blog post, I’ll be going over five techniques for achieving dramatic lighting in photoshoots.
Using a black foam core or black poster board can add drama and impact to your photos. White reflects light and black absorbs light. This is the reason why a black board creates more shadows than a white board.
In technical terms, Inverse Square Law is an equation that relates the intensity of a light source to the illumination it produces at any given distance.
In layman’s terms, light spreads out as it travels. It can be diffused, reflected, or deflected. But it travels. This means that over time and distance, a light’s intensity diminishes. The light gets smaller as it gets farther away. The farther the light travels, the smaller it is.
Using the Inverse Square Law helps me determine how soft I want my light to be. The further away my light is from my dish, the softer the light and the closer the light, the brighter my light will be.
This video by photographer Peter Hurley describes the Inverse Square Law perfectly. Watch it here.
A diffuser is a device that evenly scatters the light from a light source.
The large the diffuser is, the softer and more dramatic the light will be.
I use this technique when I want to create extremely soft shadows blended into extremely soft light.
The farther away the light is from the subject, the more dramatic it becomes.
Not only are dramatic photos are created with soft light and shadows, but also with hard light! For example, if you’re looking for bold, edgy photos, then artificial lights create “poppier” images.
Hard light is more contrasty than soft light and produces deep shadows with clear borders, ideal for highlighting shapes and textures.
Backlighting is a technique where the main light source is placed directly behind the subject facing the camera. This technique allows you to create a moody, dramatic effect from a single light source. It’s a technique used in various situations, from fashion to portraiture to product photography.
What makes backlit images so striking is the way they bring out depth and dimension in your subject. Thus the reason why it’s so popular for dramatic photos.
I love helping businesses create dramatic photos, and I hope after reading this post, you will want the same for your brand.
I want to help create the most visually stunning images that you’ll fall head over heels in love with. Contact us today for a custom quote.