Food Photography with Artificial Ego Lights
Carole from My Kitchen Escapades here and I am pumped to share with you my favorite blogging tip of all time!
It has been 7 years since I began my food blog at My Kitchen Escapades and when I look back at some of my older photos, I can’t help but cringe! In fact, I have started a new Recipe Retake Series just so you can have a proper photo of some of my earlier recipes. You deserve it!
Over the years, the biggest lighting roadblock I’ve encountered are the long Minnesota winters because it gets dark at 5:00 pm. I love natural sunlight for shooting my photos, but that isn’t always available when I am pulling a recipe out the oven. Especially since most of the baking I do for our family of 8 is after my littles are fast asleep in their beds and it is pitch black outside.
So, let’s take a minute and take a look at different lighting options with the exact same photo….
For the above photo, it was dark outside, so I used the lights in my dining room. I played with the manual settings of my camera as best I could, but still ended up with a very orange colored photo. This orange color is a trademark of many of my after dark photos in the first few years of My Kitchen Escapades 🙂
This next photo, above, is the same set up again but using the flash on my Nikon D60 instead of the dining room lights. While the coloring is much better, the flash creates such overexposure in the foreground, while some very ugly shadows in the back. Better than orange, but not by much!
Some time back, I invested a little bit of money into a tabletop Lowel Ego Artificial Light. It was $100 and, outside of my camera upgrade, hands-down the best investment I have made for my little blog. It comes with two Ego bulbs inside the fixture, a light diffuser built in, and the folded reflector (shown on the right of the above picture) and I find it perfect for taking indoor pictures. Some bloggers like to use two lights, one on each side, but I much prefer a single light source and a bit of shadow in my photos.
If you don’t want to slap down $100, you can buy Lowel Ego lightbulbs for any fixture you already own but be sure you use a diffuser of some type or the light will be too harsh. Depending on the photo set up, sometime I will also use white foam core board behind and under the food I am shooting all for a super bright and cheery photo in the end. But heaven knows, I love a killer, dark and sexy food photo as well….