Every so often I get an email regarding photography and what sort of gear I use to take and edit my photos. I hope this page might offer some guidance:
• I mostly use the lens that came with the camera.
• Occasionally I use a macro lens: Tamron AF 90mm Macro Lens for Canon Digital Cameras (a generous hand-me-down from my father-in-law; for capturing extreme detail like the caviar of a vanilla bean, this is a good one to have; but, unless you have an extremely steady hand/don’t drink half a pot of coffee a day, you have to use a tripod or the image will be blurry.)
• Sometimes, but very rarely, I use a flash: Canon 430EX Speedlite Flash. Warning: this thing eats batteries about as quickly as you replace them. I recommend not storing your batteries in the flash itself, but inserting them as you need them. Also, I generally just recommend avoid using a flash if possible.
• I have a tripod, but rarely use it.
• natural light only
• I set up my board next to a window that gets the most sunlight without any direct sunlight. I generally shoot between 10am and 3pm depending on the time of year and also the type of day. If it is really overcast outside, I can take my board outside, but even on an overcast day, the light can be too harsh. In my house in Virginia, I had these great shades from IKEA that were very sheer, and I could pull them down all the way, and they would diffuse the light so nicely — this might be a nice option for those of you who only have windows that let in direct sunlight.
• I find wood backgrounds to be particularly nice. White, as much as I love it for serving food on, is kind of hard to photograph on.
• I edit in Adobe Photoshop, too, but mostly simple things: minor adjustments to increase contrast, and sharpening.
• Sometimes I balance a big piece of white foamcore on the side of my board opposite the window, which helps bounce light onto spaces that might be shadowy.
• That’s about all for now — I will update this page as things come to me.
This is my workspace: a wooden pallet next to a window that gets a ton of light but no direct light: