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Spoon & Fork

August 16, 2009

Being Asian, by and large, you either eat with your hands or with chopsticks.

On the other hand, some come from a part of Asia which uses the spoon. I use it as part of my regular arsenal of dining artillery.   Yes I like my spoon as much as I like my fork.  Let’s say I am an equal opportunity diner.

In photography however, the spoon has been difficult to photograph side by side its beloved partner, the fork.

The shape and curves of the spoon and the fork are different.  Those westerners may have been onto something.

This is again part of a series of images we will be trying to make on a weekly basis.

I found that it was extremely difficult to include both in one image.  My agreement with my shooting buddies is that we will shoot both spoon and fork in one image.

Very challenging from a lighting and  composition point of view.

fork in chili

The thing with shiny objects is that they are a beast to light.  This was particularly difficult with the fork I used, as this was our normal everyday utensils.  They were scratched and abused and therefore not very photogenic.  I also could not polish it as my wife would probably kill me if she sees me using some form of chemical to polish them.

To overcome this, you would probably want to kill all the shadows.  I did this by using a extremely large light source, which is not so difficult if your photographing small objects.

The other thing I had to watch was the reflections.  To recall, light travels in a straight line.  Placement of the subject relative to the light and lens is critical.

I shot the above image with a Canon 550 EX on TTL, with exposure bias of + 2.  The Speedlight was fitted with a softbox.  I set the aperture at f 2.8 aperture priority.

See my setup here.

set up shot

I had to shoot at almost 90 degrees to the softbox to avoid glare and reflections.   I also used a white plate below which helped fill in some shadows.  I also brushed some oil to the chili so we can get the pickled fresh chili look.

I thought it was a pretty neat and simple setup.  No frills TTL lighting.

However, I was still spoonless!  SO in my lame attempt, here is a shot with the agreed spoon.  The chili was added to the scene to create tension.  I can here the fork whisper “Come on Ms. Spoon… spice me up!!!”

fork in chili 2I also added a yellow kicker to give the spoon some points for interest.

Anyhow, that’s it for now.  I am open to suggestions and comments so please drop me a note or two.

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the Generic Asian

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