Light. It is what I am always looking for. It is what any photographer is always looking for, I think. I stop to look at shadows that I find interesting. I am given pause by the catchlights in people's eyes sometimes. When I go for long runs, I spend a lot of my time thinking about lighting setups. In short, I love light.
Sometimes I look at things around my house and consider how light will fall on them in different ways. When I say "things", sometimes I mean a person. And when my favorite victim is not available, my obsession with light and shadows turns to other objects...most commonly, the fruit bowl. Why? Fruits and vegetables most often are round, oval, or at least have rounded edges. In this way, they resemble human faces. Their roundness means that they will reflect light and cast shadows in an interesting way, both similar and different from a human face. I get very excited when there are things like lemons in the fruit bowl. Plus, fruits and vegetables are very cooperative. They don't make quick movements and they always listen to posing suggestions.
I started my fruit and veggie shoot today using natural light (and an extraneous beer bottle!) Natural light is often soft, readily available much of the time, and easy to work with.
After a few photos taken with natural light, I wanted something different. I can't change natural light (unless I wait for the sun to move, and who has time for that?) I can't change its power or direction or how harsh or soft I want it to be. I love light, but most of all, I love Dramatic Light. I love my portraits to have some element of dramatic light...and I want this for my vegetables, too. So I broke down and got out my flash and a trigger/receiver set. No modifiers here; let's not get too fancy here; there are just veggies. So for the next 20 or so minutes, I posed my fruits and vegetables and moved the light around to create different illumination patterns and shadows. I love this stuff! The best part about it is that it's incredibly easy to do but yields lovely results. Try it yourself if you have any lonely fruits or vegetables lying around!
Cantaloupe...or phases of the moon? You decide!
Isn't it amazing what can be done with light, especially if you manipulate it and move it around yourself? Different angles afford different results. And all this with just a bare flash (and possibly a bit of gymnastics holding the flash and camera for a few shots!) I might have to break out my umbrella to shoot the tomatoes...their skin just does NOT react well to direct flash and I feel that something more diffused would be appropriate for their delicate tendencies!