In this weeks kit list is:
Camera - Canon 80D
Lens - Canon 24mm prime
Tripod - Manfrotto Compact Entry Pod
Lights - Aputure AL-528S Amaran LED Light
It all starts in the Kitchen
I'll be completely honest. Baking is not my area of expertise.
For this blog I made my own Malteser cake and this turned out to be the longest, hardest part of the workshop. I found the whole experience traumatic and I have a newfound respect for the contestants of The Great British Bake Off. I will never laugh or poke fun at them ever again!
My advice if you're not a baker and still want to give this workshop a try...buy the cake.
That said, when I finally finished the icing I setup a space for my shoot.
A good place to start is a workspace that's clean and (to begin with) not too busy. I chose to use a white tablecloth, white plate to position the cake on and a plain, neutral coloured background.
I then lit the cake on both sides with two Amaran LED Lights while making sure one is a touch brighter than the other.
A third light was needed behind the cake at a 45 degree angle to create highlights on the back edges of the cake. This is what's going to make our cake pop out from the background.
The intention was to make sure we didn't position any lights in front of the cake as this can have a tendency to make the subject look flat and boring.
You can see my setup below.
The Whole Cake
With the setup ready I now bring in the cake.
The plan here is to get as many shots of the cake as we can while it is still in one piece.
When I'm running workshops with children this is often the hardest part of the shoot. I have to admit, alone in my studio with nobody watching, it wasn't the easiest thing either!
To add an additional slash of colour I added a napkin to the side of the cake.
Another idea would be to dim the lights and add candles. Unfortunately I didn't have any on the day and lockdown made it a bit tricky to source them.
Now that I'm happy with the first test shots this will be my fundamental setup for everything else we are going to do.
The First Slice
Now's the time to cut my first slice and expose all the yummy insides of my cake.
Since I put in so much hard work creating all those layers I want to make sure everyone sees them.
I chose to create a series of shots using the slice on it's own, the cut cake on it's own and the two of them side by side.
The first slice makes for a great prop so make sure to experiment with it before we move on to the next bit.
Playing with my food
Time to do what my parents always told me not to!
I took the toppings from the cake and arranged them on the table to create a busier image.
Using the toppings (especially if you have some leftover from your baking) compliments the image nicely.
I spent hours trying different positions, adding props, removing toppings, putting them back on again, I tried anything that would make the cake come alive.
Here's a one of my experiments:
To see more of my cake experiments and more of my workshop ideas don't forget to follow us on Instagram.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have an suggestions or requests for future posts please let me know in the comments below.
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