Stock Photography: Story of an Orange

Written by Robert Lowdon

Robert Lowdon is an internationally published commercial photographer based out of Toronto, Canada. He spends his time photographing architecture and industrial projects for the most part.

Published May 13, 2019

Peeling the Orange

Today we have a pretty simple shoot, peeling an orange from start to finish. These kinds of images are really important for the Hospitality Industry, like cookbooks recipes, growers and health & wellness. There really isn’t an end to the commercial value of something as simple as an orange.

Equipment Used:

Nikon D850

Nikon 16-35mm f4

Elinchcrom rx 600 with shoot through umbrella.

Walnut board, my kitchen table, and my hands.

Photographed at 1/125, f4, iso 64

In this set of images the goal was a simple story, peeling an orange. To keep things “simple” I used a shallow depth of field f4, because we are getting really close to the subject. In certain shots the front element of the camera lens is almost touching the orange. It is important to use the appropriate aperture relative to the results we want in the images. Could I have used a different lens and gone to a larger aperture, yes. Would it have been to out of focus for the result I wanted, yes.

I shot the images with an ultra wide angle zoom lens to take advantage of the distortion and really pull the orange away from the background. This also allows me to get really close to the orange. Could I have used a macro lens? Why yes of course, but that wouldn’t give the wide angle distortion I wanted in the image.

Natural Light Vs Artificial in Food Photography

For the lighting I wanted to mimic a natural lighting effect while still keeping things crispy. I am using a single strobe at the right of the frame. I am diffusing the light with a shoot through umbrella to give a nice diffused look, and weaken the shadows. The angle of the light brings out the fine detail, maximizing micro contrast. As a photographer, I am really using the light to paint the scene. I want to control highlights, the intensity of the shadows and overall look and feel of the image. Distance, intensity, and diffusion of the light source are really the key.

Could you use window light instead? Why yes you could, use whatever you want.

Set Up and Staging

This is one of those set ups where it doesn’t take to much. I am using a walnut cutting board I made in an afternoon. I have used this same board in several other shoots. I am using the kitchen, I also made, and a table cloth I didn’t make. These images can be created almost anywhere. We really don’t need a photo studio to do this shoot. In fact you almost never need a photo studio to do anything, but that is a whole different topic for another time.

I hope you liked these simple photographs of an orange. You can license these stock images here. If you like what you see please feel free to share. Or just buy an orange and support a farmer.

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