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Lighting 102: Assignment - Cooking Light

The first full assignment for Lighting 102 is deceptively simple. You'll be using what we have discussed in both the position and light source sections.

The assignment is to photograph one or more kitchen utensils - knives, forks, spoons, whisks - whatever you like. The look you are going or is that of ordinary object elevated to high art. Or at least commercial art, as this is the kind of thing that might appear as a catalog cover or in a calendar or on the wall of one of those ubiquitous "fast casual" restaurants.


• K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple, stupid. Less is more. Go for quality over clutter.

• Go beyond the literal subject matter. Use light, form and focal plane to create an evocative photo that is more than the sum of its parts. If Edward Weston can make a pepper look sensual, why not a spoon?

• You may wish to convert your photo to black and white to emphasize form and light, That's fine. It is your choice.

• Your style of lighting will depend on the surface quality of your subject. A wooden spoon will call for very different light than a stainless steel cleaver, for instance.

• Pay attention to your background. If it does not help your photo, it should not be there. Again, K.I.S.S.

The deadline is August 4th. You may tag as many as you wish, but only submit one final image.

For example, you might submit four photos. They would be tagged with:


But your final, single image will have all of those tags, and and additional one:


So your final edit would have as tags:


You can see all turned in pix here, and just the final edits here.

From the comments: If you want to add a "setup" tag to your setup shot, that will allow people to search those images, too. Your choice.

Have fun with it, and do not be scared to experiment and make mistakes. That's the whole point.

The discussion thread for this assignment is here.


(The cool knives shot is from the Strobist Faves Gallery, by Martin Danielsson.)

NEXT: Discussion: Cooking Light Assignment


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Blogger Bill In Asheville said...

Is a wineglass a kitchen implement?

July 25, 2007 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I also suggest a post with tag "Setup". So your setup photo for the final image would have these tags...


That way we can look at all the setup photos together for those who choose to post them.

July 25, 2007 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll second the setup tag, that's a great idea.

And what's happened to Dave and the pix lately?

Methinks that the paper made him turn in the equipment, and he's shopping for new stuff.

You know that Pocket Wizards (which he seems to have kept to torment photo associates with) work with the new Canon Mark III also, right?


Love the story, though. If I had a PW, I might have done it, too.

I can hear the conversation now...

Uh, hon, I lost track of time at the mall. It's that evil Apple store. Really. I hardly even flashed that poor girl at the photo studio at all. Now that would be great on pay-per-view. Or YouTube. Whatever.

July 25, 2007 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Bill: I hope not, that almost seems too easy. Then again, the last picture I took was an "artful" wine glass silhouette, so it'd be easy for me just to refine that a little bit and submit it.

And, David, I like the setup tag as well. You know what they say about good things coming in threes...


July 25, 2007 3:28 PM  
Blogger CrajeeBoy said...

hmmm.. can anyone tell me why my photos don't show up when you search for this assigment? here is my flickr:
i'm sure i got the tags correct and made them public. thanks!

July 27, 2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous onno de jong said...

I'm new to your blog, its very good thank you, and I am new to flicker, also a wonderful resource, especially in the way that you are using it. I thought I put my pictures with the correct tags, even copied the tags from your final assignment search, and when changing the search criteria from everyone's photos to my own pictures ( "your photos" ) my picture appears, but it does not show on the selects in your final list, so I am wondering why.



strobist lighting102 assignment cooking final

August 02, 2007 2:01 PM  
Blogger Andrew Sanchez said...

After I finished the assignment, the "deceptively simple" comment in the first sentence took on a whole new meaning, how true it is. i learned A LOT doing it, and recommend to anybody to do this assignment.

March 06, 2008 4:43 AM  
Anonymous Phil Craswell said...

Once again, really great info, good topics and really helping me with my Cheltenham based photography business.

Thanks Strobist.

June 06, 2009 5:36 AM  

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