Food Photography at Home, Part 3: Strobes
Strobes can help take your food photography to the next level.
A strobe is essentially a flash of light. When used for photography, it’s usually a higher-powered, more concentrated source of light that gives an even, consistent light quality across the image. You can use strobes to highlight a specific area of a food image, control shadows, or just make everything brighter and more vivid.
Types of Strobes
There are a variety of strobes available, ranging from budget-friendly strobes for beginner photographers to high-end professional strobes. The most common type is a hot-shoe flash. This is a small, handheld flash that attaches directly to the hot-shoe on your camera. You can find a wide range of these models, which vary in power, coverage, and price.
Using a Strobe in Food Photography
When using a strobe for food photography, you’ll want to set it up behind the food, typically facing the camera lens. This will create backlighting for the food, which can provide that glossy, magazine-style look. You’ll also want to use an additional light source to fill in shadows or provide a more even light, which can be done with a diffuser or reflector.
Pros and Cons of Using Strobes
Strobes can provide beautiful, consistent lighting, but they’re also more expensive and can be difficult to set up and use. Higher-end strobes typically require more power and will need to be plugged in to an outlet. Additionally, strobes also take a longer time to recycle, meaning that there will be delays between flashes, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to capture that perfect moment.
Strobes can provide great lighting for food photography, but they require a steeper learning curve and can be more expensive than smaller flashes. If you’re willing to take the time to learn and invest in a good strobe, you’ll find that it can make a huge difference for your food photography.