The popular style of photographing on food blogs on Instagram and even in recipes books – “chiaroscuro” photography (also known as “dark photography” or literally “chiaroscuro”) is often distinguished by strong shadows and dramatic mood of the pictures. However, what really characterizes this style is the skillful interaction between deep shadows and light areas that serve to highlight an object. Japanese food photographer Reiko Nanto shares the tricks of creating mouth-watering images using the chiaroscuro-style photo capture method.
Dramatic chiaroscuro style food photography
EOS 5D Mark II / EF85 mm f / 1.2 L II USM / FL: 85 mm / Manual exposure (f / 13, 0.3 s, EV ± 0) / ISO 320 / WB: Manual
The biscuits had the theme “Alice in Wonderland”, which inspired the photographer to stylize the shoot after drinking tea in the forest. Reiko used a black reflector (also known as a black flag) in order to emphasize shadows and a dark background. Note that areas with white glaze are sufficiently illuminated – otherwise the image may look dull. To prevent the cookies from looking too flat, the photographer raised it with some stylized supports and took off with side lighting.
Tip 1: control both light and shadow Continue reading