Good day, Chunkies!

I know, I have been away for a long time. What to do, it has been a crazy past four months!

With assisting my friend and Cinematographer Ashwin Shukla and Director Shabnam Sukhdev on a beautiful shoot schedule in the Himalayas, transcribing all the audio for the same project, doing so many new commercial projects and of course, getting college assignments done; yeah, it been a pretty busy time. 😀

This was a recent product shoot I did for my assignment. I had not shot any packaged products yet and this one is the first in my portfolio.

GoodDay Chunkies
GoodDay Chunkies

It was supposed to be a simple, clean shot but I didn’t want it to fall into the conventional boring still. I love the suggestion of motion in still images and therefore, I decided to have the cookies falling into the box.

I suspended the biscuits with extremely thin thread from a boom-pole above the box. I later photoshopped them out, of course.

 

Chunkies Light Diagram
Light diagram and setup for Chunkies

 

 

Keep in mind while shooting product packages, to not let the box flare. I used a black cardboard cutter (you can use any black opaque , flat object to cut the light)  on the 60×60 softbox to avoid flaring on the box, otherwise it would have lost color and definition.

Cross lighting on the cookies and the edge lighting from the back give a nice moulding as well as seperation to the product.And finally, to add a little suggestion of drama in the background, I overlayed it with crumpled paper texture. 🙂

And finally, to add a little trace of drama in the background, I overlayed it with crumpled paper texture. 🙂

I hope you like the picture and be sure to like and comment. 🙂

I’ll be putting up some stills from my trip to Dharamshala soon, so look out!

 

Pretty Pink Macaroons

I have been fascinated by these cute little desserts for a long time now. They are utterly gorgeous.  I had been obsessed with the cute pictures of them all over pinterest and wanted some of my own.

Presenting

Raspberry Macaroons
Raspberry Macaroons
Raspberry Macaroons II
Raspberry Macaroons II
Raspberry Macaroons III
Raspberry Macaroons III
Raspberry Macaroons  IV
Raspberry Macaroons IV
IMG_9821-Edit
Raspberry Macaroons, Close Up

Coffee Swirl

I can’t believe it. It took me so much time to do a simple shot like this.

What I wanted to do was something along the lines of this award winning photograph for Millicano coffee.

I took this as an inspiration, and tried to do something along this line, with a few changes.
I took this as an inspiration, and tried to do something along this line, with a few changes.

I couldn’t figure out how to do this shot ( I still can’t) , but I tried to work along with whatever comes. I think the above shot uses brushes in photoshop to create the liquid diffusion. I guess.

In my first attempt I used a small fish-tank and splashed a cup inside. I wanted to put the cup inside the frame to signify the immersion of oneself in the coffee experience.
Next I tried swirling the water with spoon while adding coffee powder/coffee + water.

Didn’t happen.

For the simple reason that I couldn’t swirl fast enough to freeze the action.

Coffee Swirl I
Coffee Swirl I

As you can see, the swirl didn’t happen. But I like the way the coffee crush is falling, as if in a meteor shower.

So the next week, my professor at college lended me his portable coffee frother to make the swirls. This time, I shot it in a small glass cup with a softbox from behind.

Coffee Swirl II
Coffee Swirl II

I really loved the swirls I got this time! 🙂

Love : Happiness : Toby

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”
Johnny Depp

You read that right? Love : Happiness : Toby

Now who’s Toby? And how did he suddenly spring up? From where?

Somehow. From somewhere. ❤

My friends and myself, ordered a home delivery from a nearby restaurant that one day, around two weeks ago.

Ting tong! The delivery boy rang the bell.

Clank! We open the door, hungry.

In comes trotting, this handsome, tiny guy, floppy ears, thin to the bones; into the hall, into the bedroom, straight to the bed and off to sleep!

All hunger left to the winds, we went in, and started cuddling with this cute little bundle of brown fur, smelling of mild shampoo and milk, oh so heavenly!

His eyes. Stark green and huge. Complementing the golden brown of his fur, his eyes made him a beauty. An instant hit. 😀

Toby
Toby

He was scared though, not eating anything, not saying anything, not licking anybody, just sleeping all the time. We tried searching for someone who might own him, but to no avail. So, we decided to keep him. 😀

Took him to the vet, got his vaccinations and deworming done. After being force fed Cerelac and curd rice for a few days, he started eating on his own and has now taken a liking to Pedigree these days. 😀

Toby
Toby

The point of this post, apart from introducing Toby is, urging people to adopt.

“A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn’t have a heart. A dog’s heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.”
Elizabeth Parker, Paw Prints in the Sand

You need to understand people, you need them more than they need you.

Pets, dogs in particular, teach you how to love. Love like no other.

And god knows, the world needs it.

There are hundreds out there, especially in India. It’s okay if you cant keep one at home. You can volunteer at a rehabilitation and rescue centre, feed dogs outside your door, in your neighbourhood, Help in any way you can. I promise you, it wont go to waste.

That isn’t a huge price to pay for unconditional love, affection, importance; a smile, a laugh; a stress-buster,  isn’t it?

Learn to love people. 🙂

Chocolate, Almonds and Raisins : Simple ain’t Easy

It’s been a long while since my last post, I know.  Caught up between school, work and my new best friend Toby ( about whom I will be talking in my next post ), time flew!

Today I am writing about my experience shooting tiny food objects like almonds and raisins.

We got an assignment at school, to shoot Fruit and Nut Chocolate in a creative way. After a short discussion with my faculty, I settled on a concept of few almonds and raisins with melted chocolate on them. Simple isn’t it?

Composing such tiny things is a challenge. I stuck almonds and raisins in place with glue tack and after 2 hours of shifting them around, I settled on a composition.

I chose to shoot it on a white acrylic background and with one light source. The light diagram is provided below :

Light Diagram for the shoot. The light from the softbox was cut partially with a blag flag.
Light Diagram for the shoot. The light from the soft-box was cut partially with a blag flag.

I used a thermocol (foam) reflector pretty close to the setup on the right side for a nice smooth fill. To bring out the texture in almonds and raisins, I used small reflective mirrors to fill some hard light from the front left.

After melting chocolate, I poured it on the composition with a dropper. That was the most difficult part of my shoot. It became messy and I couldn’t do any changes after pouring the chocolate and had a limited amount of time window to shoot as the chocolate would spread everywhere. Somehow, I managed. One way I saved my day was by pouring the chocolate in steps and taking a shot after every step. That way, I could choose the best parts of the pour and put it all together.

Chocolate, Almonds and Raisins
Chocolate, Almonds and Raisins

This is just my first try and many more would come soon. 🙂

All in all, it was a tiring shoot, but fun. 😀

Chocolate Rum Balls : Trial Shoot

For many days now, I have been planning to make and shoot chocolate rum balls but because of shortage of time, I wasn’t able to do so. But just to try out compositions and make sure that I don’t goof up the actual shoot, I decided to buy some rum balls and practice with them. Here is my behind the scenes of setup and styling:

I put some chocolate syrup over the rum balls and decorated them with multi color sprinklers that I got from a beautiful site selling bakery products called That Secret Ingredient.

I tried various angles, changed the rum balls in a couple of shots, the setup was basic and simple and so were the props.

Camera angle, just a little above the setup. A more personal touch.
Camera angle, just a little above the setup. A more personal touch.
A little closer, with a different rum ball
A little closer, with a different rum ball

The wooden background and the khadi textile complemented the color palette and gave that chocolaty mood (I guess that’s what I’d call it) to the picture. I plated the rum balls in white Japanese porcelain dessert plates with black and gold design work on the border. The sprinklers were necessary to break the color pattern and make the chocolate ball pop out.

Top Shot - Playing with Graphics
Top Shot – Playing with Graphics

A major challenge was shooting before the chocolate sauce , being heavy and thick in consistency, covers the whole plate; the sprinklers drown in the chocolate sauce; the HIGHLIGHTS catchching everywhere!!!

Be sure to learn how to light a sphere, a chrome ball; better, before you light these. Next time I shoot, I’ll be doing some things differently!

Top Shot - with sprinkler on the chocolate sauce for balance
Top Shot – Sprinkler on the chocolate sauce for balance
Added a few sprinklers to the side to cover up some negative space.
Top Shot – Added a few sprinklers to the side to cover up some negative space.

So how did you like this shoot? If you are a food photographer or a stylist yourself, I would welcome your critique and comments 🙂