Mirror, Mirror

Made some yummy soup last night!  Creamy Potato-Leek. Good eats :) Photographing soups is a real challenge, especially soups that are monochromatic. Normally, such soups are photographed in a dark bowl for contrast.  But, I thought this soup needed something bright and airy to match its delicate color and yummy flavors.  The contrast of the fried leek and bacon garnish would play nicely in this scenario.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700" caption="Hasselblad 503cw w/ Imacon Ixpress v96c and 180mm f4 CF Zeiss Sonnar - f4 @125th 50iso"]Creamy Potato Leek Soup[/caption]

Creating a high-key image usually entails multiple strobes to flood the scene with light. I really didn't want to get into setting up more than one light (because my soup will get cold).  Rather, I just wanted to set up one light and bounce the light all over the place.

I set up my single strobe, camera left, about 5 feet away from the soup and high enough to spill into the bowl.  This flooded the scene evenly.  However, the scene had some very deep shadows.  Placing some white bounces on the lee side filled them in, but not nearly enough.  Bounces, or reflectors, always absorb light - some more than others.  I tried a silver bounce, but even this highly reflective bounce didn't have enough power.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.

Mirrors do not absorb light, but reflect it back without bias. Placing a mirror on the opposing side bounced the strobe's light at full power into the shadow areas.  It's like I set up a second strobe.  Simple and very effective.

It's also a time saver.  Using a second strobe would mean having to rebalance the power output every time I adjust the key light.

The shadow edges were a bit harsh.  Placing a diffusion screen in front of the key light softened them a bit.  However, it also absorbed some power.  Not a problem with the mirror.  It adjusted with me.

I tweaked the set up a bit more by adding a silver reflector to bounce some of the stray light back in to the scene, but not at full power.

Here is my setup:

Setup for Potato Leek Soup