We love the way our additional Photo Challenges on Facebook bring out the creativity in our photographers each month. Jaymi McClusky’s “F is for Fruit” photo had us all wondering how she got that shot. We were so happy that she was willing to share her process of creating such a refreshing photo with all of us!
What you need
- Sparkling water,
- a small glass vase (a square vase works better, because shooting through a round one might distort the image),
- a piece of scrapbook paper or cloth,
- toothpicks or skewers,
- your camera and a macro lens,
- lots of natural light or a tripod.
I shot these with my Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 85mm 3.5 Micro lens. Fill the vase with sparkling water and skewer a piece of fruit to hang in place from the top. Make sure the vase is as clean as possible. For the background, I simply taped a piece of scrapbook paper to my chair behind the vase. I used natural light for these and did not use a tripod. To light this, I set everything up on my dining room table near a large window with a lot of light. If needed, you could set up a reflector on the opposite side of the vase to bounce more window light onto it. This is what the set up looked like:
Once you have it positioned, let the fruit sit in the water without being moved for a minute or two. This will allow the bubbles from the sparkling water to settle onto the fruit. When you’re ready, get your lens close and start shooting. Try switching out your fruit for different looks.
I had the hardest time with the cherry, since I couldn’t stick a toothpick through it to hold it in place. Ultimately I had to tape the stem in place to the edge of the glass, but the cherry kept floating to the top. I think this was the only photo I got where it wasn’t floating on the surface!
One of the best things about this set-up is that you can easily tape up different color scrapbook paper or pieces of cloth to change the background. Try picking colors that contrast with the color of the fruit so it can stand out against the background.
I added a little extra brightness, vibrance, and contrast because I loved that bright, crisp, refreshing look. I used the patch tool or clone stamp to get rid of stray bubbles streaming through the water that ended up looking like streaks on the glass. And occasionally I had to crop a bit if I accidentally got the edge of the vase or the edge of the scrapbook sheet in the shot.
Here’s a before and after shot of the above lime shot. The shot on the left is SOOC and if you look closely there were some marks in the upper left corner that looked like dirt on the glass (which really were bubbles from the water) that I cloned out to give the background a cleaner feel.
There are so many ways you can get creative with this set-up. You could use multiple pieces of fruit at once or even patterned backgrounds! Have fun and get creative!
Jaymi McClusky, of Jaymi M Photography, is a hobbyist photographer who loves shooting natural light lifestyle portraits and food photography. Follow her on Facebook or on her blog for more tutorials and tips!