Food and Drink - Raspberry Beet Juice

I’ve just recently discovered BurkleHagen, a local, upscale commercial photography studio that specializes in food photography. Saying that I’m uber impressed with their work would be an understatement. I’ve always been a huge fan of great product and food photography and though I’ve not really shot a ton of it myself, I know that it’s an extremely meticulous craft and the photographers who make a living off of it spend countless hours working on every detail of an image. BurkleHagen is no exception. They have a crisp, clean style that has inspired me so much that I decided to tinker around with some food and drink photos of my own in my downtime. Granted, I’m no where near their level when it comes to this stuff (and I didn’t have nearly the same amount of time to spend on it) but I have been pretty happy with some of my results so far. For this particular post, I’ll be focusing on my first semi-successful beverage shot - Red Raspberry Beet Juice. 

This particular photo was born simply of availability. I knew I wanted to shoot some type of colorful beverage and this RAW brand beet juice was the best I could find at the local downtown market yesterday morning. I styled with some excess green glass tiles that were laying in storage, a container of raspberries, a mint straw that I later made red, and, the leaf of a celery stalk. 

If lighting set-ups interest you (I know they always interest me) here’s a quick breakdown:

This image was lit with four Einstein e640’s - two in strip boxes to the left and right of the glass, one firing through a 4x4 silk from front left and a final one shooting through a set of quarter apple boxes that are acting as barn doors. You may also notice at the bottom of the apple boxes that I propped up an ND Filter case - that’s the block some of the spill onto the tile and keep the majority of that backlight to the glass and fruit. As a previously dedicated hot light shooter, I think I’m finally getting the hang of this strobe situation. It takes me a little while to get everything dialed in, but I’m getting there. 

And finally, for anyone interested, I thought I would also post a side-by-side of my original image (left) and my final, retouched image (right). Not a ton of post work on this particular image - light clean up, color shifting the straw to match the scene, some dodge and burn for depth and a final pass of color toning. 

If you liked this post and the more detailed breakdown of lights and process stay tuned as I hope to be able to post more of these setups and lighting diagrams in the future. As a self taught photographer myself who learned from other people’s blogs and insight I hope that these kinds of posts might help someone else down the road as well. 


In Studio with Dick

We’ve recently started an upgrade process at work to repair, replace and update our in-house equipment supply. Part of that upgrade included finally getting some studio strobes to work with - 5 of the Paul C Buff Einstein E640s with a variety of modifiers to be specific. 

Up until recently, I’ve mainly shot all of my studio work with a variety of different hot lights (or natural), so, it’s been a bit of learning experience to make the switch. As part of the process, while testing a new setup, I grabbed the best looking guy in the office… Richard Pergler. A company staple, a wordsmith, a Cleveland Indians super fan, or, perhaps most appropriately, the master brewer of one of the finest espresso in the North East United States - No matter what you call him, Dick is one of the best portrait subjects you could ask for. 

Of the ten frames that I snapped of Dick (let’s face it, he’s an important man and who am I to waste his time?), these three were my favorites. A single light setup, these were all lit with an Einstein E640 in an 4’ Octabox above and slightly off axis. The background is a simple V-flat and the final images were toned and processed in Photoshop CC. 

So far… I’m pretty happy with these new lights and some of the possibilities they open up for my photos. I’m sure some new images and lighting setups will be coming soon. 



As you have most likely noticed, the pregnant progress photos came to a close about 4 weeks back. Shortly after posting the week 39 images my wife and I welcomed the amazing Charlotte (or as we call her, Charlie) into our lives. Nothing has been the same since she decided to join us, but it’s been an amazing ride already. We can hardly believe that it’s already been a month but we’re both happier than ever with our girl and excited for the many fun times to come. 

Here she is striking a pose for her one month photos. Enjoy. 

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