An Apple A Day

In our fruit bowl I recently noticed this nice red apple. Today was bad weather and I had nothing else to do, so I decided to take another "studio" photo session in my kitchen. I wanted to take a beautiful and fresh picture of this piece of fruit.

The setup: I placed 2 black boards onto my kitchen table to get a dark bottom and a dark backgroud. Placing the red apple into a black environment will hopefully increase the impression of the colors. My EOS 500D was mounted on a tripod and connected to my laptop computer for remote control. This prevents absolutely any camera shakes and gives me the opportunity to check the picture directly on the screen. The lens I used was my EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens. To enlighten the scene I placed my flash left to the apple. But this was not enough. The apple was completely dark on its right side. Because I have only one flash I had to use a trick. I placed a mirror right of the apple, so it reflects the light of my flash and this way gives some light to the right side of the apple. It worked great.

The settings: I've set the camera to complete manual mode. Even the focus I adjusted manually. Some photos I made with a high aperture value, some with a lower one, depending on how much of the scene I wanted to be in focus. Shutter speed didn't matter this time. This was done completely by the flash. Depending on the aperture value I had to adjust the intensity of the flash. With higher aperture values a higher flash intensity is necessary to produce enough light. ISO was always set to 100 to get as little noise as possible in the dark areas.

First I tried to take a closeup of the top and the stalk of my apple. It took a while to get a good image composition and the right light setup. This one I've shot with an aperture of f/20. Nearly the whole apple is in focus. With this high aperture value I had to adjust the intensity of the flash to 1/8. Shutter speed was 1/50 sec, but as I mentioned before this didn't matter. With any shutter speed value the scene looked the same.

But only the top of the apple didn't satisfy me. So I moved the camera further back to get the whole fruit into the scene. This looked much better. I've applied some water with a water sprayer. The sprayer produces nice drops on the surface. This photo was taken with an aperture of f/20. Again nearly the whole apple is in focus which looks quite nice. Shutter speed was 1/200 sec and flash intensity was again at 1/8. I like this one because it has some kind of aesthetics.

Next I wanted to do something with the black area on the left. I cutted out a quarter of another apple and placed it behind the main object. Looked good. But it was too much in focus. I decreased the aperture value to blur out the objects in the back. But not too much. Decreasing the aperture produces brighter images so I had to decrease the flash intensity, too. This photo was taken with an aperture of f/5.6 and a flash intensity of 1/64. Shutter speed was again 1/200 sec.

This last picture is my favorite of the series. The cutted piece reflects the light from the flash and brightens up the left part of the apple. Furthermore the additional light makes the water on the bottom more visible. The scene looks interesting, fresh and juicy.