Creating leading lines

Still life with snickerdoodle

The photographic project for this week was to take a black and white photograph with leading lines to the subject. Since I started the 256 Shades of Grey mentorship on Google Plus by studio/kitchen shots (due to weather, mostly), I wanted to continue this way. This is the only way to get a concise body of work at the end of the year.

This one turned out to be particularly challenging. Food is not typically photographed in B&W. It can look weird in B&W. When you look on the web, there is not that much done. I was able to find a group on Flickr and a single board on Pinterest, with some examples, but generally it is not what you see. No wonder. You are used to full color of your fruit, even a cookie should be this yellowish-orange color. Add to that difficulty of creating contrast and separation, it requires some thinking, especially if you need to set it up yourself, rather than just stumble upon it.

Tomasz baked a batch of his signature snickerdoodle cookies, and I chose that as my subject. Now, how to create leading lines? Did some Google search, and realized obvious- spoons. In the process, I found very well illustrated succinct guide to food photography basics at Foods for the Soul- well worth checking out!

At first, I tried to re-create image with a cookie on the rim of the jam jar, with a spoon in the jar. It just did not look good in B&W. I tried that on the dark background of the countertop and on white cardboard- could not get it to work. Then I came with this idea of white cup with milk, creating a line with a handle. Again, it looked bad on dark background. Finally, I tried white cup on white background, shot overhead with light overhead, and I knew I am onto something. Adding the small jar of confiture was a final touch, one which finally made the image “clicked”.

I spend two evenings working on this- one of the longest I ever spend getting the idea nailed down for a photograph. It gave me a good sense of accomplishment. And worry- next week I do not have two evenings to spend of that…

Still life with snickerdoodle in B&W