One of the many things I love about my wife Vanessa is that she brought a completely new world of Latin American food into my life. She just loves cooking in her homeland’s style (she is from Venezuela).

The latest thing she brought to our table was Guasacaca Venezolana, the Venezuelan version of Guacamole. She posted a very detailed how-to article on her blog.

Well, as it happened it was my honor to take the photos of the process. I remember David Hobby preaching about backlighting for food photography and I gave it a try. An yes, it works great. Here is how I did it:

The setup for these photos was simple: The flash shot from just beside the camera into the white wall behind the subjects, which created a wide, soft backlighting-source.

The main ingredients are different vegetables, so we took a “group shot” first. For that I arranged all ingredients on a wooden plate and put the flash on the table on the right beside it. Everything was about 50 centimeters away from the wall. This turned out to be my favorite shot of this series.

From the table we turned around to the working area, where Van began to cut the vegetables with me running around her with the camera and blinding her with the reflection of the flash against the white wall in front of her. In the setup shot on the left you can see how the light works.

The light is bouncing back from the wall to the vegetables and gives them a very pleasing “glowy” look. The metal sink area also helps making the light “shine”. The effect of this light can be seen in the following two images:

A little extra to end this post: When working with a flash every movement is frozen. This can be a nice element when trying to show fast falling things, like the salt in this example. A small detail that looks grea in my opinion (click to see a the bigger version)! All photos were taken with my Pentax M 50mm 1.7 lens, which makes the photos look great. Sometimes I’m struggling to set the focus spot-on though.

Oh,… the result was amazing, and it had great company (taken with window light only, from behind the plate of course. The sun behind some clouds):

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