Recipe – Spices

I changed my mind about the recipe I wanted to use, as the seasons changed and Autumn was becoming Winter, I wanted to create a more cosy image than the fruity tea I had previously imagined.

I used fresh garlic, cinnamon, and cloves, with a traditional mortar and pestle with a hessian fabric backdrop for a more rustic atmosphere.

I set up the camera (Canon 80D) on the tripod with a 50 mm prime lens (cropped sensor, so equivalent to 80 mm), and shot a few variations with the off-camera flash, all at 1/125 s and f/22:

I optimised all three images in ACR, and opened in Adobe PS as stacked layers:

I applied dodge and burn layer masks to selectively lighten and darken areas of the image, and performed other PS actions including unsharp mask and high-pass sharpening. Cropped to 5:7, and added a 2 cm white border on all sides:


I’m going to attempt this set up again, because I want the ingredients a little bit tighter together – the garlic is cropped at the right, and the glass jar is cropped slightly at the left. I might also bring the mortar closer to the camera and experiment with a shallower depth of field, to separate it from the hessian backdrop, and try shooting from above.

Skills practiced
Composition – Lighting – Styling – Stacked layers – Layer masks – Optimisation – Editing

Published by Ash Lyons Photography

Scottish photographer. I like wildlife, rugged landscapes, people, and their stories.

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