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Sticky Buns for Days – A Simple Natural Light Food Shoot | How We Shot It

By Anthony Thurston on May 27th 2013

How We Shot It

The “How We Shot It” series is composed of images submitted by our writers! But, did you know that we also have a segment called “How You Shot It”? If you enjoy sharing how your images were created, please send us an email at contact@slrlounge. Of course please understand that we receive innumerable emails every day, and only select a small percentage of article submissions for actual publication based on image and tutorial quality.  Thanks, and enjoy!

The Photo


The Background & How I Shot It

Yesterday I posted about some great food photography tips and I wanted to try some of them out. So I grabbed my equipment and setup in my dining room. I wanted to get a shot of something that was delicious, something that could inspire my wife to cook me more goodies. So I chose to shoot one of my wife’s homemade sticky buns.

The setup for this shot was simple enough. I placed the sticky bun on a small plate in the center of the table. For light I opened the big window next to the table and setup a white foam board on the opposite side of the sticky bun as a reflector. Then I set the camera to around a 45 degree angle and was ready to shoot.

The only problem was that the sticky bun was not all that appetizing on its own. I needed something to spice it up a bit, something to grab your attention. As you can see below the original shot was not all that appetizing. So I went and grabbed some honey and began to drizzle it on the sticky bun, and I loved the results.  The only problem was that I felt like my angle was a bit steep, so I pulled down the shot a bit and I feel like that angle was much nicer that the original one.

(Before Honey)


(After Honey)


Now that I have sat on the image for a bit longer I can say that I feel like my depth of field is a hair too shallow, and I probably could have done with an aperture setting of F4 or even F5.6. I still like the shot, but if I had to find one thing to change it would be that. I feel like the background of the plate and the far side of the sticky bun are a little too blown out. Pull it back a bit and I think we are golden.

Overall this shoot took me about 20 minutes, and did not cost me a dime so I would be perfectly comfortable calling this a success.

The Equipment

  • Nikon D300s
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
  • An Old Clunker Bogen Tripod with Vanguard SBH-250 Ball Head
  • White Foam Board (Available for under $2 at any crafts store or even Walmart)
  • Standard Home Items such as Dinner Table, and Plate

The Settings

  • RAW
  • 1/125th of a second
  • F2.8
  • ISO 200

The Lighting Setup


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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Looks good

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