What is "perfect lighting?" It will differ for every style of photography and every photographer's style. For my food photography, I think the perfect lighting is the soft, beautiful, natural light found from a large window with indirect sun coming through. Unfortunately, most of the locations where I have to go and shoot food don't have this light that I am looking for. In order to get the shoot done, I have to to create the light. What if I could create this "perfect light" and have it for every assignment?
I love the beauty of natural lighting, but it is not always the same. The location and architecture of the building, time of year, time of day, and weather are all factors that will effect the light. If you are constantly on the move at different locations, this can be very frustrating.
With artificial lighting from a strobe or continuous light source, you will generally get a consistent light output every time (yes the brand of flash and age of the bulb can affect a lights consistency). Do you ever try and create a light source that will give you your version of "perfect light" every time? I have been playing around with different concepts and came across one that I like. It might surprise you that you might already have the items around your house. First, here is the result.
Here is what the modifier is made out of.
Here are a few more shots at a variety of angles.
Want to learn more about food photography? Check out Issues 1-7 of photographing FOOD.