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Maen Rabai's picture

Moody flat lay

ISO 100
Lighting: strobe for key, speedlite for fill

CC is welcome, my first thought was it might be underexposed, however it's a dark photograph . Please share your thoughts

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Daniel L Miller's picture

Kudos for being open to feedback.

The first thing that struck me is that low contrast light in combination with a monochromatic color palette doesn't usually translate very well. Especially when the light is warm because the result is muddy.

You can add dynamic contrast here to give it some "bite." (sorry) Or you could create a new whitepoint off the plates (which will appear slightly blue to the eye) then raise the saturation slightly on the chocolate. (warm)

If you really like the monochromatic look how about re-shooting it with some mint leaves or something to expand the palette?

Whatever you decide this may be a great lesson in shooting that you take into your next session?

Maen Rabai's picture

Thanks for your reply Daniel,

I have to admit, it took me some time to understand your point. I think I get it. However the cream (white) contrasts with chocolate, would increasing the highlights give it a pop and interest?

Daniel L Miller's picture

Yes. The image currently is pretty flat. (IMO) it needs some contrasty edges to draw in the eye. It also is very yellow-green which may not be what you intended.

I hesitate to color correct other folks work but here is a quick CC only for comparison.

Maen Rabai's picture

Thanks again Daniel, It looks better already! You are right yellow - green is not working here. Blue works for some reason, do you mind explaining the theory behind this ( Im not good with colors )

Thank you for putting time into demonstrating your point, I really appreciate it!

Daniel L Miller's picture

In Daylight (5500-6000°Kelvin) the "whites" we see are ever so slightly blue. Many people tend to associate cool highlights as a neutral color correction.

If you want to warm it up you add Red and Yellow. You added Green and Yellow which is a combination normally used in cinema, not food photography.

I also think your monitor might not be calibrated. I use a closed loop calibration for my monitor so the image I shared doesn't look very blue. It probably looks blue to you after sitting with the yellow-green version for so long.

Here are a couple tricks to use…
1. Use the eye dropper in CMYK mode and place it above a neutral highlight like the plate. If the CMY numbers are not balanced then you have a color cast no matter what your eye sees.They should be within a couple digits of each other.

2. After completing a color correction go away for a couple hours or a day. When you come back your eye will be fresh and it will be easier to see color casts and other problems.


Maen Rabai's picture

Again thank you for everything Daniel, you are very good👍

Daniel L Miller's picture

You are welcome and please share your next effort with us. It will be exciting to see how you incorporate what you have learned.

Maen Rabai's picture

Sure! will do 👍