06. Duck legs confit with potato gratin and mushrooms

Working with food photographer Anya Pustynnikova for this series of food photography classes, Karl and Anya set about creating a sleek and stylish shot of duck leg confit for the next food photography class. Together, the pair demonstrate essential preparation, styling and lighting techniques for eye-catching food photos.

In this chapter Anya details her step-by-step styling, building up to the final mouth-watering shot while Karl gradually builds up the lighting and shows simple techniques to highlight key elements of this delicate dish.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • Product Photography: Food Photography
  • Photographing food in plan view
  • Food styling for different camera angles
  • Photographing food using multiple studio lights
  • Selecting depth of field for food photography
  • Achieving focussed light with alternative lighting techniques
  • Full frame vs medium format — results comparison

If you enjoyed this food photography course, watch Anya’s live show here.


  1. These live shows are more educational even than regular courses for me, i can see the trial and errors about shaping the light. It would be amazing to see some about other products!
    Thanks again Karl !

  2. But would editing the Canon photo through sharpness and tone curve bring it closer to the Hasselblad.
    Another great learning video. Thank you Karl.

    1. Hi Anne, yes it would but of course the better the original image to begin with then the more efficient you can be. Many pro’s shoot with 35mm such as Canon and Nikon too and as you will see in the other food tutorials we used the Canon, but medium format will of course be an improvement just in the same way back in the days of film we used medium format film cameras for the same reasons.

  3. Hi Karl,
    3 Make-up Mirrors 15x are fine?
    Maybe you told that in the video but I have some problem with English…
    Thank you in advance!

  4. Which dimensions usually have the backgrounds and surfaces (pink, black and grey) that you use like table?

    Thank you Karl.

  5. Thank you Karl!
    Which Scrimms are you using and which thickness most of them have for this kind of diffuse light.

    All the best Michael

  6. That was a great tutorial, thank you both! It was very informative and sometimes funny 🙂 (but sometimes even terrifying when you Karl were balancing on your ladder)
    Please answer some questions:
    1. Is that picture from Canon or Hasselblad?
    2. Did you have to clean that smudge on the plate seen on 21.33 ? If yes- on post or during preparation?
    3. I liked the effect of scrim and watching preparation stage I’ve noticed that baking paper looks like that scrim. So if I have no scrim do you think I can use baking paper instead? Will the effect be similar or at least close to it? (I mean white parchment paper)

    1. Hi Anna,
      1. I did on both, I think the final one on my Hasselblad is the one on my website.
      2. We must of cleaned it as I don’t remember having to retouch one?
      3. Tracing paper will work, baking paper will probably give a false colour and I think it is too patchy.

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed this session. I never knew how much goes into this type of photography from the prep to the shoot. I’m glad you showed the differences between the hasselblad and the canon. You can really appreciate the quality of hasselblad with the comparison. The use of those things and the card to control the light pockets was very impressive.

    1. Hi Emmad, to do any job properly you need some of the necessary tools. We only use a couple of studio lights and in many of these food tutorials only one light and a 35mm camera so I don’t see how it could be made more economical if you want to do a proper job?

      1. Thank you for your reply .. and, i mean is it important to own Hasselblad which it cost 45000 $ to do food photography.

        1. Hi Emmad, no not really unless you are at the top of your game, as you saw in these tutorials we captured great shots on a 35mm camera.

        2. I’d prefer to use a Hasselblad as the tonal range is better and for me it’s easier to work with but no it’s not really important for food photography

  8. They did not have the Canon 5ds at the time you shot this video? That would have been a better comparison. But less brownie points for the Hassy. Overall great lesson.


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