09. Rustic Beef

Karl and food photographer Anya Pustynnikova work together to slowly bring to life this stunning country farmhouse styled image of roast beef. Together they demonstrate essential preparation, styling and lighting techniques as well as reveal useful tricks anyone can use to enhance their food photography.

For this shot Karl and Anya wanted to simulate late afternoon sun in a homely setting. While Anya carefully prepares and styles the ingredients and props for this beautiful image, Karl uses careful control of light, along with a number creative solutions, to bring their vision to life.

In this photography class we cover the following:

  • Product Photography — Food Photography
  • Simulating sunlight — the best modifiers to use
  • A summary of the inverse square law
  • How to achieve a dappled lighting effect
  • How to control shadows
  • Useful tips for photographing red wine

If you enjoyed this food photography class, you won’t want to miss Anya’s live show — watch it now.


    1. Hi Mohammed, no this light was turned off. I decided to only go with the lights that i described in the video which were the ‘sunlight’ effect, the lights on the wine glasses and the big softbox.

  1. Hi Karl. I love the way you bring your unique lighting techniques to food photography. People can be a bit stayed in their use of lighting. Not you. I think your painting with light concepts are what makes you the great tog that you are. Of course Anna too for her incredible food styling.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Do you supply the retouching part of this tuttorial because the before na d after are huge different ?

    1. Hi Hung, I’m not sure what you mean? There is almost no difference between the final shot we captured and the final shot? Where do you see a difference. I know that my only retouching on this was contrast and colour adjustments?

  3. It is an amazing image, and I’ve learnt a lot thank you. Please can I ask why, when you got the shadows as you want them why didn’t you clamp the foam board into place? Also, is there any way we can be notified about replies to comments please? As they do with Facebook and YouTube.

    1. Hi Mark, I thought by default the author is notified of replies but I’ll check with the web team. In answer to your other question I often find with this type of photography that ‘happy accidents’ can occur by being more flexible and seeing what happens, when we play with light and shadows which are meant to be more ‘organic’ in nature then I just like to see ‘what else’ might happen.

  4. Could you show a photo of the black polyboard with holes? I want to re-create something similar. Thanks

  5. Loving this ‘sunlight effect’, the meat in final picture looks fresh and so juicy. From the this one and the cup of tea, I am going to buy a few of those cheap reflectors you found. Thanks. 🙂


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