Photography,  Photography Challenge

Back to Basics with Light Play

Back to Basics with Light Play

A timed exercise on capturing mocktails in direct natural light.

It has been close to a year of only shooting in the home studio thanks to the many lock downs and restaurants having to close due to covid. Finally with venues, restaurants and businesses reopening (yippee!), I have been thinking more about getting back into the swing of things after being stuck in my comfort zone for so long. In order to hone my skills into working at a faster pace, I decided to whip out the camera today and give myself a photography challenge. The rules were simple: To conceptualize, style, shoot, edit, write the copy & post a series of 10 images within a 2 hour timeframe.


Besides picking up the pace and getting in some practice, an additional objective for this photography challenge was to stop overanalysing everything. I also wanted to achieve a more paired back and simply styled scene, to keep the focus on the subject unhindered.

Before Image - UneditedAfter Image - Edited

Before and After Raw test shots with just water, and a quick rough edit playing around with styles.


Taking advantage of a rare burst of sunlight streaming through the windows, my concept was set. Initially just by using some water to fill my brand new crystal sour glasses (they are just too pretty!), then afterwards by adding a small splash of homemade berry simple syrup for a boost of colour. Styling was kept extremely simple with a few flowers and some glass scattered diamonds to not only provide a touch of glamour and to complement the crystal glasses, but also to help reflect some of the direct sunlight. I did wrestle with my inner temptation to add more but decided to forgo the use of any linen or additional layering pieces, making sure the scene remained light, airy, clutter-free and overall aesthetically pleasing.


By "letting go, during this photography challenge and just getting on with it", I managed to capture more than a bunch of useable handheld images, without the use of a tripod. When shooting in an unpredictable environment such as a restaurant or onsite studio it is so important to be able to adapt on the fly and work quickly to set a time frame. This exercise really forced me to stop fussing around, and instead trust my natural creative instincts, whilst still maintaining a healthy critical eye and paying close attention to details.


Shot using Canon EOS R +RF 50MM F1.8 + RF85MM Macro F2.0


Below are some of the final edited images from the shoot.

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