LED lights and collapsible reflectors

Article written in collaboration with Manfrotto and Joby.

Anybody who’s spent a winter in England knows how dark and short the days are during the colder months. Chasing light around the house on a dark day, when you’ve got deadlines to meet, can be extremely frustrating. While flash can be essential if you want to take your food photography to a new level and not be limited by the availability of natural light, I recently had the opportunity to try a different type of supplementary light.

JOBY Beamo is a super compact and wireless continuous LED light. So small you can literally hide it in your pocket. It’s also waterproof. It delivers up to 1500 lumens, which can be dimmed continuously or manually with five step buttons to find the perfect level of light. You can also control it via Bluetooth with the myJOBY app.

While the Beamo is often used for vlogging and mobile photography, I like to use it to backlight my subjects to produce striking, dramatically-lit images. Like the pictures of the physalis and winter chanterelle below.

The small size and light weight of the Beamo makes it very useful in the field. For example, I often use it to add extra illumination to a mushroom’s gills which usually gets less light than its cap. 

Another very useful and portable set of tools are Manfrotto’s (previously branded as Lastolite) collapsible reflectors which beautifully bounce light back onto the subject. They come in a variety of different colours, shapes and sizes. I use small reflectors both in the studio and on the go and they are one of those relatively inexpensive purchases that can make a big difference to your food photography. 

All the images above have been taken using the very novel JOBY GorillaPod® 3K PRO Kit. If you want to learn more about this tripod, head to this blog post.

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