Salted Maple Popcorn


I wanted to start a new series called "Light Studies" as I rarely see this traditional process practiced anymore. You always see the finished product but never the process that is just as integral to an artists work as it is part of their journey, making you better at what you do. Often my favourite part of seeing an exhibition of an artist are their messy sketchbooks and scribble or imperfect photographs. These will be my scribbles.


Click on images to see what settings I used.

These images were taken between 2:30-3pm on a sunny day. The above images are unedited, totally untouched. These are not my final images (see below for final images). I ended up not choosing these images for these reasons:

Top left: the popcorn is so blown out you can no longer see the detail. A result of overexposing too much. The light was just too harsh and direct. I could bring this back in post-production, however, I decided that I didn't like the harsh light for this particular still life.

Top middle: I did like this and I have done something very similar in this post, which I adored. However, for this particular subject matter, I decided that I wanted to shoot it front or above on a completely neutral background to only allow the light and some minimal texture to give it depth.

Top Right: This would be been fine except the popcorn was out of focus.


The Final Images

Click on images to see what settings I used.


For these final images, I realised that to break the harsh light streaming through the window, I would have to diffuse the light to create the soft look I was going for. I never use a diffuser since that is extra baggage I just don't require as I can always find something to use. I would normally use kite material or a translucent curtain but in this case, I had neither as I haven't brought over all my things to the office yet. The catch was I didn't want to completely diffuse the light as I wanted to keep dimension by having these beautiful light rays still in the image.

For the editing part, I really try to get the light right in camera so that I don't have to do much editing in post-production.

I'll be sharing how I photographed this series of images in the upcoming weeks. Stay up to date on Instagram. (Update: I will no longer be doing this)



My camera and lenses that I used for these images plus bonus all-rounder / beginner lens.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III

I use this camera for my work as the quality is really amazing and offers a lot of manual options that allow for more creative or artistic control. A professional camera - I wouldn't recommend this for everyday use or for someone just starting out. I recommend looking at my other favourite travel and everyday camera here.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2

This lens is everything. The 50mm is close to what the human eye sees and is, therefore, a popular choice for all round photography. It is wonderful in low-light situations and the glass quality is great. I love the size also. It isn't as bulky as other lenses. See a cheaper alternative below.


The Beginners / all-rounder alternative

Canon EF 50 mm-f/1.4 USM Lens

This lens is much cheaper and is a great starter lens. You can pop this onto any canon camera. I would recommend starting with this lens. It is lightweight, great quality and lets in a great amount of light for everyday photography and night photography. It is such a good all rounder. I use this as a backup.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens

I didn't use this lens for this series but I like to have it on hand as it is a wider lens, meaning it is not as zoomed in. This is a great option for street photography, tight spaces and interiors. I love the 35mm because if you go wider than this such as 24mm or lower, you get distortion and I really like to capture images to look as close to real life in camera and therefore I don't like too much distortion.

Chikae Crest Thumbnail.png

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post includes affiliate links and I would love if you decided to use them. Affiliate links + referrals programs help educators like me, at no extra cost to you, fund the free content that we provide on our blogs.



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