Until a few weeks ago, I’d have never thought it possible that this photo could have been taken on a winter evening, in total darkness, inside my kitchen. Above all, I’d have never thought it possible that it would have been me to take it.
I started photographing food when I decided to launch my food blog, Juls’ Kitchen, with no technical experience at all. In the beginning, I only took pictures to illustrate the finished recipe, without any expectations. I even took them in the kitchen in the evening, with a yellow, neon light. The food turned out anything but appetising.
Then I learned that what worked for me was natural light, following it from room to room, from window to window. I fell in love with it, I learned to control it using diffusers and reflector panels; to invent it, almost, in the late afternoon, with a good tripod and a long exposure.
But once evening came, the game was over.
Then I tried the Lykos Daylight LED panel. As its name suggests, it manages to recreate daylight thanks to the power of its LED bulbs: a dream come true for lovers of natural light, like me.
The increase in workload and overlapping deadlines meant that I often found myself finishing photo shoots late in the day. The LED Lykos panel was a gift from heaven.
The theme of the shoot was a calm and relaxing Sunday breakfast. It required floods of natural light to convey that pleasant, lethargic feeling that comes over you on a Sunday morning, in front of a cup of coffee and a piece of flapjack. The result is natural; the colours are perfect.
After a few test shots, I worked out what I wanted. First of all, it is useful to use the LED panel with a tripod: it is really light and manageable, but with a tripod, it leaves your hands free to sort out the set and take the pictures, if you don’t have anyone to help you. It can be plugged in, but again, in terms of practicality, it’s best to opt for a battery, if possible. In my case, I got the best result by placing it at least one metre from the set and from the subject of the photo, using a reflector panel as well, to soften the light.
This photo was taken with only a Lykos Daylight LED panel, without a reflector. You can see how the contrast is too clear, almost harsh.
Here, a diffuser panel comes into play, which softens the light and immediately creates a Sunday morning feeling.
Here, a reflector panel is added to the diffuser panel, softening the shadows created by the light. I would have considered this an excellent result even with natural daylight: the colours are perfect, the texture of the cloth and the flapjack come out well, giving naturalness to the image.
Another situation in which the Lykos LED panel has been useful is when I have had to take pictures of the kitchen hob. As is the case with video recipes too, this is the most difficult moment: you turn your back to the light and, immediately, an area of shadow is created right where you should have most visibility, among the pots and pans. This problem occurs even when the kitchen is filled with natural light, which is precisely why I had always avoided step-by-step photos of cooking on the hob.
By positioning the Lykos LED panel on the left, with a diffuser and a reflector panel on the right, you get this result. I totally fell in love with this light and I think I might be taking much more hob action photos from now on.
I continue to be a lover of natural light, so I will continue, as far as possible, to take my pictures during the day. However, the Lykos LED panel has proved itself a precious ally, versatile and easy to use, even for those, like me, who are just getting started with using artificial light.
The Lykos LED panel turned out to be very useful for one of my Instagram photos, too. Given its versatility, I will be using it from now on even for shots taken on the spur of the moment to upload to Instagram, for which I had always avoided evening photos because of the yellowy tone hue of artificial light that I cannot stand.
Giulia Scarpaleggia, teacher of Tuscan cookery courses for tourists, Tuscan food blogger, writer and photographer, 34 years old, from Colle Val d’Elsa (Siena).
I started my blog in February 2009. In January 2012, I began working full-time as a food blogger and teacher of cookery courses.
In December 2012, my first book ‘I Love Toscana’ was published by Food Editore in Italian and English.
In September 2013, I won the Macchianera Food Award for best Italian food blogger.
In September 2014, my second book, ‘Cucina da Chef con ingredienti low cost’ (Chef Cooking with Low Cost Ingredients) was published by BUR. In 2015, my third book, ‘Cucina Naturale. Frutta’ (Natural Cooking. Fruit), was published by by Gribaudo. I am currently working on my fourth cookery book.