A Balanced Breakfast

For the second time in as many years I participated in the DC Shootoff, a four-day photography workshop held in Arlington, Va. This year’s conference featured presentations by several well-known photography professionals, as well as useful workshops that dealt with best practices and workflow management.

The Shootoff is so named for its centerpiece challenge, a 24-hour juried photo contest that asks participating photographers to translate a specific theme into 3-5 edited photos. This year’s theme, “balance,” was drawn randomly from dozens of ideas submitted by conference participants. In interpreting the selected theme I melded my dual passions—photography and food—and came up with a conceptual take on a balanced breakfast.

I paired up simple ingredients that I thought people would quickly associate with a “balanced” breakfast, and shot them from directly overhead at high magnification with one of my all-time favorite lenses, the Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5. I lit my miniature tableaux with three Speedlight strobes fired via radio triggers, and modified the light by bouncing it off white cards and a white wall.

The following shots are the result of my efforts, and ended up taking home 2nd place in the Egnor Cup (the Shootoff category for advanced photographers). Enjoy.

Coffee & Sugar
55mm @ 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 160
Blueberries and Strawberries
55mm @ 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 160
Toast & Butter
55mm @ 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 160
Bacon & Eggs
55mm @ 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 160
Balanced Breakfast Tetraptych
Balanced Breakfast Tetraptych

Be sure to check out the high resolution versions of these shots in my set on Flickr.

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