This and That

Random bits of my life

How to Photograph Translucent Fruit

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 24, 2011

Kiwi Fruit

I was surprised by the number of comments this kiwi fruit photo received, so I decided to blog about how I did it.

This was my first attempt at photographing a thin slice of fruit with a light source behind it. Here’s a photo of the set-up I used since I don’t own a light-box. I bent a table lamp so that it pointed upwards and I placed it on a chair. That’s the light source. I placed a pane of glass on the edge of the table with something heavy to anchor it. (I used the sliding panel from the glass box that holds the oil lights that I light for Shabbat; in the old days, the wicks used to splutter and occasionally a cup would crack, so the glass box prevents fires and oil damage.)

A sheet of printer paper was placed on top of the glass and underneath a very thin slice of fruit. Next time I plan to use tracing paper because it will let more light through and probably has less texture.

One last thing — I’m quite short, so I had to stand on a low stool to take the photo. The camera was handheld (I don’t have a tripod with a tilting column). Focal length was 135mm with an ordinary telephoto lens (Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS), not a macro lens. For such a long lens, it can focus fairly close, so I use it for these macro-like shots.

Homemade Lightbox

5 Responses to “How to Photograph Translucent Fruit”

  1. That’s come out great Avital, and with such a simple set up too…

  2. Kristin said

    I thought the texture was added in photoshop. I love that you can see the fibers of the paper; it’s one of my favorite parts of this photo! Thanks for sharing the setup… I’m adding it to my list of ideas to try soon!

  3. pam said

    OMG so easy and effective! This image of the kiwi is just brilliant. I will be making use of your tips here when i photograph the dried citrus slices I hope to make one day – managed to not get to it two years in a row now! maybe 2011 is the charm.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

  4. pam said

    Just a note here. You might want to add to this post a note about exposure in that manual mode must be used. Someone new to photography might be disappointed with the results.

    • Avital said

      Pam, I actually used “P” (program) mode. Maybe it was a lucky shot! 🙂 I probably should have used manual. I did for the orange slice I photographed last night.

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