Cooking with light

Cooking with light

This simple assignment can often seem deceptively simple. Your challenge is to elevate an ordinary common kitchen object to piece fine high art. Or perhaps at least commercial art, as this is the kind of thing that might appear as a catalog cover or in a calendar or on the wall of one of those ubiquitous "fast casual" restaurants.

The assignment is to photograph one or more kitchen utensils - knives, forks, spoons, whisks - whatever you like. Your will need to really show control of your light sources, both direction and quality of the light. Create an elegant and refined mood using only kitchen utensils. This Assignment could make studio lighting very valuable. Consider signing up to reserve your lighting studio time sooner than later.


 Gallery of Utensil as Fine Art

Flickr Resource Page



  • K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple, stupid. Less is more. Go for quality over clutter.
  • Go beyond the literal subject matter. Use light, form and focal plane to create an evocative photo that is more than the sum of its parts. If Edward Weston can make a pepper look sensual, why not a spoon?

    Edward Weston - Pepper (1930)

  • You may wish to convert your photo to black and white to emphasize form and light, That's fine. It is your choice.
  • Your style of lighting will depend on the surface quality of your subject. A wooden spoon will call for very different light than a stainless steel cleaver, for instance.
  • Pay attention to your background. If it does not help your photo, it should not be there. Again, K.I.S.S.
  • While repetition may offer explorative options it may also complicate your composition.

You may print as many as you wish, but only submit one final image.

COMPLETE: Document your process work fully with notes, label, WIP's, and of course reflection. Submit at least two final digital files to the class server.


Once you have completed your documentation for your process you may finalize your print for presentation:

  1. Submit file and request Printing
  2. Mount or Matte the Final Print
  3. Complete a Self-Evalution Form
  4. Hang for Critique w/ evaluation on Back

Well Done, Agent. This proves yet again that beautiful compositions can be created in some of the simplest ways when broken down to basic elements and principles and quality application of technique.

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