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ViVo Technology – Rich Hendry – Tools of the Trade

Photographer Rich Hendry shoots truffles with the Canon 5D MK II camera

I recently met the guys behind Black Moth Vodka at an event in London and was really
impressed by their product and also by their unbelievable knowledge of truffles! Truffles are
something I didn’t previously know much about and Black Moth is vodka infused with fine
European Perigord ones.

I was inspired by their desire to make something beautiful from an unexpected and original
subject.

In creating this picture I wanted to move away from the way food is predictably shot and take
the truffle out of its context – as Black Moth did.

One of the main things people talk about when describing truffles is their complexity so in
capturing it so close up I really wanted to accentuate the texture and pattern of the truffle, as
well as the subtleties of its colours.

The Canon 5D MKII is a great camera for a job like this; the most obvious thing about it is its
small size, which when shooting something only a couple of centimetres wide from above is
useful – manoeuvring a large plate camera around a table top can be rather tricky! The other
brilliant thing about it is the 21.1 megapixels sensor; which on a subject like this means you
can really capture intricate detail and gives you the option to enlarge the picture to billboard
size very easily. I feel that this camera gives other high end models a run for their money and
hopefully my image shows its range: cleanly picking out subtle differences in colours (even
between dark greys and blacks) which other cameras I have shot with previously could leave
darker areas of an image looking blocky or jpeg’d.

The other reason the tiny 5D MKII has become such a groundbreaking piece of kit is due to its
ability to shoot HD video, which has really opened up the possibilities for photographers. Again,
this beats the alternative of carrying around larger pro series cameras or video gear.

My truffle image was pretty complicated to produce and involved a set up of three flash heads
– I used Bowens Monoblock heads with radio slaves to fire them from the camera – and shot
tethered to a my Mac (running Capture 1).

The main light source in this image is actually behind the truffle. I raised the truffle about 4
centimetres from the background by balancing it on pins, and cut a small hole in the background
behind it to shine the light through. After this I surrounded it with a wide tube of white card to
reflect some of this light back in.

The second flash I used was with a silver umbrella quite far back to create the highlight of hard
light on the top right hand side and finally I used a large softbox on very low power directly
overhead to fill the front. I’m always very keen when shooting to try and minimize the amount
of retouching by getting things right in camera first time and using tricks like lighting through a
hole in the background rather than cutting out the image in Photoshop and placing it against an
artificial background.

Rich Hendry

Rich’s work

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