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Candy Cane Blossoms for Santa!

My girlfriend decided to do a bunch of baking for her co-workers for Christmas and what turned out the best were her Candy Cane Blossoms.

I knew I wanted to try doing a more fancy set-up with this photo. Partially because my last picture of the Lobster Tail turned out so bland and bad. In this case I thought the “For Santa” theme was the obvious thing to do.

Here is my set-up:
I took some test photos with the lens cap serving as a model to get my set-up right.  For the lighting in the final photo what I ended up doing was using the LED light on my cell phone to back-light the cookies. The light then hit the home-made reflector and lit the front side of them too.  I think as a quick MacGuiver move the lighting is fine, but it would’ve helped the photo if I had busted out the soft boxes and spent more lighting.

One of the problems that came up was that I couldn’t get both the note and cookies into focus. So I decided to give focus stacking a try and I think it worked out well in the final photo. Even though they aren’t on the same focal plane both the note and front cookies apear to be and it’s not jarring seeing them both in focus.

I think the biggest problem with the picture is the bokeh. I went overboard. It’s so big and so colorful that it distracts from the cookies. I tried dialing it back some in Lightroom, but I could only do that so much. I think it would’ve been better to set-up some plain white lights.

Then another thing that came up is the placement of the candycane blossoms. When I plated this I just sort of placed them on the plate. However looking back I find it distracting that the strips of the peppermint Hersey Kisses go in all different directions. I think they should’ve been uniform or placed with intention. Right now they are a tad too chaotic.