First I have to say these were absolutely delicious. I took some photos of the owner of Cupcake Yum.Yum and as a thank you gift she gave me some tasty treats. I decided to play with my food before eating them. If you follow the link you'll see some of the photos I took.
In a way I used the cupcakes as a way to play. Experimenting and trying (and failing) is a great deal of what is necessary to better understand how light works and how objects react. Sometimes they do things you'd never expect. And you'll see the results of that if you take a look at the gallery.
For those interested in the setup, I had the cupcakes sittings on a piece of Plexiglas which was on top of a piece of paper. The paper was a roll of 1 yard wide by 25 yards long white paper at Staples meant for making banner, but was fairly cheap compared to some of the "photo" background paper rolls I've seen. The paper was sitting on some books to allow for room to light the objects from below.
I used three flashes for the cupcake photographs. One was in a softbox above the cupcakes with a grid on it to control the spread of light so it wouldn't contaminate the background too much. Another flash was set behind the white background with a red filter on it. I pointed that one at the white wall behind the paper to help diffuse it a little. And a third flash had a blue filter on it and was placed underneath the white paper in front of the cupcakes to light them from below. At one point I added a piece of white cardboard below the white paper to keep the blue light from spilling onto the wall and being mixed with the red light.
Tomorrow I'll talk about one of the things that surprised me about the photo shoot.