Food photography with an OCF Wide Reflector

An OCF Accessories series by Quentin Décaillet
Still lifeTips

When using Umbrellas with an Elinchrom ONE, one thing is missing when looking at maximizing power output: an Umbrella Reflector. Well, it’s not missing anymore, and it works wonders!

I use Deep Umbrellas on almost every shoot! They are highly portable, very affordable, easy to set up, even easier to fold down, and the light quality they produce is excellent. Along with the Elinchrom ONE, it’s one of the best, if not the best, on-location kits available on the market when you need to work quickly.

What is the OCF Wide Reflector 16 cm?

The OCF Wide Reflector 16cm mounted on a ONE...

...and a Deep White Umbrella

The OCF Wide Reflector 16 cm is a small, easy to use, and affordable reflector to maximize the use of your  Elinchrom ONE with Umbrellas – it also works with any OCF compatible unit. The Wide Reflector 16 cm limits any spill of light from your otherwise bare-bulb flash and spreads the light beam evenly in your umbrella. This helps get the most out of units such as the Elinchrom ONE and take full advantage of umbrellas. The difference will be even more noticeable with shallow umbrellas.

The best starter kit for any photographer

This reflector and a mid-size umbrella are the best starter kit for any photographer looking at getting into flash photography or needing a portable, affordable, and versatile solution.

It works exceptionally well for any genre!

I use this setup for beauty work, corporate portraits, industrial photography, and even food photography.

Food photography is an excellent example of this setup. Photographers who have to shoot in restaurants and can’t use much space will love it. Add the ability to be mobile when you need to move from a table to a countertop and the kitchen within minutes, and you’ll understand why this setup is ideal.

With TTL, be ready within seconds

When setting up with the Elinchrom ONE, you can even take advantage of the TTL feature to be ready within seconds. Open up your tripod, put the ONE on it, slap the 16cm Reflector on it, add the umbrella and switch everything On.

From there, using the Transmitter Pro, you can shoot the first image using TTL to have a close to perfect flash exposure. Then switch back to manual mode and refine the power settings of your Elinchrom ONE to get your dish perfectly lit.

That’s it!

You’re ready to rock.
It doesn’t get any more simple than that.

Shallow or Deep Umbrellas for food photography?

My advice for food photographers is to prefer Deep Umbrellas to Shallow ones as the shape will create more flattering catchlights in glossy food and tableware.

The White Umbrellas work very well if you don’t want to use additional diffusion material. However, the Silver will give you even more possibilities.

Without any diffusion, you’ll have a highly specular light and maximize your light output even more. With the diffusion, you’ll have something close to what you’d get with the White Umbrella but with crispier details and textures.

But then, it’s a matter of personal taste, and some may like shoot-through umbrellas or shallow silver umbrellas better.

I hope this easy-to-use setup will give you ideas for your next shoot, and if you’re afraid of strobe light, this may give you a hint on how easy it can be, thanks to the Elinchrom ONE and the OCF Accessories.

Find more ideas on how to use the Elinchrom ONE and OCF Accessories with OCF Barndoors and OCF Gel Domes.

And don’t forget to check out Quentins’ work on Instagram.

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