! This article will take ~4 minutes to read and ~2 minutes to watch the product review and BTS videos.
Wooden backdrops are such a great way to add visual interest to your photos as they easily set a beautiful calming (or mysterious!) atmosphere, emphasizing the subject you’re photographing.
Today we want to talk about some of our oak surfaces which have been extremely popular since the moment we introduced them to the food photography community. We try to always have them in stock, so that you could get them quickly (within just few business days!) even for some urgent shoots.
You could use these surfaces as a photography floor, a tabletop or even a wood wall - and they would look very different depending on the photoshoot style, the editing, the props you go with. You could easily make them a part of rustic, loft or Provence food photography scenes, or use them to create a modern-styled composition, say, to show a picnic or a table set for a dinner with friends or family.
The heroes of our todays article are 4 oak backdrops, let’s quickly review each of them.
We’d start with Sydney, the backdrop designed to imitate the tabletop. This surface quickly won hearts of many photographers even despite being green, which isn’t really considered a basic color. Its natural, muted green shade and a beautiful chipped paint effect make this backdrop look like a stunning shabby table.
Both surfaces are great for the overhead shoots as this is the best angle for them to imitate a table. Use them for table setting compositions, include hands in frame creating the atmosphere of a cozy family dinner, photograph the cooking process from showing the ingredients or cooking steps to serving and styling the final dish.
White Belfast, another tabletop in our collection, is actually made of pine, but we still wanted to include it in this review because of a similar design: this surface may look kinda patchy in real life but it turns to a beautiful realistic table in frame.
And last but now least is brown Innsbruck, the herringbone pattern makes it a perfect choice for imitating a floor, but you’re clearly not limited to this option - this surface works amazing as a tabletop too, adding dynamism to the whole scene. Dark backdrops are so great for low-key images, and if you you tend to dark & moody style, make sure you also check Winnipeg, our newest tabletop that has an even darker, richer brown color.
Watch the video to know more about these backdrops and to see them in the action.
Let’s now have some fun and create a moody setup with 2 our oak surfaces: beige Baltimore and dark-brown Innsbruck.
The herringbone design of Innsbruck allows
to create a stunning wood flooring, while Baltimore imitates a shabby tabletop perfectly.
This setup instantly adds amazing depth to the photo, especially with the right lighting setup - the best light source position in this case is the backside one, we have also blocked the excessive light in the background and foreground of the “floor” adding black paperboard flags to the bottom of the scene, this allowed to perfectly lighten the scene and gently highlight the bottom backdrop, Innsbruck, showing its beautiful herringbone pattern.
While Baltimore is pretty neutral in terms of its design and could be therefore easily used even in modern-styled setups, we wanted to enhance its rustic look in this particular scene. To do that, we went with some relevant props, like the old paper sheets with various recipes, a candle in an earthen glass, vintage scissors.
The main mistake the new photographers usually make when shooting from 90 degrees angle is that they may not consider a potential “flatness” of the overhead shot. We have already resolved it with creating a “floor” with Innsbruck backdrop, but putting the sheets from a kind of vintage cookbook under the plate added even more layers to the image and enhanced the depth effect.
Worth to mention the eye-catching textures in this image - the vase that copies the texture of eclairs, that lovely grainy plate from our Tuscany collection, dry flowers, the embossing on the candle glass. They all add character to the image without overwhelming the scene. Showing the inside world of eclairs makes the scene more realistic and places extra emphasis on the hero subject.