Capturing the Falling Rain on a Gathering of Fresh Tomatoes

Here Ron Goldman tells us how he set the scene for this stunning photograph of fresh tomatoes

When looking at tomatoes it’s not hard to tell fresh tomatoes from ones that are a few days or weeks old. How do you capture that freshness on camera? If you’re Ron Goldman you put your ingenuity to work for you. Here’s how he managed to capture this beautiful shot.

Bring the Rain

Ron Goldman: I actually took this shot of the fresh tomatoes while taking a class with Bryan Peterson. He had one of the most stunning images I’ve ever seen in my life of a shot that he took of some tulips in the rain. I’ve shot hundreds of flowers that way now. It’s still one of the most amazing images I’ve seen.

So I decided I would try doing that same technique with another subject. You can probably tell I like tomatoes a lot, so they’re in a lot of my images. I went out and picked some ripe tomatoes and set a table up outside, again towards evening when the sun was very low in the sky, lit from behind but instead of 180 degrees it’s probably more like 160 degrees from the camera lens where the sun is shining through.

I took a garden sprinkler (again, this is a sunny afternoon and I wanted to get a morning dew feel to the photo) and I set it on the ground next to the table so that the water was coming up over the top of the table and landing on the tomatoes themselves.

The background for this is actually just a bunch of trees. There’s fairly decent separation between the subject and the background so even with using a fairly large aperture to get the shutter speed that I wanted, I was able to keep the background nice and blurred. It turned into a nice green color, which obviously goes very well with the red tomato.

In shooting something like this, a telephoto lens is really a good idea because it gives you enough distance from the subject so you don’t end up being in the rain and getting yourcamera gear all wet.

A polarizing lens is also very handy to help with glare and reflections. It can also give you a little bit longer shutter speed. This was shot at 1/60th of a second to give the length of raindrops that I wanted.

I recommend that you experiment around a little bit, but 1/60th is always a great starting point whenever you want to shoot a subject that looks like it has rain falling on it like this. It stretches out the drops, but makes a beautiful background.

If you have too slow of a shutter speed, The picture is all blurred and you really don’t get the detail of the individual drops coming by. Again, if it’s too fast, they’re more dots than they are stripes like this so I recommend that everybody at least try this. It’s a really fun technique and you can do it with just about any subject and get a really unique and interesting look.

Audri Lanford: I’m definitely going to try that. Did you use a tripod, or wasn’t it necessary?
Ron Goldman: Oh yes, my camera’s always on a tripod. 100% of my food images are shot with a camera on a tripod. One of the most important items is people really need is a tripod. You’d be amazed at the difference it can make in your images.

In Summary

Ron Goldman wanted to catch the falling rain in his photograph, but no rain was to be found. How did he work around it? Ron simply used a garden sprinkler and some creativecamera settings to capture this stunning shot of the rain falling on fresh tomatoes.

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