Equipment for photographing in a pizzeria

Packing the right gear is for me the last stage of a process where I try and understand the least I can use to get the look that I want.

In the pizzeria I wanted to achieve a good backlight effect. I had tried, without success, with a smaller and sturdier beauty dish, but eventually settled for my largest softbox, an Elinchrom Rotalux 90×110.

While in my studio, I would also add a second Rotalux for fill. However I made it do with just some reflecting foam board so that I could pack lighter. I described here  and here the setup.

Packing-wise, the second problem for me is being as much redundant as possible so that, should something break, I have a replacement. In particular I worry that the camera or the data recording on the card may fail. I don’t like the idea of a backup camera for two reasons: first, it would be something that I need to carry with me and that I would only use is something goes wrong (so, in the best scenario, it would be useless); second, it is boring (if I already own, for instance, a Canon EOS 5D, I would find owning a 6D as well very uninteresting). Hence I prefer the route of a completely different camera body (and lens), that can serve me not only as a backup but also to achieve a different look while using it together.

This is why I chose to bring with me a Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 (giving me fast autofocus and close perspective) together with a Canon EOS 5D with an adapted Zenzanon PS 110mm f/4 macro: each set-up can individually serve me well in case the other fails, but used together, they can give me two looks instead of one. At home, while reviewing the shot material, I find myself selecting either material as the best, according to the plate or pizza I had in front of me.

Said that, the packing list was:

  • Fuji and 35mm
  • Canon and 110 zenzanon
  • Two Elinchrom Skyport transmitters (one mounted on each camera)
  • Reflecting foamboard panels
  • Spare battery for Fuji
  • Spare battery for Canon Canon
  • One softbox 90 X 110 fitted with its golden reflector and double (internal) diffusing baffle
  • One D-Lite
  • One Manfrotto boom stand
  • Electrical cable
  • Electrical Schuko adapter
  • Sandbag
  • Lastolite white balance panel
A beautiful portion of Italian tortellini (with walnut sauce and radicchio) on a paper placemat (copyspace available)
“Ziti” is an Italian pasta shape consisting of a long tube. Here they are served with tomato and asparagus in a typically spring-time recipe
“Ziti” is an Italian pasta shape consisting of a long tube. Here they are served with tomato and asparagus in a typically spring-time recipe
Elegant serving of a fresh lobster with red rice
Spaghetti with clams and seafood, shallow focus. Spaghetti is traditionally eaten as a first course in Itaian cuisine
Spaghetti with clams and seafood, in a square elegant plate. Spaghetti is traditionally eaten as a first course in Itaian cuisine
Unusual margherita pizza, where some tomatoes are yellow. Thick crust in the Neapolitan style. This was about 1.5m long!
Unusual margherita pizza, where some tomatoes are yellow. Thick crust in the Neapolitan style.
Amazingly good pizza margherita, in a simple white plate on a wooden table
This pizza is decorated with edible flowers (flowers you can eat), as well as asparagus, cured ham and yellow cherry tomatoes (“pacchetelli”). Italian and neapolitan style
“Pacchetelli” is the name of a variety of cherry tomatoes coloured in yellow, and they come from the Naples’ area, the same that gave birth to the Neapolitan pizza.

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