Shoot Your Fruits and Vegetables!

In Master Photography Roundtable by Jeff Harmon1 Comment

Shooting Fruits and Veggies

This shoot comes from way back in 2015. I was wanting a unique way to test out a new macro lens and I remembered something sort of like this and wanted to make it happen myself. The basic setup is:

  1. Select your fruit or veggie. In this case we’re going for internally lit produce, you’ll need something that is rather sizable. In this case I chose a Pineapple and a Cabbage.
  2. Remove the innards. I used a drill for the pineapple and a large spoon to scoop out the rest. For the cabbage I used a knife and simply cut very carefully. You’ve gotta be sure you keep the leaves connected.
  3. Select a light source. I chose a CFL bulb since it doesn’t get anywhere nearly as hot as a standard incandescent light. Today I’d like to give LED a try.
  4. You also need a socket to screw the light into and that can plug into an extension cord.
  5. Cover the light with plastic wrap. This will hopefully keep the light dry and reduce the risk of electric shock.
  6. Turn off the room lights and turn on the fruit/veggie light and go to town.

Shooting Tips

  1. Manual focus. This is an odd situation and I found the focus wanted to hunt just a bit sometimes on the cabbage. Plus, this was more of a macro type shoot and I always like MF when shooting manual anyway.
  2. The histogram is certainly key here. You want it to be bright enough to feel like it’s glowing but not so bright it just comes across strange or blown out.
  3. Zoom in and frame interesting sections, concentrate on abstractions after you get the overall shot.
  4. Experiment with out of focus shots too. For the pineapple I liked the pattern it made.
  5. I also played around with some flash on the outside to rim light it a bit. I need to do more experimentation with that. I think if I were to put it directly behind the fruit I’d be good to go and really get a strong rim light would be pretty neat. That’d be a way to get it to really pop with the top of the pineapple showing off just as brilliantly as the rest of the fruit.
Cabbage detail showing veins. Lit from within.

Recent Senior Portraits

Jeff has shot a lot of senior portraits recently and if you are interested in hearing more about how these shots were created, let us know in the comments or in the Facebook group!


Jeff: MagBox ($300). Has had some negative reviews for sure. Some have found it not to live up to the usual MagMod usability standards where other softboxes take them less time to setup. Others have had an issue with the quality of the product with one of the interior supports that spreads the softbox open broke and it wasn’t covered under warranty. Not a perfect product, but I have really enjoyed the effects it has produced with my images. I love that I can attach two of my Godox AD200 lights to it to cut down on the recycle times and it has been very transportable for me with my client shoots. It is expensive, but even on my hobbyist budget I have found it to be worth the cost.

Brent: Just four items on this list to help you get your own fruits and veggies shots going. And really, these can all be purchased at Wal-Mart or Home Depot or other like-minded stores.



  1. LED bulbs dying: The issues is cheap manufacturing for the most part. In most LED bulbs there are 3 LED chips. Usually one of them will either go bad or the soldering is bad on one.

    Loved the idea and I am thinking of what fruits would be interesting.

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