An unusual root shoot

In my pre-Monitor, freelance days, I often used studio lighting equipment for corporate or product shoots, schlepping multiple cases of gear to various locations. As a photojournalist shooting for this paper, I usually carry one small shoulder bag.

The other day I photographed root vegetables in our studio to illustrate a roasting recipe.

The plan for the page layout called for printing the natural forms surrounded by text. Thus I needed to photograph each specimen fully against a plain background, which would later be removed.

I inserted a partially unfolded paper clip into this parsnip. I then taped the protruding stem of the clip to an iron weight. Next, I angled a big, soft studio light to give a rim of shadow to the root, thereby adding roundness and texture.

The end result of my root shoot made for a dramatic layout, but I also love this unintended result: a formal portrait of a parsnip.

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