Lighing setup isn’t fancy yet effective and do the job. I used couple of Canon’s speedlites. To lit small pieces of chocolates (about 3 cm on long side) you have to use such light modifiers which gives you total control over light spilling. I put DIY snoot on the Canon 580 EX II being created in 2 min. Basically it’s just a black cardboard wrapped around the speedlite. The main idea is to create small light spot on diffusion panel and put the gradient exactly where you want. Avoid large light modifiers like softboxes or stripboxes if you want to create appealing result for small objects.
Small reflector from A4 sheet and speedlite behind it to lit the side of the chocolate bar. I also put tin foil to bounce some light back to the bottom part. Shifting light modifiers by few inches gives you completely different look, so you have to act very accurately. Fingerprints easily destroy smooth surface of chocolate, it’s good idea to wear gloves to avoid them. Chocolate itself has very gentle substance which easy to damage, I tried probably 20 different pieces before I found the right one for the shot.
I put piece of chocolate on a needle clamped by small ‘crocodile’ (by the way you can find example of using such things in more creative way here). If you pierce chocolate too much there you see a needle on the top of that, which probably not what you want. If you pierce chocolate not enough, it rotates around a needle, deliver difficulties with accurate positioning. So the golden middle is what you need.
Since I set lighing, chocolate and camera in right positins, I started to do focus stacking. Helicon Remote is greate software, probably the best solution on the market to do focus stacking. It works fast and smooth, I’ve never had any issues with that. I was using Canon 7D and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens. As I wanted to get the sharpest image (for that particular lens and camera), I set aperture to f 8. Every lens has such aperture value when it gives as sharpest image as possible. You have to test it by yourself with camera you have, but probably for the most common lenses this range will be around f 8 – f 11. You can see the DOF on two very first pictures under the final result. Obviously f 8 is not enough to cover the whole are. I also put camera as close as possible to the object because I wanted to get a lot of information for post production. Of course it’s possible to increase DOF by moving camera further away from an object, but as I already said I needed very detailed shot. Here important to say that I didn’t have very strict brief for myself as it was personal project. I only knew it should be captured well, so that’s why go with focus stacking.
They didn’t pass the exam. Or are they just retired models?