Challenge #24: Cakey Bakey Documakey

By far the biggest challenge today was Making The Christmas Cake. This is an epic undertaking, culminating in approximately 11 hours of AGA cookage time, by which point I’ve forgotten we’re making a cake in the first place.

So I thought I’d make it even more challenging by not just photographing Mission Cake, but also taking photos good enough to post here whilst also trying to contain the floury collateral damage.  

Easier said than done.

To see my slightly-distracted-by-random-banging-noises intro to this challenge, click here

I also wanted to capture me in this set of photos, doing “normal stuff” with my family. Basically, the idea was to have a documentary style photoshoot, with all of us involved…!

Challenge #24 was all about having a personal family documentary-style photoshoot, and end up with cake

For the docu-look, I went for the 24-70mm lens, but kept it zoomed at 24mm, then used a combination of tripod & remote control and hand-held to get the images.

Techie Details:
   Camera: Canon 5D Mk iii
   Lens: Sigma 24mm-70mm
Other Stuff: Tripod, Remote Control


I don’t often go for full-on documentary style photography, preferring to keep my images as simple and clutter-free as I can. I do like to have a few of this style in the photoshoots I do, but I think this is the first time that I’ve done a complete set like this.

It was kind of fun, and reduced the post-processing time, as I wasn’t trying to remove tiny bits of clutter and distracting lines which often can’t be avoided. There’s just so much going on in all these photos that I didn’t bother to remove anything or even crop them. They just are what they are!

Using a tripod and remote, it’s a bit tricky to remember to look natural, so I cheated.  I set it up so the remote triggered the timer function on the camera (rather than just taking a photo), and then we all took turns in being in control of the button. Basically, none of us really knew when the shutter was going to go!

Funnily enough, I’d been concerned about how I was potentially turning a stressful situation into an even more stressful situation. But instead, it kind of got the family more interested, involved and focussed. Little Whirlwind was inspired to grab his own camera and take some photos, and everyone got involved. It was a really lovely experience, and we all ended up having a lot of fun.

I did struggle a bit with the lighting in our kitchen. It’s dreadful, and inconsistent (so I can’t even use my grey cards). But I wanted it to look natural, so I didn’t add any light sources. Ideally I’d have turned our hideous ceiling light off, but we don’t get enough natural light in that room and it would have been too dark for baking!  Most of the images have had their colour corrected in post processing.

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