Behind the Scenes at FireBoard’s Studio
Lately, the FireBoard Marketing team has been abuzz with new product launches, reworking our website, and creating original media content.
We have started increasing our photo archive with some photos of our products in action alongside some tasty dishes. Our current subject is the long-bone ribeye steak, more commonly known as the tomahawk. This blog will be a behind-the-scenes look at this photoshoot. I will go through the details of the equipment I use in the photo studio, and give a similar rundown of our food prep equipment and process.
- Nikon Z7ii, body
- Nikon FTZII, This adaptor permits older Nikon F-mount lenses to mount to the Z-mount camera bodies. More affordable options are out there and can be used if you do not require auto-focus or auto-aperture features. Such as the older Nikon AI vintage of manual-only focusing lenses.
- Nikon 35-70 f/2.8 D, This older lens has been perfect for studio work even with the loss of AF when adapting it to the Z-mount. When working in a studio my camera is normally mounted to a tripod, critically focusing on a static subject with no need for AF. This lens also features a macro focusing range at the 35mm focal length.
- Godox XT16 2.4 GHz trigger
- Godox MS300 strobes, we have 5 on hand and for this shoot, I used 3-4 of them as needed. These lights are generally affordable and have a nice remote hot shoe trigger that does double duty as a remote control for all of your lights. Another plus to the Godox is their compatibility with Bowens-style light modifiers.
- 48 octagonal softbox for main light, these light modifiers are a great way of creating light with a good overall contrast range without having overpowering shadows.
- Parabolic reflectors for feature texture fill. I prefer to use these with honeycomb grids to control unwanted lens flare.
- Snoot this unusual-looking modifier is perfect for creating a little snap of texture or light in small areas.
Tethered Shooting Rig
- Manfrotto #058B tripod, if you are going to use a tethered setup with a cross arm mounted on top, be sure to use the biggest, heaviest tripod you can get this will give you extra stability and peace of mind that your camera and computer a properly stabilized.
- Benro GD3WH 3-way geared tripod head, is very similar to the Manfrotto 410, with the added compatibility with Arca-Swiss style mounting plate
- Kupo Tether Arm
- Godox Laptop Tray
- Wall-mounted LCD TV. Screen sharing to a TV is a valuable tool in being able to make adjustments on set and see exactly what the camera is seeing. Plus this eliminates a cable on the floor from the camera to the screen. While there is nominal there is some lag using Screen Mirroring with Apple TV, but nothing that overwhelms the convenience of seeing a preview of the shot on the wall.
We chose to use a sous vide cooker holding the steaks in heavy plastic bags clipped to the side of the bath. The beauty of using sous vide in this fashion, is that once the steaks reach the desired internal temperature, the device holds at that temperature until we are ready to have one on set. At that point, we would pull a steak from the recycling bath, and sear the steak creating a picture-perfect example of a Maillard reaction. This gave me on-demand steaks. At any point, while I was shooting, if a fresh steak was needed on set, it was only a quick sear away. Click here for a thorough explanation of the sous vide cooking process and its traditional applications.
Sous Vide Station
- VacPak-It model SV08 rated up to 10.5 gallon bath
- 7.5L Cambro Lexan storage container. Since we only needed space for 2-3 steaks this smaller container allowed for more efficient cook times.
- FireBoard2 Drive with a 1” comp probe in each steak, plus a probe measuring the sous vide bath. This gave us the ability to monitor the cook using a Spark in Synch Mode.
- Lodge cast iron griddle
- Cuisinart Smashed Burger Press, also cast iron
- Duxtop 1800w Induction single burner portable cooktop. It is fascinating how these use magnets to make heat. Click here for a brief explanation of the science involved in induction burners.