Dina Belenko has been creating magical images for a long time. From creating surreal still life photos to giving life to simple objects. Now, she’s going to treat us with another amazing project – Balancing Donuts.
I always wanted to try this kind of photo: unstable, balancing composition with sweets and coffee. My first try resulted in quite a nice picture but I also created a total mess in the process. I suspended a pile of cups from strings and, sadly, this construction didn’t last very long. So I set out to find another, lower-risk solution.
1. Props and setup.
I took a sheet of transparent plastic (glass will also do, but you should be more careful with it… plastic is much safer) and set it a short distance from the colored background. This was the main trick: all the shadows that show the volume of the objects will remain in place, but the shadows falling on the background will disappear—this way, all the objects will look like they’re levitating.
To add some depth and volume to the composition, I placed my objects on little supports (it turned out that children’s wooden blocks work really well). I tried to put all the cups and sweets at different heights and different angles so that they overlapped each other. You can’t see these supports from above, but from the side they’re clearly visible.
After creating the basic composition, I took a shot with my hand “propping up” the entire structure, added some sprinkles on the donuts, and poured some tea in the cups.
I decided not to make splashes, but only a couple of tea drops.
I merged all the photos together: the whole composition, my hand. and tea drops all combined into one image. Then I made this image brighter to match with another of my shoots I captured in the same style (the result of my first try), and gave the image a little polish (like straighten the form of donuts and deleting some scratches from the plastic).And that’s all!
I hope this is helpful. I wish someone had told me about this before I tried to hang everything on strings 🙂 I guess this trick would work great with photos of sandwiches or burgers with “flying” ingredients, or with stacks of homemade cookies or fruits. Maybe you’ll decide to create a really well-balanced meal with cereals and vegetables. So, over to you. Stay inspired and good luck!
About Dina Belenko
Dina Belenko has a phrase that describes her precisely: “My name is Dina and I tell animate stories about inanimate objects”. The rest is not important, she suppose. Dina is a person with little paper cities, sugar cubes, moon from polymer clay, doll’s miniatures, broken cups, handmade Rube Goldberg machine, repainted puzzles, wire trees, cardboard dragons and spilled coffee. And with photo camera. That’s quite essentially her :). See more of her work at her Behance or 500px profile.