Based in Cape Town, South Africa, food photographer Nadine Greeff shoots in the chiaroscuro style. Although the technique is often associated with oil paintings of religious figures or French aristocrats, she brings the dramatic play of light and shadow to savory dishes and fresh produce.
“The chiaroscuro style uses the contrast of light and dark to guide the viewer’s eye to a specific area of the image,” she says. “Certain elements like an ingredient, wine glass or a spoon are occasionally hidden in the shadows adding a bit of mystery.”
The former floral designer explains that the trick is to manipulate what she calls “good indirect natural light,” since dimmed-down artificial bulbs have the opposite effect of making food look dull, rather than dramatic.