I've been forcing myself to explore more creative compositions in my shots. I think we all have a first instinct as to how to frame a subject. As we approach it, our minds are deciding overhead vs. low—real tight or backed off to include other elements. With this shot I had been taking some shots when Michael said to me, "I really want to show this", and he pointed to the little holes at the end of the cut chives. I started getting in real tight, but was losing the length of the full chive, so I tilted the frame to get the most out of the corners. If this shot were not tilted, the rest of the chives wouldn't be there, and if I made sure they were in with a straight frame, I wouldn't be as close as I am here and focusing on what Michael wanted to show most.
Here is the light setup in our kitchen for that day. I shot the chives on the island cutting board by back lighting it with the center grid spot light and fill lighting with the others, then shot the pot on the stove that was cooking a Michael project with the shoot-through umbrella light, and then the finished plate at the far end of the island with the soft box and back lighting with the grid spot. My lights were set up so that I could switch from the stove shot to the finished plate very quickly. These are Dynalite strobes with built in modeling lights so you can see what you're getting. Since the strobes are very bright, the modeling lights are not bright enough to throw off the white balance when set to flash. Because the strobes can give off a lot more light then bulbs, I can hand hold my camera and choose what f-stop I want by controlling the power of the light output at the power pack source.