Written by | Featured, Photo Techniques, Tutorials

Welcome back to our ongoing Tutorials series presented by @jesseesolo as she walks us through various ways to incorporate very day kitchen utensils into our Toy Photography. In Part 01 we explored how to combine clever lighting with a noodle strainer to atmospheric effect. From here, its over to Jess :


For this shot, I wanted to have an abstract background element that would reference a giant Dalek. This would balance out a smaller Dalek in the foreground. Only having one little figure, I had to get a bit creative. There were a few different ways to get the shot I wanted: I considered a digital composite, printing out a background, or going down the digirama path (see @Workmoreoreless’s excellent tutorial series). Ultimately, I went the old-school, practical route with a fake Dalek stand-in.

IMG_5800 2

I thought about using the noodle strainer from Part 1 of this series, but the shape wasn’t quite right. So again, I snuck into my sister’s kitchen and “borrowed” a large cheese grater. It turned out to be just about perfect for the job. It was lit from above as I hit it with a little dose of Atmo. Done. Nuthin’ to it. 


The set-up is quite simple. I used some of my favourite goodies for toy photography, but you can substitute in whatever you have around the house.

  • Light Source: Lume Cube with barn doors
  • Light Stand: Manfrotto Pixi Evo
  • Atmosphere Aerosol
  • Gold Supreme Dalek
  • Cheese Grater
  • Black poster board background

Not shown: Sony A7II-FS (can’t remember what lens) on an ancient Manfrotto 190x.




  • The Lume Cube was pointed down into the grater to light up the holes and not to shoot out too many light rays.
  • The image was shot around f/4 to blur out the grater.
  • Barn doors on the Lume Cube kept the light from spilling to the background. or out the sides of the cheese grater.
  • Atmosphere aerosol was sprayed into the cheese grater.
  • Color grading was done in Mextures.

Part 3 of the Kitchen Tools Edition should be a bit Strange.

Do you have a favourite or weird light modifier? I’d love to see it in action. Tag me on Instagram @JesseeSolo or tell us about it in the comments below.

Keep it locked to Exclu for all your Toy Photography Tutorial needs!

Last modified: December 15, 2019

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