Half-week homework: Candy & cookies

Is there a sweeter season than Christmas time? Like the culmination of every four year old’s wildest fantasies, sugary treats abound, with cookies and brownies and gingerbread houses (oh my) in seemingly constant supply. They’re so emblematic, they even end up on ornaments and other decorations.

Rather than feeling guilty about sneaking into the office breakroom for “one more” again, take your camera with you next time! This week’s photo challenge is to get yourself a fine photo of cookies and/or candy. Once you do, be sure to share the outcome, on our Facebook page or on Instagram tagged #mymikesccamera #halfweekhomework.

As you may have already guessed, this is the kind of job that might go a lot smoother with a macro lens. Whether you’re trying to get that perfect, razor-sharp slice of focus or simply fill the frame with a subject on the small side, having that ultra-close focal ability goes a long way.

Since most of these will be inside shots, you’ll probably need a little extra light, too. (Even if you’re outside, there’s precious little sun this time of year in the northern hemisphere.) A desk lamp can be a convenient, easily repositionable way to provide a blast of light right where you want it, or you an enlist a friend to hold a painstakingly aimed flashlight. If you’ll be doing any significant amount of close-up work beyond this project, of course, I’d recommend getting a proper solution like a ring light or some (very affordable) macro arm lights, which is my weapon of choice.

Gear having been selected and gathered, make your shot all it can be by going all-out on the background or setting. Match icing to snow, lay Stollen out on a cloth of Saxon colors, fill gingerbread homes with tiny decor… you could even get a little philosophical and put a cookie depicting a Christmas tree next to an ornament on a real tree depicting a cookie depicting an ornamented Christmas tree. (“C’est ne pas un cookie.”)

The last step? Enjoy the festive feeling as you consume your erstwhile subject, preferably with a warm mug at hand.

P.S.—If you find yourself in one of our Colorado stores today and run into Todd, district manager extraordinaire, be sure to wish him a very happy birthday.

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