|Photo Tip & Assignment #16 – FOODPictures of colourful sushi, elaborate desserts or foamy, steamy coffees. If you have never photographed it, for sure you have seen it somewhere.
In the times of Facebook and Instagram, it became a fever to let the whole world know what we are about to eat (or drink) next.
A very popular workshop, the Food & Product Photography has recently been featured on the Digital Photographer UK Magazine and is also the first to be highlighted in a series of Tips & Assignments inspired by LSP’s Courses and Workshops from this month.
Debbie Castro, LSP’s Director of Training, who has worked with some of the most prestigious names in food, including Michelin star chefs, shares a couple of tips to help you improve your shots.
“Nothing in food photography is haphazard. On average, in a day, only four food images will be taken. A stylist is required to create the look and research. These days it is less common to find food masked in the way it used to be with continuous lighting, but each detail is measured perfectly and placed with tweezers to achieve a natural look. Styling is just as important as the photography and details are the key”, says Debbie.
Food Photography is actually one of the most challenging fields. A great food photo not only needs to look inviting, but in most cases it must make viewer feel hungry as well.
“Many people don’t realise how highly regarded Food Photography is, even though we see it everywhere.”
The majority of food ingredients behave oddly in front of the lens. It is quite common to use “props” (wooden or plastic models that imitate food) for commercial shots or find crazy substitutes that would look the same in the final result (shaving cream instead of milk cream, for example).This is one of my favourite images (left) created with the students at LSP. It is inspired by photographers who work with food in a completely different way. I used to do a “surrealist” theme image with food so that this hopefully opens up people’s eyes to photography and what else is out there.
We used an infinite curve in the background. We set up two lights at 45 degrees angle with large soft boxes, as we wanted a soft even light. The reflections can been seen in the glass lid. The orange segments were chosen so they “pop out” from the blue background.
We decided to use the napkin on the ‘waiter’s hand in order to give an extra colour and sense of depth. Everyone agreed that the story of the image did not make sense without it. The angle of the camera was decided to be pretty straight with 1/125th of a second, deep aperture of f/11 and ISO 100, so we would have little grain. This was taken with a macro 100mm lens.”
“It took a while to have all the fingers looking exactly parted and we tethered the camera to Lightroom so we could change minor movements.”Post processing can also be an important step for the final look. Image editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom are used to enhance or correct minor details.
Upload your FOOD images to the Flickr Gallery: ASSIGNMENT #16 for a chance to win an Evening Workshop Voucher at LSP*. Deadline: 30/June/13
Photo: LSP students under the guidance of Debbie Castro and Annalisa Brambilla / Text: Luciana Franzolin