In today's world, Food is being photographed every day than ever before, and sites that are used by people to share photos such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, among others have made snapshots the most popular way to share food experiences. While I'm not a professional food photographer, I have improvised by doing a lot of experiments with light and props. Here I would like to share my experience on How to improvise food photography using tips & tricks that I have learned over a period of trial and error.
Out of all the photography, I always believed that shooting food is the most tiring and hectic job and thats why I would avoid this genre of photography. However, due to the market demand, I could not resist getting into food photography. After getting several food photography projects, I believe that no photography genre is difficult if you know the tricks.
Photography is all about lighting. No matter what kind of subject, if you have good lighting, everything looks better.
At the beginning stage of my food photography, I started shooting food with my studio lights. After having a couple of sessions of food photography using my studio lights, I realized that I have been missing something. I started doing more research online, asking my photographer friends about how I can improvise my food photography? And very soon I realize that it's the natural light that I need to work with to get better results. I started to experiment with my skills and started learning about different techniques specifically with natural light. I knew that mastering natural lighting in food photography will eventually take my creativity to the top.
When you have a single light source and reflectors to bring up the shadows, it's very easy to control light ratios. One of the main benefits of mimicking sunlight is that it keeps things simple. The intensity of the fill is correlated to distance between the card and the subject. Moving it closer or further away is like using a dial on a strobe to make it brighter or darker. Imagine the sun, one single light source, raking across the scene. That's the look we were going for in the studio. I like pushing the angle of lighting to exaggerate depth. I love late afternoons when the sun is nearly on the horizon and lends a dramatic look to everything it touches. In addition to shape and depth, the technique helped bring out the color and texture of the food, giving them an appetizing appeal in the process.
Window light is my best friend and makes food look natural. I don't need studio units anymore. I just use the window as a giant light source. I also control the reflection in the glass. When I utilize window light, I place sheer before the window to mellow the reflection and cover the opposite favor a froth center board so that the glass doesn't think about whatever else set.
Utilize your insight into shading. On the off chance that there are numerous things on a plate, consider how their hues and surfaces collaborate. Think about the plate as a clear canvas and the sustenance as your paint. If you need your photo to be about the nourishment and the formula, overhead edges function admirably. If at all a table is set with a straight-on perspective which focuses on the mood of the customers by inviting them to approach the table and eat. Certain angles are better for foods. A three-quarter angle, for example, continuously works for lasagna since you see the layers and a tiny bit of the top.
Usually, food is photographed after it is cooked. But the raw materials that go into making a consummate item have their appeal. I tend to create a composition with the various ingredients of a recipe. If you are using raw vegetables, keep a water spray handy to douse them with water and make them look fresh. Shoot the food during the various preparation stages, right from chopping to boiling and or steaming. While your setup will consist of the stove or the chopping board, you can ensure that your framing isolates a single pot or pan.
My job is to make the food look amazing, and it helps if I start with a great location and great-looking food. But if the location isn't working, then my lighting and props can come to the rescue. Props are especially important when I am shooting at an unexceptional location showing a table that looks like someone set it, or including a bit of a dish makes the food look better. Good composition helps, too.
Shooting in the kitchen can provide with a wonderful training ground that keeps evolving. Its got raw material, delicious cooked things, utensils, and spices. Use the kitchen table as a backdrop, and think of every vessel as a potential still life subject, you will have lots of fun!
In most traditional Indian kitchens, the spices are stored in a round box with several cups for each spice. You can arrange these on a textured wooden surface and keep a few raw condiments such as coriander, lemons, or even onions to add more context, and shoot a top angle shot, with directional window light. Remember that your choice of background will be based on the nature of your subject. Spices are earthy and exotic. This is why wooden surfaces or warm, earthy colors and fabrics embellish the nature of spices well.
While the blanket term utensils can sound clinical and boring, the kitchen houses many interesting implements from apple corers to knives, whisks and beaters. If you are shooting more than one, then you can group them based on their function, nature (whether plastic, steel or wood), or even as per the recipe they are used in.
Backgrounds can vary from plain, solid colors and surfaces to textured ones or you could shoot them hanging on a nail rack against a wall. We need to be flexible to capture the lively aspect of food, so even if ice cream melts, go with it, that's specifically the things ice cream can do.
Regarding gear, I shoot with a Nikon D750 and a backup camera Nikon D7000 with 24-70 & 50 mm Nikon lens. I like using natural light, but if the situation isn't working, if theres no window or the weathers bad then I use two Bowens GM 500R power. Prior to a shoot, I check the climate as often as possible and choose whether I'll utilize light or strobes. Be that as it may, once in a while it relies on upon the employment: If you have eight or ten dishes, fake light is speedier than utilizing window light, which changes and can keep things from looking steady.
The camera setting relies on upon the venture premise. Online networking pictures serve to convey regard for the nourishment and the formula, so when I'm shooting for social networking, a shallow profundity of field permits me to home in on specific parts of the dish and let the vast majority of the foundation leave the center. For magazine photos, it's typically about recounting a story with props and styling as well, so there I'll utilize a more profound profundity of field.
Now let's talk about shooting and how to begin the shoot.
While the food stylist is cooking, I test the composition and lighting with props.
Timing is very important: If the food looks cold, then it doesn't look tasty, so food always comes at the last minute. Preparation takes a very long time, but the shooting itself is fast. The chefs are trained to ensure that the plating is closest to the diner, you can bend that rule for aesthetic reasons. Plating can also depend on what you're selling: If you're making a picture for a chicken company, then make the chicken the star. Most of the time, though, simply think of the plate as an ensemble and try to make everything look good.
This takes practice and experience. Pasta, for instance, absorbs the sauce, so you may need to add more as you shoot. Think about the relationship of the food to the set as well: If something is standing up, will it block the light source or create strange shadows?
It's a matter of personal taste, but one must learn how light works with your subject and how to control it to make the food look delicious. The photographer needs to think about the food before the shoot: the recipe, the color, and even the dishes. Find something charming about your subject, even if it's just pasta.
On set, the background and dishes are always managed by the prop stylist and food stylist. We're always working together. Before the shoot, we have an idea, and we also discuss with the clients what they want. I envision from my side how to present that, and on set, I coordinate the general procedure and work with the prop beautician on various conceivable outcomes and courses of action. Get the lighting and props prepared before the sustenance touches base on set. The thought is to catch the life of what you're shooting; freshness will give you a privilege out-of-the-broiler look. The shooting beverage is a little different than food; Timing is very important here too.
Ice melts in the glass, and with fresh juice, you have to get the shot before it gets too watery. I prepare more for juices than anything else. I test without it for composition and lighting to get ready, and then I shoot quickly. I also control the reflection in the glass. When I utilize window light, I place sheer before the window to relax the reflection and cover the opposite favor a froth centerboard so that the glass doesn't think about whatever else set. I additionally get down when I am shooting, so I don't reflect myself in the glass.
As far as after generation, I utilize Adobe Light-room, and in some cases, I'll utilize Photoshop for gentle correcting, yet I don't do anything insane. I attempt to make it look exceptionally normal, yet if it doesn't look great the customer, the magazine staff, or I need to correct.
I would like to share some of my food photography work that I have able to accomplish using the above techniques:
Food Photography Photos, MustafaEK Photography - My portfolio site that includes all my latest work. Available at: ttp://www.mustafaek.photography/portfolio_page/food/ [Accessed 15th April 2016 ]
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