Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How I take my delicious pictures

This is a post about the set/backdrop I tend to use, while taking the photos, in case there is anybody out there wondering how I am shooting my yummy pictures :)
I don't have a professional photo equipment, like reflectors, translucent diffuser panels or light boxes, so I have to improvise and do everything by myself. I always take my pictures using natural light, that's why I try to finish shooting around 3 or 4 pm, I don't really like the late afternoon sunlight, it is so warm and the pictures look so yellowish. During the winter, because it gets dark so quickly,  I try to shoot mainly in the morning.  As you can see from the pic above, the light is coming in from the back and from the sides, and it is quite strong, therefore I use the  curtains as light diffusers, and the result is a beautiful soft light. If you don't have white curtains, and the light hitting the food is too strong, than improvise, put a white bed sheet in your window and you'll end up with a nice soft light. 
As a light reflector I use foam boards, they are easy to work with and you can cut them in different shapes and sizes, like I have with the one in the picture below. 
I always use my tripod while shooting. My lens lacks an image stabilizer, and unless I use my tripod, the pictures get blurry. I find there is a plus side in using it while shooting, you can set up your camera and then arrange the props and food however you want, and you can make little adjustments here and there, place an extra fork or a napkin, while the angle/frame remains the same. 

As backdrop I use these two aluminium (or are they tin?) panels, and the white foam board on the left as light reflector.  I really like having grey as a backdrop, it makes the color of the food pop :)

This is why I like using a tripod, I set my camera up and then I have time to arrange the props in the photo.

Another thing I always use while taking pictures is a trigger. First of all it enables me to take photos of creamy/runny egg yolks, or tomato sauce running down some crunchy fries, or, like in the picture below, of creamy strawberry jam. With one hand I hold the trigger and with the other one I can pour, for example, honey or chocolate sauce on a pancake. Also, as I have already mentioned, I have a lens without image stabilizer, and if I don't use the trigger I risk ending up with blurry pics. 

Regarding props, the sky is the limit :) I brought back from home some tree branches and some cute little wooden logs, they weren't intended for my photos, but they ended up there, and I really like the final result :) By the way, the pot I have used for this pic below was actually the dogs food bowl... What I am trying to say is that you don't need to have fancy shmancy expensive props (not that there is anything wrong with having expensive photo requisites) in order to take good pictures, you can always improvise. 

I am new to dark food photography, I usually shoot on white, or lately I use grey backdrops, but dark photography is totally different. Contrary to a white background you have to stop the light reflecting on the subject, at least from one or two angles, and create shadows instead of trying to get rid of them.  To stop the light bounce back I used these ikea box tops. In the picture below they look shiny, but they are not, they are actually from a soft material, similar to velvet.
Also I set my camera on manual, in order to avoid the picture being overexposed. 

Ok, this is it for now. Hope you like the post :) Click Click Guten Appetit! 

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