All About Food

Lately, I have been commissioned to do several food shots from different restaurants. Shooting food is not as easy as many thinks. This applies to the restaurant owners as well. It is as complicated as shooting products. It requires a lot of patience, creativity and an utmost attention to details.

Crabs in garlic butter sauce. f/8, 1/160, ISO 100, 2 strobe lights with 60" and 40" umbrella. Shooting for a long time friend Ace Rivera. Salt Seafood is located at St. Patrick Square near Redemptorist Church.

Crabs in garlic butter sauce. f/8, 1/160, ISO 100, 2 strobe lights with 60″ and 40″ umbrella. Shooting for a long time friend Ace Rivera. Salt Seafood is located at St. Patrick Square near Redemptorist Church.

Not a lot of people know that shooting food requires food styling, creative props, precision lighting and a bag full of tricks. It’s done by a group of creative people and not just photographers alone. The challenges you face when shooting food is always unique no matter how many times you have done it.

Since we started shooting food three years ago, we have accumulated more than thirty kilos of props, utensils, plates, etc. I know, I recently flew to Iloilo to do food photography and I realized that our props weighs more than our camera and lighting equipments. Not included are the fresh vegetables we have to acquire locally.

Food stylist prepares the dish. This is a normal set when shooting food.

Food stylist prepares the dish. This is a normal set when shooting food.

Continue reading “All About Food” »

Depth of field

In one of my photography tutorial, I was explaining to my student how depth-of-field works. Aperture as part of the exposure triangle, helps control the amount of light coming in by adjusting the size of the opening. By changing the size of the opening, you are also indirectly changing the depth-of-field.

Shot taken at f/5.6, focal length 155mm. The background is visibly blurred even at relatively small opening. (shooting for Ody's Cafe)

Shot taken at f/5.6, focal length 155mm. The background is visibly blurred even at relatively small opening. (shooting for Ody’s Cafe)

Depth-of-field is always dependent on the size of the opening. If your intention is to reduce the depth-of-field, meaning blur background and sharp subject, your objective is to increase the opening. The bigger the opening, the lesser the depth-of-field and vice versa. Continue reading “Depth of field” »

Photographer for Hire

In between projects, I do experimental shots. In this photo, I was trying to do a fake out-of-the-freezer look. I used a matte acrylic top coat and glycerine based solution. I also played with a foil behind the glass and got the effect.

In between projects, I do experimental shots. In this photo, I was trying to do a fake out-of-the-freezer look. I used a matte acrylic top coat and glycerine based solution. I also played with a foil behind the glass and got the effect.

Just a few days ago, one of my students asked me what equipments will she need if she decides to open up a studio. She’s one of those students that is overflowing with interest. Her photo shows a lot of potentials. My answer was not something she expected. I encouraged her to shoot more and fill in more experience. Continue reading “Photographer for Hire” »

Creative Food Photography

Recently, I did a one-on-one training shooting food. My student came all the way from Catbalogan Samar. Her sister plans to open a coffee shop and she’s designated to do the graphics and photography. Our objective is to produce not only menu type of shots but creative shots as well for posters and ad.

Creative Food Shots

Creative Food Shots

I’ve been shooting food for a while now. I like the idea of having total control of the light while taking your time perfecting every bit of details inside the frame. What I didn’t expect during the training is the fun we had working on the creative shots. It was my first time shooting food creatively. Continue reading “Creative Food Photography” »

Starting Up In Photography

One time, I was browsing in a photography forum and saw a very interesting question. Somebody was asking for directions. She was asking that aside from the important things like lens, flash and battery grip, what are other things to buy. Yes, you read it right, battery grip. I was surprise to have read it myself.

As I was trying to organize my thoughts so I can write a clear and motivational comment, one guy seem to have read my mind or at least had similar thoughts. He said that in order for a budding photographer to improve his skills set, he needs to find the right mentor and probably enroll in a reputable school.

Food Photography workshop

Food Photography workshop

While it’s true that I didn’t have a formal education in Photography, it would have been faster for me to learn if I opted to get a good training when I was starting out. Learning it the hard way has its benefits as well. I experienced the failures and the frustrations of which I can share to my students and how I got out of the slump. Continue reading “Starting Up In Photography” »

Deconstructing Lighting

Playing with fire. Photo taken for Azia Suites.

Playing with fire. Photo taken for Azia Suites.

I posted a photo on facebook last week and a photographer friend asked me to deconstruct the lighting I used in the shot. This is my reply:

3 light setup

Camera settings: f2.8, 125 ISO 100

Ambient: f1.4, 125 ISO 400

Fire: f2.8 – f3.5 ISO 100

Light 1: camera left bounced in white wall f2

Light 2: far right gridded f3.5

Light 3: far left gridded f3.5 Continue reading “Deconstructing Lighting” »

Tips on Shooting Food

I’ve been shooting food lately and I realized that my obsessive compulsiveness to lighting fits perfectly with this genre. My brain works like an XT8086 computer when it comes to photography, I deal with things one at a time. I want everything in place to the last detail and lights behaving my way.

Continue reading “Tips on Shooting Food” »

Food Photography and Styling

Every time I conduct a basic photography workshop, I always try to open the eyes of the students about the different genre available when trying to learn photography. The most typical interests are portrait and landscape. Today I’ll talk about my experience in shooting food and working with a stylist. Continue reading “Food Photography and Styling” »

ISO and Dynamic Range

ISO an Dynamic Range

ISO800 f5.6 200mm

ISO800 f5.6 200mm

I’ve been researching about the myth that increasing your ISO will increase your dynamic range. I got interested on this technique after watching Lara Jade shooting at a rather high ISO than the usual even with a good light. She explained that she wanted to get more shadows. From that statement, I can only assume that she was referring to wider dynamic range.

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