Monday, July 16, 2012

shooting food

As I've said before, I don't consider myself much of a food photographer.  However, I do like to eat.  I mean, you have to eat, right?  I'll never be a food blogger though, because I'm not someone who LOVES to cook. And there are so many talented cook/photographers out there blogging, that I think I'll leave it to them.

Here's the kind of photographer I think I am.  Someone who takes what they've got and makes the best of it.  Which is why sometimes you'll see food shots on my stream, sometimes shots of the suburbs.  My husband is a still life painter, so sometimes I'll steal his props and use them in a new way.  If it's gardening season, I'll photograph the flowers.  In winter, the snow. I'll shoot photos of the dog, my kid, some grass, a glass of wine, some teacups, a book.  I'm not so choosey, and I have to shoot were I live.  I'm a domestic creature, a writer, a dreamer, a suburban wanderer.  That said, I've shot a surprising number of food shots the last couple of years.  I think I've gotten a bit better.  Better at noticing backgrounds, better at composition.  Lighting.  It's all natural lighting for me, but I know which windows in my house at certain times of the day and year are more inviting.  I know to carry food upstairs to my bedroom and clear off the dresser later in the day.  (Above).

I've learned by looking at the extraordinary photos my Flickr contacts post.  I'm not even close to being in the same league as many of them.  I've learned by looking at food blogs.  So. Many. Good. Ones.

All you have to do is go to FoodGawker and you'll see so many people combining their cooking and photography talents. It's practically endless.

There are a lot of how-to sites and tutorials on the subject, too.  I'm always amazed by how generous people are, sharing what they've learned.

So, the above blueberry scone is from The Duchess.  So, of course it looks great : )

We had a rainy day yesterday, so I actually felt like turning on the stove and cooking something.  My goal is too make something that everyone will eat, which is getting easier, but having a 'selective' eater in the house means this is quite a feat.

The light is low, so there is a graininess to the photos.  Technically these are not fabulous shots.

But in life, and in photography, the trick is to go with what you've got, yes? For some reason, I really wanted the glass of red wine in the shot.  But that wasn't quite working.

And I really wanted to capture the steam - always the goal with hot food, right?  So, you have to shoot quickly.  Plunk it on the table by the window and start clicking.  There's a little steam, but not much in the one below.  I like it best though.  A nice amount of blur.  Rich colours.  Mainly, it reminds me how delicious and spicy the sauce was and how great all the parmigiano reggiano tasted.

All this to say, I've learned a lot from attempting to shoot food over the years.  It teaches you to pay attention to light, and to the background, and also, to be quick and not over think.  And hey, you've got to eat anyway, right?

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