header picture

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Food Photography Class: Part 1

Today was a fun day.
I have finally had the chance to get a photography lesson from Erik. And what tops a photography lesson by a great, and super nice, photographer who comes to your own home for a private class? Not a whole lot. (If you are interested in some classes for yourself, or having Erik take photos of you or your family, or an event, see his contact info at the end of the post).

I’ve started blogging about 7 months ago. I think I came a long way from the first photos I took and up to now (see for example this photo or this one). And since I have started blogging about food, food photography has become a hobby I really fell in love with.

All the photos on this blog are taken by using a basic most simple point-and-shoot camera. I feel it’s time to move on to learning more about food photography, and buying some equipment and a better camera. And maybe experimenting more with food styling down the road. But if I ever get that good, like this lady who writes La Tartine Gourmand, and is my number one food blogger - she does such an amazing job - I will start a new blog, probably, not to scare those of you who are afraid to cook or mess with food too much ;-)

So yesterday Erik and Mary came to my house to teach me a couple of tricks of the trade. All this photography language is new to me so I hope I got things right.

Here is Erik preparing “reflectors” by covering a white card board with aluminum foil – this is helpful for having more light reflect on the food you are shooting.

Here you see how Erik arranged a couple of reflectors around the food to make the light bounce back from the light source and onto the food.

And here he is shooting the food with his fancy gigantic camera. You’ll get to see his photos in upcoming posts.

Ignore the cold chicken on the plate for a second, OK? Because we did not spend any second on food styling. That will be another class in the future. Today just focus on the light. See how the plate has lots of light and the food and the colors really pop out of the plate?!

Next, we moved on to shooting a salad.

I spent only 1 minute "preparing" the salad, tearing the lettuce with my hands, I didn’t even wash it, then I “sprinkled” it with tomatoes. No food styling at all. We focused around moving the light and reflectors around the plate because sometimes I shoot food (it’s so funny every time I write it – “shoot the food”) on that kitchen island at night without great results (like this photo of a salad) and I wanted to see what Erik will do.

I don’t have a Photoshop program, so I played a bit with the colors of this photo using the Microsoft Picture Manager I got.

So there you have it for class #1. We have also used different props like fabrics of different colors to see how it affects the light and the mood of the picture, and we analyzed some of the works of other food bloggers’ style of photography.

I’ll show you more later on after Erik will send me the photos he took with his fancy camera and his explanations about the techniques, so stay tuned and check back again in a couple of days, OK?

One more thing.

I find that figuring out what is my style of taking photos or food styling is just the same as finding out what is my style of writing. I get better with time, my inner “voice” slowly unfolds itself, I am still learning about myself in this process.
What about you? Have you found yours or is it still a work in progress?

If you want to, contact Erik Mosvold by e-mail: photoman@ihmail.com , or phone: 425-495-2612. Also, check out his web site: http://www.aweddingphotog.com/, and his blog: erikmosvold.bigfolioblog.com .

And don’t forget to check back again for more “classes”.

Did you like this post? You can subscribe for free updates via email, in an RSS reader, or follow me on Twitter


Diana said...

That's funny, I'd thought about using foil as a light bouncer. Now I think I'll try it. I haven't really had time to play around with my photography style yet. Whenever I take food photos it's right before we eat, so I'm in a hurry. I guess that means I'm still figuring my style out :)

j & j dish it out said...

Since I started my food blog, I'm obsessed with trying to figure out how to take better pictures. I shre my blog with another gal and she doesn't really care about the quality of the pic. I told her no one was going to eat her food...HA

ChefBliss.com said...

What a wonderful tutorial. I can just imagine all the great tips you learned, and I thank you for sharing such a great experience. Can't wait to see the photos!! Thanks!

Vered - MomGrind said...

Fascinating! And thank you for introducing La Tartine Gourmand - what a great blog.

Joie de vivre said...

Excellent post! I think my photos would be much better if I got some white plates. Mine are so busy for food photos.