Monthly Archives: June 2015

Food Photography Adventures – Part 1

All businesses can benefit from professional pictures to advertise their services and products, but I think it is especially important if you are in the food business. Because if your products don’t look appetising to the potential customer, he/she won’t want to taste your food, yet alone buy from you. In other words, with food, how your products look is going to have a very direct effect on the customer’s opinion of the quality of your dishes.

Home made tagliatelle with tomatoes prepared by Italian chef Chiara Scipione

Very simple dish, and yet this home made tagliatelle with tomatoes dish tastes even better than it looks!

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you already know that I always like to learn new things and perfect my craft. In this regard, a wonderful opportunity presented itself during the month of May, as world class photographer George Crudo taught a food photography course for the Bryan Peterson School of Photography.

Freshly made tagliatelle, raw, and a single tomato.

The freshly made tagliatelle of the above dish, before they were cooked. I couldn’t resist, for colour contrast’s sake, and added a small tomato to the photograph

I’ve been intrigued by food photography for some time now, and since I very much enjoyed the many classes I took at the Bryan Peterson School of Photography, I decided to enrol in that course. I was also fortunate to be able to team up for this project with chef Chiara Scipione of ‘Italian Food with Style’. Each week, Chiara would prepare a few dishes for me to photograph.

Raw ingredients, olive oil, basil, eggs and tomatoes.

Raw ingredients

For the first week of the course, we had to take images using natural light only, and learn to harness the power of window light to show the food’s texture. On the menu this week were home made tagliatelle with tomatoes and pesto pasta. Once you’ve tasted home made pasta, it is really difficult to go back to the kind you buy at the supermarket!

Close-up of while bowl of freshly made pesto sauce

Freshly made pesto sauce. I just love the colour!

All the food photographs in this blog post were taken using a light coming through a window camera left and a reflector camera right to lighten the shadows. I also only needed to use a single lens, my trusty Nikon 105mm micro. And I had almost forgotten how much fun you can have using only minimal equipment!

Plate of freshly made pesto pasta on white tablecloth

Freshly made pesto pasta. Absolutely wonderful lunch!

Pesto pasta on a slate with a glass of white wine and tomatoes

Another presentation of the pesto pasta dish of Chiara Scipione

Newborn Photography

“A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there — even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.” – Robert Doisneau

I really subscribe to the idea that in photography “light is everything”. After all, photography is derived from the Greek “photos” (light) and “graphos” (drawing). It literally means drawing with light.

However, I believe there is an important exception to this rule. If you manage to capture a special moment in time, you can get away with less than ideal light.

I kept that in mind when I was asked to photograph a newborn. One week olds don’t respond well to direction, so there would obviously be no way I could fine tune my lighting. I would have to focus on capturing special moments. Such as the bond between mother and child in the photograph below.

Close up of mother feeding new born baby

Got in close for an intimate portrait of mother and newborn baby.

The baby was woken up by the activities surrounding the shoot and was a little cranky as a result of this. But I was nevertheless fortunate enough to capture some wonderful expressions.

Newborn baby in cot looking into the camera

I waited for a while for the newborn to look into the camera. Fortunately, I was ready when he did.

Newborn baby with tongue out

Well, I guess he’s probably not the last client who doesn’t like how the photo shoot is progressing! But I doubt I’ll ever get the same expression!

Newborn baby in cot with right hand on his chin

This is one of my favourites. I just love the gesture with the right hand. Already pondering the meaning of life?

These pictures will undoubtedly be looked at very fondly many years from now. Less than a second snatched from eternity.