Thursday, May 27th, 2010

A Landscape Photographer’s Approach to Food Photography

Hello and welcome to a new tale of truly yours. For those who were wondering, I am still alive and I even got out shooting some spring greens over the last few weeks. Spare time to post some extended reports on here was rare though and I’d like to apologize for that. I hope to make it up with some mouth-watering shots straight from hell’s my kitchen.

Some of you might wonder what’s the deal with me shooting food now. To cut the long story short, when the landscape and sky are rather dull, and quite frankly, they were pretty much all time this year, it’s great to have something to shoot in or around the house. While spring flowers like tulips and ranunculus have there fixed position in my yearly things to do in spring list, it’s always nice to venture out into a new field of photography. May it be the challenge of some sort, with its own limitations and a way to broaden one’s horizon or simply the fact to learn a new technique for a certain style of shooting which you can adapt to other fields of photography.

Fennel Orange Salad
Fennel Orange Salad with cucumber, red onion and pear.

For me, it was kind of both. While cooking is nothing new to me, cooking for photos certainly is. I am not a professional food stylist my any means nor do I spill a gallon of motor oil over the salad to make it look, well, tasty. It’s rather the fact how you put the food on the plate. When cooking for friends, I take great care about how the food looks on the table. While you might think that is nothing different for photos, you err. Making food look good on the plate alone is one thing, making it look good in the photos you take is a different kettle of fish.

Barrio del Sur Burger
Beef, lettuce hearts, ripe mango, red onion rings, Parmesan cheese and mango garlic mayo between sesame and black cumin seed bun.

I am sure some professional food stylists and photographers will laugh at my approach but what do I care? Being a landscape photographer at heart, I tried to bring the basic principles of composition onto the plate, all spiced up by some high key treatment. These concepts, of course, are leading lines, some kind of foreground element that pulls the viewer into the scene and the rule of thirds. You can find these concepts perfectly illustrated and adapted to landscape photography in the article “Understanding Composition” at the Aperture Academy website which I highly recommend.

Semolina pudding with sauteed strawberries

That being said, I hope you feel somewhat satiated and remember to try something new and challenging when the light isn’t just right and if you like, share your experiments here on the blog.

I’ll be back with flowers and waterfall pictures next week. Please excuse me while I plan my 3 month US trip this summer. California watch out! LOL


P.S. I also played around with the new possibilities of CSS3 and jQuery to add to my website later. Head over to the new and improved contact form and let me know what you think. It features my take at the iPhone unlock slider, which ironically doesn’t work on the iPhone itself yet but I am working on it.

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