Food photographs often are shot with careful plating, selective styling & generous lighting arrangement. However, one can even shoot food photographs with relative ease using absolutely basic resources at disposal.
If one is just beginning in food photography, most often he/she won’t have an array of crockery or extravagant lighting equipment to use. In this case, I recommend shooting the food in the same crockery you’re using to cook them.
The above photograph you see, is a simple example of how one can create beautiful food photographs with limited resources. Here, the light used is window light. The food rests in the cooking pan in which it was cooked. To be honest, I did not even took the cooking pan from the cooking range as we have a window just above the kitchen platform providing beautiful light. I just added a spoon to the pan & took this from an top angle. I slightly controlled the light streaming from window in this case but not to a large degree. Editing was kept to minimal. Isn’t this mouth-watering?
So, get into the kitchen & shoot some beautiful shots with the limited resources you have. Happy Photography Day. :-)
Food photography requires the viewer to salivate over the photograph. A good photograph always succeed in the viewer wanting to have the photographed food. However, since photography is static, we need to shoot it so that it tricks the mind into believing the underlying motion. Take for example, the steam captured in the food photograph makes the viewer feel its warmth & the steam also incites a ‘want to have right now’ feeling from the viewer. Believe it or not, a simple steam is a major element in food photographs. However creating steam is not a piece of cake. Here I’ll show you how can you create steam in your food photographs easily to make them more vibrant & appealing.
One can use the incense sticks(agarbatti) found at home to create steam. Simply light a few incense sticks & place them strategically in the frame so that they do not show up. The waft of steam from incense stick is pretty weak, so you’ll need at-least a couple to get the thick steam you desire. Also since, the burning incense stick outputs steam in a typical slender pattern, you’ll need to sculpt it with a paper fan. Alternately, one can even use dhoop sticks(thick incense sticks) to create a lot of steam. However, do note that incense sticks emit ash & that can mix easily with the food you’re photographing. Even the aroma of incense stick can mix with your food. So if you’re going to consume the food after photographing, using incense sticks is not a good idea. Also since the incense is burning there is always a risk of fire or props getting burnt, so be careful while placing & do monitor it time & again as you shoot.
Actually, creating steam with incense sticks is the most economical way to produce steam. Yes, it takes a lot of work to get the shape you desire & at-times it can be impractical for some foods. However, it does has the capability to spice up the occasional food shot. Off-course there are more better ways to create steam in food photography but that I’ll leave it to discuss for some other day.
With the advent of digital photography, we are no longer shackled by the ’36 exposure’ limit which plagued the film. However with digital though one is bound by another limit, that of a battery. If the battery of your camera discharges completely you can’t do much than stop shooting. And this has the canny ability of happening at the most unfortunate of moment. So in order you do not lose the shot, be prepared. Take serious heed of the things I put forth & you’ll never run out of battery charge.
Digital photography has been a boon to photographers since one can shoot to heart’s content since the cost is nil compared to film days. However this has also lead to a down-fall as most amateur photographers do not think twice & keep on spraying(on shooting spree) the shutter in hope to capture a good shot. However, if you put a few simple things into consideration before shooting, it will do a world of good to your photography. Here is a small check-list.
I tend to get most of my photography ideas when I’m sleeping or when I’m least expecting them. At such times, its easy to relax & say to oneself that, “I will implement/work on the idea later”. Stop right there. Get a pen along-with a piece of paper and jot the idea down immediately. Lest it flies out of your head.
Its not paranoia but however strong your recollecting ability be, you’re bound to forget something or at-times not recollect something completely. I make it a point to keep a small spiral pad & a pen in my camera bag & one at my home, so I can quickly jot down the idea as it strikes me. If at times, I’m without pen & a pad, I punch the idea into mobile messages drafts. This way I’m safe from letting off a good photographic opportunity.
This nifty tip was imparted on my ears by the renowned photographer, Shiresh Karrale at a Better Photography workshop. He defined this process as making “Photography Scribbles”. These scribbles have helped me immensely to plan a shoot beforehand. I make it a point to make these scribbles as detailed as possible, with lighting diagrams, tips, problems faced & so on. You should also implement this idea in your photography work-flow & experience how overtime it will help you in making better photographs.