- How to Take Food Photography in Restaurants
- Catching Up With the Silver & Light Project: A Wet Plate Collodion Camera Truck (Video)
- Behind the Scenes of a Zulu Warrior Photo Shoot (Video)
- Finding Beauty and Connection through Photography (Video)
Posted: 11 May 2014 04:48 PM PDT
Final Reminder: Only 1 day left in the deal on: Photographing FOOD Tutorials eBook
We’ve all been there. Sitting in a dark, corner table of a fantastic restaurant, wishing that we had more light, so we didn’t have to use that terrible built-in flash. Perhaps the meal was one of the best we’ve ever eaten and the one thing that would have made it better is gorgeous photos to post to our website, Facebook page, or blog.
When we get home the results are less than spectacular. Usually, the flash creates hot-spots on anything reflective on the table. Including, stemware, cutlery and crockery. The grain from the high ISO used also is a very annoying factor in low-light, restaurant photography. There are some easy solutions to this.
How to capture great photos in any setting:
1. Diffused sunlight - The quickest and easiest way to get great photos is to shoot with available, indirect sunlight. This could be choosing a table outside, under an umbrella, where the sunlight would be diffused by the umbrella. This method is by far the best for achieving excellent photos.
2. Get a table by the window - If there are no outdoor tables available, or it’s too cold, rainy, etc. there are other methods. One trick is to ask the reservations desk if you can have a table by the window when booking. If they say no, than ask when the next available seating is when a window is available. Don’t be embarrassed to push it and insist. They are there to serve you.
3. Use fast lenses - Outdoor and window tables work during the daylight, but what about dining in the evening, when the sun is down and there’s nothing but the available light in the restaurant? This is where it gets tricky. For those with point-and-shoot cameras you don’t have many options. To achieve really brilliant results indoors, using dim light, you need to get yourself a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera, which has the ability to swap lenses. That is, one that doesn’t just have a single fixed lens. My favorite beginner camera is the Nikon D40. But any of the newer Canons, Nikons, etc. will work. I don’t use Nikon anymore, but I’ve found that you can get a really good deal on the D40 on eBay, or Amazon. The lens is really what matters. You want a fast lens. Meaning, a lens which lets in a lot of light. One that has a large aperture, (amount of light let in reflects aperture size) f1.8, or f2.8 lets in lots of light and are called large apertures, or fast lenses. Despite their small numbers. Anything smaller (f4.0 and above) and you’re going to have trouble. Unless you have IS (image stabilization) on your lens.
4. Use image preview - I have found that having image preview on my camera works very well for restaurant photography. This is built-in to almost all point-and-shot cameras, but is still very limited on DSLRs. The reason I find it so helpful is because I don’t have to hold the camera up to my face to shoot. This can be very distracting when taking photos in nice restaurants especially. With image preview, you look at the LCD screen on the back of the camera and focus your photograph without having to bring the camera above your food.
5. Shoot at table level, not eye level - When shooting food you want to always strive to photograph at an angle which is 10-40 degrees from the table. Meaning, don’t take food shots at eye level. We humans always see our food at eye level and it’s more intriguing when we see it at the actual level the food is at. About 10 degrees above the plate is perfect.
6. Get in close - I see way too many food bloggers shooting with wide-angle lenses and as a result the photographs aren’t attractive. There is way too much going on in the foreground and background, when really, all we want to see is the food. So unless you want to highlight some specific areas of the table, or the restaurant, get in close.
7. Don’t use your built-in flash - Built-in flash tends to flatten an image and make it dull. Try to utilize one of the methods above first and if all else fails, flip that flash, but only in an emergency.
And finally, don’t discount your photo editing software. Even bland, flat images can be saved using the curves function.
Today you can find top quality, used equipment for a fraction of the price new. Get yourself a good DSLR and 50mm f1.8 lens and your restaurant and food photography will really start to shine.
For Further Training, Only 1 Day Left:
It's so frustrating when your food photos come out looking less than appetizing. But by learning about lighting and styling specific to food, you can make mouth-watering images just like the ones you see in magazines. This recent in-depth tutorial eBook is designed to help you improve your food photography by showing you how you can use the equipment you already own to take beautiful images now. We were able to arrange a 50% discount for our readers until Tuesday.
Deal ending soon here: Photographing FOOD Tutorials eBook
Posted: 11 May 2014 04:33 PM PDT
When we were first introduced to Ian Ruhter back in 2012, he was embarking on a nationwide photography tour in with his uniquely large camera. That is, a huge delivery truck that he converted into a wet plate collodion camera and mobile lab. Now, two years later, Ruhter is still at it with even bigger ambitions and goals than before. Take a look at all he’s been up to and hear about all that’s in store for him in this 25-minute long interview:
After a disappointing and spirit-crushing experience on his last attempt to photograph Yosemite, Ruhter returned to the national park to seek redemption. With the memories of his first try weighing on his mind, the second go around proved to be an emotional experience for Ruhter and his crew. Fortunately, the outcome was beautiful photographs and an uplifting experience:
Since teaming up with the Fahey Klein Gallery in California, Ruhter is taking his work to the next level and making big plans for the future, which include trips to the east coast, Detroit, and the hopes of photographing the President of the United States.
Go to full article: Catching Up With the Silver & Light Project: A Wet Plate Collodion Camera Truck (Video)
Posted: 11 May 2014 12:37 PM PDT
Inspired by the traditional clothing worn by the Zulu tribe in South Africa, one photographer wished to do a modern photo shoot to capture the essence of the tribe’s wardrobe and also have a little fun. In the behind the scenes footage below, you can see how the shoot was done and pick up a few lighting pointers to help you do a similar shoot:
To get the shot, the photographer used three different lights on a 50% black background. Two were strip light softboxes which were placed just behind the model, one on each side. The third light, a silver reflected beauty dish with a diffuser and grid on front, was placed in front of the model.
Here’s one of the finished images and its corresponding camera setting info:
Go to full article: Behind the Scenes of a Zulu Warrior Photo Shoot (Video)
Posted: 11 May 2014 10:51 AM PDT
Life can oftentimes seem so very, very mundane—even hopeless. However, for many of us, photography and other similar creative mediums provide opportunities to look more closely at gray reality and find beautiful gemstones shining among the rough and rubble.
In this short interview, National Geographic photographer Rena Effendi discusses the process by which photography has taught her how to find beauty in unexpected places and how to connect with the locations and people that she photographs so that she is able to create masterful images:
Having grown up in tumultuous Azerbaijan during the economic collapse of the Soviet Union, Effendi is passionate about using her photography to depict humanity’s incredible strength “in the corners of the world that are not exactly beautiful.” In Effendi’s view, the best way to do this is to expend the time and effort necessary to deeply understand those specific areas and people that she is intending to photograph before she ever picks up her camera.
Rena Effendi began her career in photojournalism in 2005 after leaving her job as an economic development specialist. She has since published multiple books and has had her work displayed in many a gallery and magazine worldwide.
Go to full article: Finding Beauty and Connection through Photography (Video)
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