This week we are going to explore another of my favorite styles of still life photography, soft and dreamy. I adore using flat light, so soft, so dreamy and ever so vintage in my mind, they just go together beautifully. So, let's get a little soft and dreamy ... The essence of soft and dreamy is the beautiful soft flat light, with almost no shadows and desaturated color — almost the exact opposite of dark and moody that we looked at in my last post. I adore working with soft muted colors — natural tones and textures are great for this — with … [Read more...] about Creating soft and dreamy still life photography
This is the final article in a four-part series discussing the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Click here to read my previous article, discussing the use of the camera for portraiture. In addition to corporate events, I also shoot some corporate promotional — also known as advertising — photography. These images are used on a wide array of mediums, including websites, brochures, mailers, billboards and more. Corporate advertising That's right — I said billboards. Despite having a 20-megapixel sensor, my photographs have ended up on … [Read more...] about Photographing advertising with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Category: Food Photographer: Ben Aerssen Photo: “3/52 - Artistic: Red (Grapefruit Macro)” Ben's photo is a great example of how contrast can really help an image. Here, the red and yellow grapefruit pop on the blue background, immediately drawing your eye to the center of it. It almost has a sort of leading lines effect, where you follow the grapefruit up to that bubble in the center. Originally shared with the Photofocus Readers Flickr Group. Join the group and share your photo or submit yours via the Photofocus website. … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day: Ben Aerssen
Category: Food Photographer: slingblade_2004 Photo: “Thanksgiving Table” When I think of Thanksgiving, I get all warm inside. The turkey, stuffing, cranberries...it's an amazing feast! This photo by slingblade_2004 captures the holiday beautifully and shows the communal table in its glory. The color here is spot-on with the fall season. And everything is almost too perfect to eat! Originally shared with the Photofocus Readers Flickr Group. Join the group and share your photo or submit yours via the Photofocus website. … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day: slingblade_2004
Category: Food Photographer: Mazhar Khan Photo: “Light Lunch” Mazhar's photo reminds me of my time overseas last year, during those cold, rainy days where all I wanted to do was eat some soup under a blanket. The photograph really creates a great scene that's relevant as the leaves change and temperatures drop. It's a great documentation of everyday life. Originally shared with the Photofocus Readers Flickr Group. Join the group and share your photo or submit yours via the Photofocus website. … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day: Mazhar Khan
Category: Food Photographer: stevenclintbrookes Photo: “Breakfast POV” I love Steven's point of view on what is just a simple bowl of Cheerio's. By having a shallow depth of filed, Steven gets the spoon in focus and provides a backdrop to the spoon and cereal being held. The table the bowl is on continues to lend itself to the scene, giving complimentary colors that blend in with the cereal. Originally shared with the Photofocus Readers Flickr Group. Join the group and share your photo or submit yours via the Photofocus website. … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day: stevenclintbrookes
Category: Food Photographer: merulu5 Photo: “wishes” This is rather fitting, as today is Photofocus' 20th birthday. merulu5 does a great job of capturing the scene here. The colors are surreal, and the depth of field really makes the cake and candles stand out! Originally shared with the Photofocus Readers Flickr Group. Join the group and share your photo or submit yours via the Photofocus website. … [Read more...] about Photographer of the Day: merulu5
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we want to see your best food photographs for our November Photographer of the Day feature! Whether it's that perfect turkey, stuffing, potatoes and cranberries on your table or some great 5-star restaurant-quality food items, submit your photos today for consideration. This summer, we made some changes to our Photographer of the day feature, and have highlighted a new category every Friday each month. So far we've enjoyed seeing your astrophotography, wedding, pet and horror submissions — now we're … [Read more...] about Gobble up your favorite food photographs!
Last December, while in the middle of a shoot and half way thru the models, I tripped on my tether cord and shattered my Nikon body and the lens attached to it. Needless to say, it wasn’t my happiest moment in 2017 but it was my most valued. What Is Tethering? Tethered shooting is connecting a computer to your camera when you are shooting so the pictures you take are downloaded to your computer in addition to the camera's memory card. The camera and computer are connected by a cable, hence "tethering". Benefits of Tethering In this … [Read more...] about What Is Tethered Shooting & Why Do I Love It So Much?
In shooting still life from above, I often decide to not show the entire subject, instead focusing on one particular element. In this photograph, there are several drinks shown, but the only one that's shown fully. By cutting off the other drinks from the frame, you help direct the viewer into what you want them to see and still lets you capture the essence of the subject. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Cut Off Elements for Still Life Creativity
For the past several years, our Thanksgivings have been pretty low-key as a family. We sleep in, watch football and eat turkey. Needless to say, there's not much activity...unless you're in the kitchen. And while we've all seen tons of cooked turkey photos, I challenge you this Thanksgiving to go beyond the "arm's length" typical turkey feast photograph. Instead, focus on the details. Get Creative While capturing the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie is great, it can get a little boring. Muted tan and brown colors don't exactly scream … [Read more...] about A Low-Key Thanksgiving: Focus on the Details
Small restaurants just don't have the budgets that chains do. Creating a series of photographs for table tents while a restaurant is filed with customers is challenging. It's also a whole lot of fun. The job Mike, the manager of the Brookhaven Lucky's a local, very dog friendly restaurant asked me if I shot food while I was enjoying dinner at the bar. "Sure," I said. "What have you got in mind...?" "We need to make table tents." Mike replied. It was early April. Summer was on the way. Milkshakes, a desert burger and a breakfast burger … [Read more...] about Food Photography in a Working Restaurant
One of my favorite photography categories is food and drink. A few years ago, I ran a beer blog and highlighted a “beer of the day,” meaning I had to drink and photograph a beer everyday. It was a bit excessive, but with no speedlight at the time, I learned to use natural light to photograph as best as possible. Sit By a Window and Choose an Interesting Table I was lucky enough to recently visit a local brewery during a photowalk. Knowing we were coming, they sat us right by a huge garage door — entirely plexiglass. It was sunny, but not … [Read more...] about Shooting Food with Natural Lighting
Here's a great tip I got from watching some grips quickly change gels on some frames. In the past, when you removed an old gel or diffusion material you always had the mess of the sticky material. Either the 2-sided tape, or the foam stuff from 3M double stick, which ever material was used it was a challenge. I was observing some grips used the following technique and it was fast. This is a standard 18"x24" frame. The first thing you want to do is apply Blue Painters Tape around the entire frame. Here you can see I'm using 1" … [Read more...] about Getting Taped Up
So often someone will take the time to light the talent to look great but forget to light the background and give the image some depth: One method is to use a Cucoloris. Some will refer to it a s a cookie cutter:The Cucoloris will create a shadowed texture onto your background depending on the distance the light source is from the Cucoloris. The general rule with light is that the closer the light the softer the light, the larger the light the softer the light. Allow me to show you this theory in practical application:As you can see in the … [Read more...] about Cucoloris for Shadowed Texture
One of the most used tools on a Hollywood set, oh heck on any set, is the C-Stand. C in Roman numerals representing the numeral 100 is how the C-Stand got its name, 100's of uses. When closed it's 53" high, it can be extended to 10'6", it usually is ordered with a 40" arm and Grip Head. The C-Stand is a very versatile tool in the photographer's arsenal. Allow me to show you how to take advantage of the C-Stand. One way is a reflector holder:You simply secure a piece of foamcore or any material that you're using to reflect light onto the talent. … [Read more...] about C-Stands 101
When photographing food, adding a utensil in the scene can imply the action of someone getting ready to eat the food, which can "humanize" your photograph and make it more relatable. However, in many cases it is difficult to hand-hold the utensil in the frame, and also keep it still (especially in low light situations). And if you're like me, you may even be doing everything solo, which would make it nearly impossible to set up and photograph without having any trouble. In these situations I find that pre-positioning the utensil with a … [Read more...] about Behind the Scenes: Pasta on a Fork
Some of the most used tools on a Hollywood set are C-Stands and Apple Boxes. Then there are these little babies, Baby Plates. What is a Baby Plate you ask? It's a 5/8 stud, about 3" tall, welded onto a 3.5" x 6" metal plate. It has many uses. Allow me to share a few of those that I've used on the set. One of the most common uses for a Baby Plate is a very low light stand:It has a very solid feel and is very stable for most strobe heads. As you can see in the picture, this Baby Plate has 8 holes in its base. Some will have 4. The purpose for … [Read more...] about No Sippy Cups here, just Baby Plates
A great way to challenge yourself and enhance your skills is to shoot some personal projects. Here is an opportunity to stretch your imagination. Building sets, buying props, coordinating wardrobe, scouting locations and casting talent are all part of the process of shooting your personal projects. When you apply all these things, your ideas will come to life. I'll get an idea visually, and then I need to make it happen. Like this 30's Hollywood glamour shot:Once I cast the beautiful actress, Sarah Deakins, I needed to get hair and make-up. … [Read more...] about Shooting Personal Projects
In this video I share a tip on how to make use of diffusers when photographing food. To watch the full-length behind-the-scenes for this shoot, click here. Product mentioned in this video: TriGrip 30-inch Diffuser … [Read more...] about Using Diffusion Panels with Food Photography [Video]
Most people refer to it as a clothes pin; in Hollywood it's referred to as a C-47. They were named that way because back in the day there were 47 pins in a pack. The C stands for clamp, hence C-47. We'll take them and reverse the way they clamp so that they have more of a pinch tip to grab stuff better: I like using these economical tools for clamping gels to lights and softboxes. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft stores sells them in different sizes and colors. I like using the medium clamps to secure gels inside small to medium softboxes: The … [Read more...] about C-47: The most useful tool you have in your laundry room.
Here is a great economical way to soften your light. They're China Balls: These were used on the set of Grey's Anatomy. You can buy these light diffusers from World Market or Pier 1 Imports. Here's a link to Filmtools. Filmtools is a great resource; however, on some items they are a bit pricey. They cater to the movie and television industry. They range in cost from around $3.75 for a 12" China Ball up to about $17.00 for a 30" China Ball. Most are made of paper; however, some are made of silk. You do not need the silk ones unless you're … [Read more...] about Lighting with China Balls
What's in your bag? Do you really think that the cameras and lenses that are in my bag are going to get you my job? Stop! I'm not being arrogant, however, how you shoot and I shoot are so radically different it doesn't matter if you use the same gear as I do. We are creative knuckleheads and do what we do as individuals. Wanna know about some of the "stuff" that's in my bag? Allow me to share with you my camera brethren:Altoids, gum, Mentos, or anything that will freshen your breath. I hate working around bad breath. Whether it is from food, … [Read more...] about “What’s in Your Bag?” Stuff!
Why are prints are so important? Printing is a part of many photographers business or workflow that can be improved. Most of us don't know how to print or even understand the basics of printing. Sure, the ease of going from one screen to another is often easy, while figuring out how to print at the right size and the right output can be daunting. Why Print? Printing can bring another level to your photography and client base. Prints obviously do not require hard drives, cloud storage, or a powered on device to view. A print is a tangible … [Read more...] about Printing is the Lost Art of Photography
When photographing food, the direction of your light is very important. Certain angles of light will help shape the scene and can also be the difference between a successful image, and one that is just "meh". In this article I will be sharing examples of three different types of light: back light, front light, and side light. Back Light Placing the light behind your subject is a common setup, and one I have used quite a bit. It is good to highlight and rim the food, and works well for images with leafy herb garnishes (such as mint or basil) as … [Read more...] about Direction of Light for Food Photography
You gotta join us live for our next Google+ Hangout, totally free of charge. Not only will you learn terrific techniques, but if you tune in live, you can be entered to win excellent prizes to help you in your work. (Note: MUST BE TUNED IN LIVE TO WIN). We kick off Wednesday 5/27, 4:00pm Eastern, 3:00pm Central, 2:00pm Mountain, and 1:00pm Pacific. 4:30pm in Newfoundland. RSVP here and it'll show your local time. If you like shooting the same subjects in the same way that have been shot for a hundred years...then this hangout is not for … [Read more...] about Lightroom Hangout: Diving into Cinemagraphs with Rob Knight
Thanks for all the great questions you've been sending in to the Photofocus podcast. This week we're joined by guru and Photofocus contributor Nicole S. Young (nicolesy). Rich and Nicole tackle some great topics to help photographers. The music in our podcast comes from the cool folks over at SongFreedom, be sure to check them out! Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Rich Harrington & Nicole S. Young Welcome to the Show Making edits Deciding which photos to keep Travel gear … [Read more...] about Photofocus Q & A Podcast with Nicole S. Young — February 15, 2015
Editor's Note: This week, we're focussing on onOne Software's Perfect Photo Suite. We've asked several Photofocus writers to each make a tutorial. We'll also have a free preset pack at the end of the week for you.In this onOne "Perfect Inspiration" video, I show how I process one of my food photograph's using Lightroom 5 and onOne's Perfect Effects 9. Click here to download the preset created in this tutorial. Be sure to head over to onOne's website to view more videos from other talented photographers! … [Read more...] about Processing Food Photography Using Lightroom & onOne Software
When I photograph food, I'm very particular about everything in the frame. The tabletop, textiles, colors, and dishes all play a role to bring a the scene together. I typically set everything up ahead of time, even before the food is cooked, so that things are ready to go well ahead of time. Once the food is on the plate, I don't stop paying attention to those details. In a recent shoot, I had a small cup of coffee in the background of my scene. I filled it up with coffee and a little bit of cream, and placed it in the background of the … [Read more...] about Food Photography Tip: Don’t Ignore the Background
At the time of writing this article, we're just entering my favorite time of year: Autumn. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the temps are starting to drop, rainclouds are beginning to move in, and my favorite seasonal veggies and ales are making their way to the tabletops of my local farmers market. I'm very fortunate to live in close proximity to a wonderfully quaint one called Hollywood Farmers Market. On most Saturday mornings, Nicole and I will meander on over to with cameras in hand and create art out of produce. With all the beautiful and … [Read more...] about 5 Photo Tips While at a Farmers Market