A few months back I saw a clip on a YouTube channel I subscribed to regarding food photography. It was another angle on composing photos in a controlled area, with a subject that doesn’t move. Although the photographers were using quite an elaborate set for a simple place setting where the utensils were the subject of the photo and not the food, I realized that the props in the photo were given as much “focus” as the utensils were.
The plated food enhanced the need to use utensils and glassware as much as the food made the viewer hungry for the food. There was a nice collaboration of items for this composition – clothe napkins and placemats with carefully chosen colors and patterns; plate settings which helped the food look more appealing; just the right amount of sweat on the water-glass and a subtle background and surface to frame the picture.
I’d like to think I put this much thought into my photos, but usually, I’m just shooting from the hip, and trying to capture the image in my mind’s eye of what I want my subject to say after the picture is taken. And this all happens (for me) in the space of about 5-15 seconds. Not long after that, the subject has moved, lighting has changed, or there’s an obstructed view. I usually just walk into these moments and see a frame with the subject close by and start taking the photo hoping that one or two of the frames I capture are the ones that were in my mind’s eye.
This week I’ve got a bit of a break and I’m going to try my hand at cooking some recipes that I’ve been cataloging through social channels and recipe books I’ve picked up over the last few months with this in mind. Then, I remembered the food photo shoot on YouTube – why not take the time to build up some food pics for my collection to share as well. More in the way of lighting and composition – but also trying to create something in the kitchen worth capturing in a frame, and hopefully something that will be edible as well.
My day job has me creating technical recipes other people use and execute for a solution that provides a value to a business unit – sometimes I participate in the creation sometimes its done for me. Now, instead of creating the recipe now, I’m trying to capture the recipe’s outcome – capture it, and then (hopefully) consume it.
I have about 9 or 10 recipes I need to create in the upcoming months at work, most from scratch – and to balance the demand of my day job I thought injecting two of my favorite hobbies into my daily mix could add some balance and forward motion to both of them. We’ll see.