Thursday, October 4, 2012

Food Photography: Final Image & Self-Assessment

On September 29th, I photographed a plate of food in a conference room of Dawson College. The plate was prepared by the school's cafeteria. When I arrived at the location, there were 9 different plates to choose from. I already had in mind to shoot against the wood paneling to create a cozy, evening dinner atmosphere, so I picked this colorful bean salad which I believed would go well with the background ambiance.  

Although I positioned the table next to a window, there was very little light coming through because of that day's overcast weather. As planned, I used flash as my main light source and mounted a telephoto lens on my camera to get shallow depth of field. In order to highlight the food, I used a reflector pointed towards it (reflecting light from the flash to the left of the table), while goboing the background to keep the rich color of the wood and to eliminate excess flare on the props. 

My camera settings for this shot: ISO 200, aperture 2.8, shutter speed 1/160sec and a focal lens of 110mm. 

1. What worked well for me on this assignment?
Being prepared and arriving early! Like usual, I brought more than I needed, but my props and location kit came in handy for both myself and the person I was shooting with. This was my first tethered shoot and I quite appreciated being able to view my photos on a bigger screen and accurately assess their quality, particularly sharpness and exposure. 

2. What would I change in my preparation if I had the opportunity to go back and do it again? 
  • Not forget to eat breakfast and/or bring snacks! 
  • When borrowing a lens from school, double-check that I was given the right brand (even if I wrote down the specific lens and brand that I need), and make sure that it is compatible with my camera, otherwise, I also should borrow a suitable camera as well;
  • Bring black foam core for goboing;
  • Get a longer synch cord for tethering.
3. What would I change in my photographic approach? 
Attend to all aspects of the photo, not just the main subject/object. Remember to pull back once in a while to look at the big picture and make sure that the background is lit and composed in a way that supports the main subject/object.

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