The Magazine-Style Newsletter from the PhotographersParadise.com Community
Tips and Techniques for GettingGreat Photos of Food
F O O DP H O T O G R A P H Y
E D I T O R ' S N O T E
First, I have to say thank you for taking a look at Volume One of the Photographer's Paradise publication. While this is the first issue, I hope you find something useful to
help you take better pictures.
For several years, I have been looking for the most creative ways to create what one would truly consider, a Photographer's Paradise. After several iterations of the PhotographersParadise.com website and including a new electronic-formatted
publication, I am hoping to have achieved just that.
Where other sites provide an emailed newsletter that summarizes the site's activity, I am taking an enormous step forward by providing a richer, media based update about the
community with a much higher potential of circulation - and hopefully community involvement.
I hope that as you enjoy Volume One, you are compelled to comment and possibly begin new dialog within the community forums - Or even blog about your photography
experiences. Who knows, your contributions may be promoted to articles to be included in an upcoming volume of this publication.
My goal has been to create an experience where site members and readers can engage with the same content to keep their passion for photography alive. I hope to have
achieved this by not only providing an informative online portal and community, but in also providing a free media-based publication that allows e-readers an interactive
experience with the site as well.
Thank you,Scott Alexander
F O O D P H O T O G R A P H Y"If you can photograph food, you can
Food is all around us. It is a part of our daily lives. It takes center stage during the holidays and other special events. Dishes and ingredients can be defined by a culture, and can even be styled as fine art. Something that is so common in our daily lives can often escape us as a photography subject.
Food photography challenges a photographer's abilities in several areas; composition, color, lighting, and control of aperture - to achieve just the right depth of field.
Composition: With any great photograph, composition is key. It sets the overall tone of the image. Instead of pointing the camera straight down at the dish, try it from a side angle. Let the focal point be on the main subject of the dish and adjust your aperture to achieve the desired depth of field you are looking for. The cover photo was taken with the focal point on the filet (Hey, I was hungry!) because I was most interested in capturing the seared texture of the meat.
I also went with a position that was slightly over the edge of the plate to give the person looking at the picture a sense that they were about ready to consume the dish.
Compare the cover image to the chicken dish in the upper right of this page. This Mediterranean style Chicken Dish had been plated on a rectangular dish and I wanted to use the edges of the dish to create some lines and to balance out the light background of
room. The spoon was left in as if to say, help yourselfand to add scale. The reflection off the spoon was an added bonus!
Lighting: Since my food is usually shot while at a wedding, I find myself moving plates to an area with the most lighting possible. A Gary Fong Lightsphere comes in handy for diffusing the light so that glazes and sauces do not cause too much glare.
In a more controlled environment such as a studio, a lightbox used for product photography works just fine. You can build your own lightbox by following this video.
Color: Colored dishes combined with the color of foods can make for some brilliant shots. They can also cause a dish to look unappetizing. Remember that the audience no sense of smell, so they are depending on the photograph to convey the dish and tell the story of flavor and texture of the dish.
Cover and Article Photos by: Scott Alexander
P H O T O G R A P H Y B LO G SCommunity blog posts about
the featured topic: Food
It is not a question that a person is typically asked - Unless they are bar-tending.
This photo with caption is the second desert that I had put together just for this shot. The first was put together as I would have prepared any other Sunday, not much thought being given to appearance. The end product visually needed more. You could see the ice-cream, a layer of chocolate, whip cream and the berry on top. The berry sauce in the ice cream had disappeared. Tragic.
Round two: I needed to do something to breath life into the picture and get my point across. Time for some quick food styling while the ice cream was melting.
The empty glass was tilted and rotated as the chocolate syrup was poured into it making sure that it would show up in the picture. Ice cream was then added. I had to be careful not to smear the chocolate. I then added the berry-mix so that it was against the glass. One sliced strawberry was strategically placed so that there was little question as to the ingredients.
Whip cream was added and Chambord was poured over the top so that you could see the color on the whip cream. There was already Chambord in the mixed berries but there was no way to tell. After a quick look through the viewfinder(it was melting), the drink's unique-shaped bottle was carefully positioned in the background so that you could see the trademark crown. One Raspberry was then placed on the top and only a few shots were taken as the whip cream began to collapse under the weight of the raspberry.
...and in case you were wondering - Yes, it was delicious!
From the Blog of: Scott AlexanderGo directly to this blog and comment: got chambord?
Editor's note about Photography Blogs
At the time of publishing this newsletter, there was only one blog in the Photographer's Paradise community on the topic of food.
We hope to have a more robust blog section in the future when it comes to the featured topic. This can only happen if blogs have been submitted by the community.
If you would like to have your work and blogs considered for publication in our newsletter, keep yourself updated about upcoming featured topics by visiting our site forums or following us on twitter (PhotogParadise) or facebook.
PhotographersParadise.com About the site
Photographer's Paradise is a community site for photographers at all levels. The name has been around since 2003 and the site has run on several platforms.
We are now running on our final platform and are pushing the community to new levels by taking advantage of new technologies that allow for interaction from different media Such as this newsletter.
Read more about the site's journey here.
F E A T U R E DP H O T O G R A P H E R
S c o t t A l e x a n d e r
Profile Link and Gallery : Scott AlexanderWebsite: PhotographybyScottAlexander.com
This is not what I envisioned when I started to work on the first newsletter writing about myself as the featured photographer. I would have much preferred to write about someone else who produces excellent food photography.
After close to 10 tweets and additional announcements inviting other photographers to post their work, the lack of response has made me face a decision; A: kill the project, B: write about myself, hoping to never have to do that again.
Decision B: I live in the California Bay Area with my wife and best friend Cristy and dog Bailey (we feel fortunate that he lets us live with him)
As early as I can remember, my father owned a photography business. This gave me great access to photo equipment and a darkroom. Little did I know the presence of his business
in the home would later become my passion.
I enjoy many different subjects of photography, each having its uniquely rewarding benefit. There is something about having control over the camera to obtain different effects that control mood through color, light, composition, exposure speed, and aperture. The more I see the outcome of this control, the more I work at achieving a great photo.
My preferences for subjects have been changing over time. I started with a love for nature photography and have also wondered off in the worlds of modeling, fashion, wedding, food, and even motorcycles no kidding!
My inspiration is drawn from scenes in everyday life along with many different photographers and artists. Admittedly, I spend most of my time thinking about how a background or location can be best used for a shoot than I probably care to say. When a location could be changed to better fit my vision, thank God for photoshop!
Stop by my Photographer's Paradise page and say hello. Also, you can always like my photography on facebook.
M E D I A R E S O U R C E SGreat videos featuring Food Photography from around
the web and now in our media section...
Recent Food Photography Work of Chad Jackson | Jackson Visuals.
Los Angeles Food Photographer | Lizarran Tapas
H O T L I N K SCheck out these links to the community
for this issue's topic: Food
Gallery Forums, Blogs, and Articles
Did you miss submitting your work and media in time for this newsletter? You can still be part of this issue by submitting content to the community with the tag: Food
To discuss this newsletter, visit the discussion thread in our forums
Our next topic will be: ?Fashion?
The list could go on...
We are wanting the next newsletter to increase in number of quality pages. The only way this can happen is to have more content in our community.
You can help by submitting your work, forums, blogs, even videos to the website. Hope to see you soon!