Food photography is one of our focus areas. We organize our shootings either at our studio or on site at your location, depending on the specific project requirements.
Every photo has an intention. A camera only takes a physical image of the scene. It is the human brain, which processes this image and actively creates the perception. This needs to be understood and managed. It is about guiding the viewer’s attention naturally and in a subtle way.
There are multiple ways of doing that.
- Food styling and story telling
- Composition and color schemes
- Lighting set-up
- Camera angle and perspective
- Extension and orientation of the depth of field
- Post processing
All of them are important. It is like a chain, which does not fulfill its function, if one link is broken.
Human perception applies an unconscious filtering mechanism to the visual information. There are far more details in an image than the brain can consciously process. It is only putting attention to some elements. This we need to manage, when we design the photo. In every food scene there should be hero element. We need to guide the viewer’s attention to that hero element and minimize distraction by removing distractors.
Distractors are all elements in the image, which take attention away from the hero element and make us feel uncomfortable. This is always the case, if there is something, which does not feel right. Sometimes it is just a little spot or the composition is not ideal, the lighting or the depth of field orientation is not perfect, or any minor detail is not as our perception expects it. We might not even consciously recognize it, but it has an impact. As a result, we do not like, what we see.
To attract attention, we want to put the hero element in focus, while other elements should be less sharp. However, with an ordinary camera, options for this are limited.
High quality food photography images require adjustments of the depth of field orientation in all 3 dimensions of the scene. This can only be done with a studio camera. We use a Linhof M679cs for that. For food photography a Rodenstock 120mm f/5.6 Apo-Macro-Sironar digital lens is typically our first choice. A Hasselblad medium format 50-megapixel data back provides great resolution and an excellent dynamic range.
We always use flashlights for food photography. They offer more flexibility. More light means more variation in lens parameters. The depth of field can be influenced in a wider range, which ultimately results in better image quality.
The use of several lights and various light formers allows us to balance light and shadow in an optimal way. We use projectors with focal lenses and gates to accentuate items of the image. Our main light is either a big soft box or a parabolic reflector, both with multiple diffusors, depending on the available space of the shooting location. We know that space on location can be rather limited, and we will use the biggest possible light former to achieve the best results.
If you are interested in a food photography shooting please contact us. We can arrange shootings at your location, bringing a suitable amount of equipment on site, depending on the available size. For best results, the light formers should be as big as possible. We will do the food shootings, using our Hasselblad and Linhof camera equipment.
We can also arrange food shootings at our Shanghai Studio.