On Assignment: Food Photography With One Light
As they say, “The food you shoot, you can’t eat and the food you eat, you can’t shoot”
Food Photography is not my forte, never done it. To take decent enough pro-quality images you’ll need at least studio set up and and a food stylist (at least that’s what I think of). So, when I got the opportunity to accompany a food reviewer to shoot some pictures of the food she’s gonna review, I was up for it.
Before I talk about the photography part of the assignment, lemme take you through the whole experience of the visit, after all there is always a story associated with the photographs
The Chef at Olive Beach
Our visit was greeted by the Chef Sujan Sarkar, awarded as the London Chef of the year 2012. He explained a little bit about his own background and his career path. You can read more about chef Sujan Sarkar here. He also provided us with the dinner menu and explained about each dish that was to be served.
The menu for the dinner was as follows:
The Confit Duck Leg
(Orange and turnip Jam, plum, red wine reduction)
The Pumpkin Veloute
(Ricotta, marinated pumpkin, pumpkin seed oil)
(Coffee Sobret, biscotti) the image at the top.
The other dishes were
- Amuse Bouche
- Duck Pastilla
- Beetroot Salad
- Pan Seared Red Snapper
- Spinach and ricotta tortellini
- Mashed potatoes on the side
- Chocolate and Hazel nut brownie
- Vanilla bean icecream
All I can say is that, The food melted in my mouth and all my taste buds were activated while eating each of the dish. Perfect!!
You can read the full review of the menu by clicking here
Back to the photography part of the assignment. The challenge for me was to shoot images on location in a restaurant with people, having their dinner and not to disturb them shoot decent enough pictures and finish the job.
Anyways, I went with one light my trustee Canon 600 EX RT. I was not carrying any flash modifier and decided to bounce the flash from the ceiling. Luckily the ceiling was not too high and white in color.
As, any other camera angle would have included the ambiance of the restaurant (including the people), I went for the top view. The flash was triggered by my radio trigger, the Canon ST-E3-R3.
Nothing Great!! The flash was off camera (though bounced from the ceiling) and was triggered using the Canon Radio trigger. All of the images are shot with my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens on EoS 60D body.
Learning from the Shoot
I feel that I’ll need one more light to create highlights on the food items to create more depth (or at least a reflector).
On a side note…I know the pictures I made are not great (given the tasty food), but with the limited gear and the given constraints I feel I did good. But this is a start and I’ll improve over time. Anyways, I strongly suggest to make a visit to Olive Beach in Chanakyapuri to savour the awesome cusine.