Today’s food bloggers need more than just solid writing, well thought out recipes and that elusive “voice” to get readers to stand up and take notice. Giving them a visual to drool over is just as important. Hobbyists and professionals alike have taken food photography to a whole new level and I’m simply overjoyed to be introducing to you Edward Sargent our resident Photog guru. Each month he will be reviewing basic techniques, offering sound tips, and breaking down for you exactly how he gets great shots almost every time he picks up the camera. ~ Heather Watkins Jones
Since this is my first article for The Blacker The Berry Food, I thought I would share my feelings about photography in general and food photography in particular. I believe that one does not need the most expensive camera in the world in order to create beautiful images. In most of my pictures to date, I have used my Nikon D5000 with either my 50mm 1.4 or 35mm 1.8 lenses. This is a basic entry level DSLR camera setup and if you don’t have DSLR, you can use an iPhone or a “point and shoot” to capture great photos. The camera is really just a tool and the photographer makes the image. As far as lighting is concerned, the best (and cheapest) way to go is to use natural light and a few cheap white/black/silver cards from your local craft shop. Since I live in Seattle and sunlight is a rarity, I use a combination of cheap Chinese strobes (YN560) and a continuous fluorescent light Kit.
Setting up the shot:
Above is a picture of my blue cheese and honey crostini. What I wanted to do with this picture is to highlight the two main ingredients of the crostini. So I spread the blue cheese and butter mixture on the bread pretty thickly to give the crostini some texture and height. As a contrast to the mostly white on white of the bread and cheese, I placed the crostini on a black slate serving tray. Then I blacklit the crostini so that I could capture the glistening of the honey on top. I also used two silver cards to reflect light to the front of the crostini and instead of using another light. Here is a diagram and camera setting of the shot.
The great thing about this setup is that you can always use the sun (except in Seattle) in place of the continuous fluorescent light and get similar results. Now for that crostini recipe…
Blue Cheese & Honey Crostini
- 4 oz blue cheese
- 4 oz butter (room temperature)
- 1 Baguette
- Honey (enough to drizzle)
Mix the blue cheese and butter together in a medium sized bowl. Slice the baguette and place on a sheet pan and broil until golden brown. Spread the blue cheese mixture on bread and top with a nice drizzle of honey.
The Blacker The Berry Food Seattle Correspondent and Food Photography specialist Edward Sargent navigates the world of Higher Education by day and indulges in his love of food and photography in practically every other waking moment. To keep up with all of his food on film adventures be sure to check out his blog Weekend Food Projects.