Food. Photography. Two things I love and always want to learn more about.
Today they came together during a four hour Food Photography Class at Pantry at Delancey. The class, taught by Ashley, of the Not Without Salt cooking blog and her professional photographer husband Gabe Rodriguez. This was exactly what I was looking for: something to help me learn a little more about how to use my camera and what to consider in photographing food (ingredients, cooking process, plated meals). We got some instructions and tips on the basics (white balance, depth of field, ISO settings, lighting, composition and styling). Then we were turned loose in Delancey's where some still lifes had been set up in front of the natural light from the window and two full artificial lighting set ups were waiting for us. We also had free range of the classroom in the pantry where the decor offered many vignettes to practice with.
I have so much to learn. I wanted to shoot hundreds of shots while playing around with each of the topics covered. I do best when I set things up and then just re-shoot the same shot adjusting the variable until I land on what is pleasing before bringing in the next element to play around with. Alas, there was only so much time and there was too much to cover all at one session. I chose to mostly focus on playing around with depth of field though tried to think about and play around with some of the other topics.
After our hands-on time we gathered again in the classroom where we were served a delicious vegetable soup with hearty bread and buttery olive oil in which to dip it and an assortment of cured meats. Also on the table were Sicilian olives which had been marinated in a wonderful Moroccan style with preserved lemons and cinnamon and maybe some fennel seeds. (Will be writing Delancey's to see if they will share this recipe. It was really unique and delicious.) Sliced fresh pears and apples finished up the meal. This was all served with a nice glass of red wine. While we dined and sipped Ashley and Gabe went through some of the photos taken by brave students that were willing to share. There were some very nicely done shots.
In this post are some of my better shots. None of have been post processed. There's a whole nother world to dealing with the shots to further improve through application of software tricks. You may see some of these again, down the line, cropped, sharpened, warmed up or some other adjustments. I have so much to learn. But for now, this is my show and tell. I'm showing you I learned something. I'm telling you this was a great class. If you are interested in learning how to improve your food photography I highly recommend you look for a future offering.