Recently, while working on a client project for bakeware, I came across this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I was looking for a muffin recipe that would produce muffins that had a nice round "muffin top" to them. Most traditional quick bread recipes have a bit of rise to them, but not enough to produce muffin tops without a special pan. Since the whole point of my shoot was to show the pan, I wanted muffin tops in MY pan, not a special pan.Read More
The days are getting shorter. The kids are back in school. And my tomato plants are overflowing with ripe tomatoes. It must be the end of summer.
There are lots of tasty ways to use fresh tomatoes, but one of my all-time favorite ways it making a Caprese salad. Classical Caprese salad consists of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzerella, basil, and olive oil (with a bit of salt and pepper, of course).Read More
Overview of the Dark Field Photography TechniqueRead More
Oh cherries. What can I say. For some people watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit. For others it's strawberries. For me, its cherries.
You can bake them in a pie or cobbler. You can make hand pies. You can make jam.
But, my truly favorite way to enjoy ripe, summer cherries is strait out of the bowl (preferably while sitting under an umbrella on the beach).
I recently heard of a technique on the Two Hoziers podcast that the podcast hosts initially called "faux medium format." The basic premise is that the photographer can create images with impossibly shallow depth of field by using a telephoto lens and stitching together multiple images. The photographer is able to increase the field of view from a telephoto angle to a wide angle while maintaining optical qualities of the telephoto lens.
Since that initial discovery of the technique I have also heard the technique called "The Brenizer Method" or "bokeh panoramas." I am particularly fond of the "bokeh panorama" moniker for the technique because it seems to be the most descriptive. Bokeh refers to the creamy out of focus portion of the image that is created by very wide apertures on certain lenses.
Using a tripod for support, stabilization, and maintenance of the nodal point, the photographer captures a sequence of overlapping images. Care must be taken during capture to ensure the same exposure and focus are maintained throughout the sequence. The photographer captures the entire scene he or she wishes to appear in the final image.
Once the series of images has been captured the photographer uses Photoshop or specialized panoramic software to stitch together the multiple images into one large image. To ensure that the stitched image appears visually cohesive the photographer must correct the individual image files for lens distortion and vignetting prior to stitching.
Panoramic stitching is a common technique used by landscape photographers to increase the field of view and the effective resolution of the final image. The Brenizer Method is most often used by portrait photographers to achieve impossibly shallow depth of field portraits, and to create very high resolution images.
My goal with this image series was to create a series of still life images that employ this use of both a wide field of view and a very shallow depth of field. To my knowledge, this technique is not commonly used for food photography or still life photography and I wanted to explore what was possible. The images I create will be tablescape sets of food with a shallow depth of field, only the “hero” item in sharp focus with the rest of the image falling out of focus.
Overall, what I learned most from this process, besides the ability to technically create the images, is that many images do not benefit from this method. The technique very significantly reduces the depth of field in the frame. Sometimes that reduction helps to focus viewer attention on the "hero" item, but sometimes the area in focus is just too small and it becomes distracting to the viewer. I created several tableaus that simply did not work.
Will I do this in the future? The short answer is maybe. For now, I'm happy with more traditional image capture techniques for most of my food photography.
This post is part of the On Our Plates blog circle. Please check out Jana's yummy pasta post and follow the circle to see lots of great food photography and recipes.
For the last few months I have been trying to schedule and shoot a personal, styled food session. I will usually pick something that looks yummy at the grocery store or at the bakery as a subject. Every once in a while I will get inspired by something I've seen on Pinterest. I keep a board of food photography inspiration just for that purpose.
I try and produce enough images from this food shoot to create a set of three images to add to my Instagram feed.Read More
This recipe is a little twist on the classic Bruschetta recipe.
This recipe features a healthy dose of garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar at service to pep up the traditional Italian appetizer.Read More
When I was growing up my great uncle had a kumquat tree in his yard. Every year we would spend Christmas day at his house. Winter is when kumquats are in season, so every Christmas day we had the pleasure of picking and eating loads of kumquats fresh from the tree.
Despite their winter season, kumquats always remind me of summer. Something about the freshness and juiciness of citrus makes my mouth water and me want to go swimming.
For his birthday my son Adam picked these cute, easy S'more Treats to share with his class.
They are super easy to make and can be prepared a day or two in advance. You only need three ingredients and stick.Read More
First, I have to admit that this isn't the cake I was going to photograph. The cake I wanted to photograph is Great Dane Baking Company's Blue Velvet Cake. It is a luscious cake with swirls of perfectly white buttercream. It's beautiful. But...the day I went to get one all the cakes in the case had slight imperfections in the icing. The sides had bumped into something. And that just wouldn't do. So I grabbed this beauty, the Mocha Cake.
This cake is layers of chocolate cake with a light and fluffy mocha mousse. The top is drizzled with melting chocolate and the edges are lined with chocolate pieces.
As with many food shots I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted to show the viewer. I waned to show off my new cake stand, but I also wanted a deep moody feel to the image.
What do you think? Which is your favorite?
This post is part of the On Our Plate series. Please check out Aerie Photography's Teriyaki Salmon!
My preference for food photography is to work with natural light. I have a huge north-facing picture window in my dining room that is perfect for great, natural food shots.
My challenge for these photographs was to emulate the Renaissance still life paintings using electronic flash.