OK, do not eat quite yet.

I shoot events. All the time. It is what I love to do.

And these events are organized by corporations, or wealthy people, or governments, or charitable organizations. You name it. People like to get together. And all these people have paid a lot for the food – or sweated, making it.

And food is ephemeral: it’s there – then it’s not.

This is where photographers do a very useful job. One good photo, and that food exists forever. Like beauty, or youth.

And like these delicious strawberries, which I shot at a very nice private event in Toronto on Labour Day:

Strawberries, by Michael Willems

Strawberries, by Michael Willems

There. And this too:

Food Shot, by Michael Willems

Food Shot, by Michael Willems

The way to do this:

  • Set your camera to manual exposure mode.
  • Expose two stops below ambient (choose aperture and shutter so that the meter reads -2. This might be 400 ISO, f/4, 1/60th second).
  • Make sure your aperture is fairly open (that’s the “f/4”).
  • Bounce your flash off the ceiling/wall behind you.
  • Focus on the closest part.
  • Tilt as needed.

Your images will be loved by your client. The book can now include food shots as background or detail shots. The food is now good forever. The investment is secured for all eternity. And the story is a better one: not just grip-and-grin images, but also “background”.

3 thoughts on “Eat.

  1. A couple of extra tips:
    Look at the surface you are going to bounce the flash off of, the light will pick up the colour from the surface, so make sure it is white.

    Set flash exposure compensation to 0 (zero), and set the flash to ETTL mode (Canon’s designation for the flash figures out the light).

    If ambient is bright, set high speed sync to enabled.

    • True. But, Note: a colour cast is easily fixed if it is not too extreme, so do not worry TOO much. And indeed, FEC always at zero unless you Re shooting something bright (set to Plus) or dark (set to minus). You can use FEL, too. (if anyone reading this does not know what those are: I teach flash:-)

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