I am glad that I always carry everything in the car. Lights, light stands, umbrellas, pocketwizards, cables, lenses, and so on.  So that when a restaurant shoot yesterday involved food instead of interiors, there was no problem.

As the restaurant set up a table for the food (which was long enough so I would not need a backdrop), I prepared the following:

  • My Canon 1Ds Mk3 camera with 100mm macro lens;
  • A tripod;
  • One stand-mounted 480EX flash fired by pocketwizard, with an umbrella above the food.
  • One stand-mounted480EX flash, also fired by Pocketwizard, behind the food, firing forward;
  • On the second flash a Honl Photo speed strap and a 1/4″ grid;
  • I set the flashes to half power and quarter power, respectively. This is convenience and experience.
  • I set the camera to 200 ISO and f/8.  (and 1/125th second, but this was almost irrelevant).
  • I slightly adjusted the umbrella position.
  • I checked an image’s histogram: great. Highlights in white table blowing out slightly, none of the food blowing out: perfect. This is experience – I could have used a light meter but this was a hurried, high-presure shoot (the restaurant was about to open).

All that looked like this:

Food (Photo: Michael Willems)

And it got me shots like this:

Food (Photo: Michael Willems)

Food (Photo: Michael Willems)

Food (Photo: Michael Willems)

Straight out of camera that is not bad, what?

Take the above recipe and copy it if you like – see how you do with food!


4 thoughts on “Yum.

  1. Hi Michael,
    Food is on my to do list, but am wondering if you would also consider doing some tips on shooting bottles, beer, wine, TEQUILA, the likes. I have about 200 bottles that I would like to shoot creatively and could use some tips!

  2. Hey, I read your blog everyday but this is my first comment, thanks for posting your information!! Your tips really help out. Food has been on my to do list as well, now I have no excuse not to try it.

    Thanks again! Your blog is great!

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