My remit for the World Food Competition Blogger Summit in Orange Beach, Alabama was straight forward. Explain the importance of food styling, lighting and photography.
And whilst I originally thought it may be difficult to get across just how important good imagery is to any blog, I soon found that my audience were way ahead of me. They knew where their shortfalls were, and also the kind of questions they needed to ask to help them sort it out.
I’d been told my subject would be a pickle. That threw me at first, because a pickle in the UK is a small white onion. End of! It turns out to be quite different in the US. In fact, I was to photograph some of the wide range (read : HUGE!) of pickled products from Wickles Pickles. Products I later tried and came to love.
So, after some very basic lighting examples to demonstrate how powerful an impact good lighting has on a subject, I was then given a prepared sandwich to develop a food product shot. We talked through basic styling with the addition of common objects and also the inclusion of branded sponsor items etc.
The above image is the final image from the session.
I placed an Elinchrom ELB400 Action head firing through an 18cm reflector with 30° grid on the far side of the table. This was to create the highlight across the top of the bun, creating the texture on the seeds. It also nicely illuminated the pickle on the left side. The unit was set to fire at an output of 1.0 via the B port.
A second ELB400 unit was placed to my immediate left, firing through a 66x66cm Portalite softbox. This particular size is normally supplied with a standard Elinchrom mount, but I purchased a separate ELB400 head specific mount, which meant I didn’t need an adaptor and it would therefore reduce the weight for travelling. This was set to fire at an output of 1.6 through the B port.
I used a piece of card to reflect some light back into the frame right side of the bun. The card came from a craft shop and is silver on one side and white on the other. The white side creates a fairly soft fill, whereas the silver side produces more contrast in the fill light, as seen here.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 1/125th sec ISO200 12-40mm f2.8 @f10
The behind the scenes image is provided by Anthony Serrano, who went on to compete in the World Food Competition, winning the Recipe category. Well done Anthony!
Many thanks to the organisers at the World Food Competition, Amy Green, Suzanne Kosnik Clark and particularly Julie Haun and Darie O’Connor (Try This Dish Radio) who talked me into this adventure.
Wickles Pickles can be found at : https://wicklespickles.com/
Anthony Serrano can be found at : http://www.epfamilyrestaurants.com/
Darie O’Connor can be found at : http://dariesdailydish.com/ and http://trythisdish.podomatic.com/
The World Food Competition Blogger Summit can be found at : https://www.facebook.com/WorldFoodChampionshipsBloggerSummit
The World Food Competition can be found at : https://worldfoodchampionships.com/
Elinchrom equipment was purchased from www.theflashcentre.com
I provide training via Focal Point.