Capturing Food in Motion

Lesson 8/21 - More Splash Photo Techniques


Capturing Food in Motion


Lesson Info

More Splash Photo Techniques

And I have, just so you know I have yet to get anything on my camera. Or anything splashing outside this realm. So it's not, it's not this massive, where you do get that is where you're flinging a lot of milk. So while we're here, let's do this for another 15 minutes, and then I'll show you the containers. We're gonna get some milk out, and we're just gonna show you milk splashes. We're gonna show you how to kind of get different shapes or different, and show you how random it can be and how you can control it and not control it. Cause there's not a lot of milk splashes going on here. It's just more of a composed, full splash with food in it. So I'll kind of show you just, it's gonna get a little messy but we can handle it. It's fine. So if you wanna squeegee that off I'll get this reset. We've already got a bucket ready. I'm gonna add more liquid to it. Oh good. This is kind of nice actually. I'll use this another, maybe one more time. Yeah. Now this one is kind of, Is the lobster...

in there? There's one lobster here. Okay. I don't know if the other one is. Okay. I do want both of those in there. Where did it go? Maybe it's in the bucket. Do we have a, is there a lobster in that shot? Can you see a lobster in that shot? Anywhere? Is there one in there? No. (mumbles) Okay. We'll both of them in there then. Thank you. Mm hmm. We'll get rosemary, throw one lemon in here. And I want the lobsters to come out separate positions. And now we got more liquid (splashing) That's a lot of liquid but I like it. Tons of aggression on this. We got that and our good position. Dry my feet off. There you go Jack. You want to be very, it's easy to get caught up and forget stuff. We forgot the tub a few times. When we're on a set there's gonna be someone in charge of that who won't, you know, we'll have enough people to handle it. But, if you're doing this on your own, you have to have a lot of things going on in your head at the same time. So take your time. Don't rush this because it can actually be dangerous if you rush it. Especially if you're working with glass and you don't want to mess around with that. So take your time. Kind of make sure you have everything in place. Make sure the lights are going and then when you sort of, when you don't let the moment overwhelm you, you're more likely to get a good shot. When you're fingers like shaking or you know, you only get a chance, one chance to get the shot per setup. Which can take some time. So you don't want to miss this. You're freaking out. You just have to relax, take a deep breath, and just watch and wait for the moment to unfold, and go bang. That's it. So we'll try this again. A very direct shot but really super aggressive. I don't think it's safe for you to get too aggressive cause it just gets slippery. So just, we'll figure out the pot idea but I do want to get one that's just like you did only a little higher basically. Okay. I think I might be able to get the pot in. Sure. If you can, if you feel comfortable and you don't slip and fall cause that's not a good place to fall. No, I'm not gonna slip and fall. This spot is pretty dry. Okay. So All right. You ready? Yep. One, two, three (crashing) Yeah that's a good one. Nice work. Nice work Jack. This is a cool shot. This is another one that I can keep. The one thing I do like about the copper is that when I had it just standing right here there's a dead spot in the middle. Because it's all dark here. It's dark in front of the set. There's no V flat fill in it. But because it's tilted we have the highlight from the left strip light and the reflection of the copper coming into the pot. So it actually really works. It shows the shape and sculpture of the pot pretty well. So we kind of lucked out in that regards. We're gonna have to worry about a lot of fill. And he also didn't block his own light because he was shooting behind the strip light instead of in front of it. That's the thing about these two strip lights. It's so flexible. You don't have to worry a lot of times about light placement cause you're going to get some coverage as long as they're far enough avant. And having the reflective, I actually like it when it reflects into the bottom, into the copper. I don't know if we can accentuate that at all. It would involve shooting more down on the seam. But I like this a lot. We'll just keep doing this. I don't even think we need to shoot for pieces cause I feel like we're getting what we want. The only time I shoot for pieces is when I'm frustrated and can't get something in a position where it just has to be. But we can certainly mess around with that and just, usually at the end of a shoot, at the beginning I'll get the base plate of a clean set, but we've already bumped the set so we've already, although the camera and lighting hasn't moved which is even more important. We'll probably be fine. But at the end, every, every ingredient, the dry ingredients and the liquids all throw separately just to have those plates. They're not intertwined. So I'll throw a bunch of the mix just dry. And then I'll throw a bunch of liquids just dry too. That was gonna be my request was, if since it was, if you could show how you would do. Oh yeah. The individual pieces for people who that might happen to. Yeah. And so you see we haven't applied any sharpening or clarity or anything to this shot and you're already getting good definition around the edges. And you see how important it is to have things done in one shot because they're interacting with each other on so many levels. On lighting levels, color contrast levels, yeah, it's really interesting to show. And it has a muddy appearance but not after we produce it in post. It's gonna be much more of a more appetizing color I think. And it really is on here. So we're gonna keep an eye on that as we go. But I wouldn't like just water cause it wouldn't look like anything happened in the pot. It looks like just water. And if it's too dark it doesn't look appetizing cause then it gets really bizarre like it's coffee or you know. So there is a happy medium to be had there. But let's do a couple more shots. And then we'll go into, we'll get our plates that we want. I'm gonna use the fresh stuff cause obviously that's... Okay. This can go in the tub. And usually when we do a splash shot, this gets composted at the end of the day so obviously can't eat it. But it just can't be, we do compost a lot of the food. So anything that still looks fresh I'll grab cause we don't have an infinite amount of limes here. That looks really nice. I'll place the lobster in a different spot. Ooh this one looks good. Let's make this one count. We gotta get a bunch of oil on this one too. (plastic cup crashes on the ground) All right. Are you ready Jack? Yup. So you kind of tip toe around the set. You do not want to fall. I've fallen before. It's not fun. Cause you fall on a two by four or an expensive piece of gear. Okay. That one's looking good. Anything we're forgetting? That's in place. We've been hitting that right, with the liquids have been going into that tank properly, right? Mostly. Mostly. Okay. Yeah. Here we go. All right. And one, two, three (crashing) I don't think we got the lobster. No we did. It's just an awkward position. Well we didn't get the other lobster. Cause it's still in the pot. (laughter) See how awkward that lob, I hate that lobster. How dare it. How dare it move like that. I just have no control. Um, we just keep going. It's a little bit high but not too bad. But this, we can make this work because it's okay that it's high as long as we have stuff in post production that allows it to sort of swerve down and fill the frame. So that is why we do those additional frames. So we're gonna select, you know, since we're all actively going with these kind of shots I don't have Jack making notes on these shots. It's kind of obvious which ones work, which ones don't. If it's blank, maybe we not, you know we don't use that one. But we do have heroes that we keep in our mind. If I do have a second helper on set, Jack will be on digital teching. (mumbles) Yeah, he's usually on it. But it's not something and if you're at home and you were at the shoot, you really know when you were happy with a shot and you'll know to go back there. So marking on your own isn't as crucial. When we're in a commercial setting we have to know exactly and be able to quickly back and show the client on set which pieces we're gonna be using for the composite. Cause we're not doing full on compositing. He might do a quick mock up of the actual final image in Photoshop with all the layers, but we're not actually going and doing the finals. We have to show them and they have to trust us a little bit that it's actually going to come out. So that's why I try to get as much in one shot as possible. So that at least in their minds have an idea of what they're looking at and what they can expect. And then I'll say this is gonna be the base but then we're gonna do this and this in Photoshop and then we'll deliver the file. And then you can come back to us and say I want to move that, I want to do that. And that's when you start having to use the pen tool and start moving stuff and cheating your lighting a little bit. Okay let's do another shot. We just have one lobster in here. I'm just gonna grab from here, is that okay? Yep. Okay. Thank you. Mm hmm. Let's do, let's do more stuff. Let's do a fuller pot. Let's go crazy. I wanna go real crazy on this. Tons of liquid, tons of lobster. I cannot, I do not want to miss this one. It's to valued. So the other one's in the So we're short on the limes, okay. Here you go. Careful on this one. Yup. How's the slickness over there? Is it getting to be a little Slickness is fine. Okay. All right, so not, just a lower than you did last time. Right. Really direct, there's gonna be tons of stuff so you'll need even more force but really go after this one. Okay. Ready? Yup. One, two, three (crashing) I think I got it too high there. Yeah. Better though. It's okay if stuff leaves your frame. It's not the end of the world. Do you wanna grab some of the heavy cream out of the fridge Malina? I'm gonna grab, let's do the milk real quick. I'm gonna throw a bucket of this without any to cover our bases. So, this invariably happens. You'll get this sort of creeping mess that comes towards your camera which is like, slip territory. So in between I'm gonna, before we do the milk I'm gonna clean that up a little bit so we don't get too crazy. If you just wanna throw this in front of the camera very low. Yeah. Usually I'll just use by hand I'll just toss it so it spreads really well. In a stock pot, it tends to group everything together and you don't want that. You want things to be sporadic. So you can even pick them up by hand if you get a big handful. I think I can get it cause this bowl is so wide and shallow. Yeah, just do a push. Yeah. So, one, two, three (crashing) Yeah. That's good. That's really good. So we have a bunch of pieces that we can work with later. And that at least gives us some flexibility so I'm gonna get some of this liquid and I'm just gonna get a cup here. It actually doesn't matter what kind of receptacle in this instance cause I'm not looking for a shape. I'm just looking for something, like a trail of something. So if you're at home, using the 45 millimeter at home is better because you're gonna be so close. The 45 millimeter will be right here. Or even right up on your set sometimes. So it allows you to actually trigger it and splash that can go like this Jack, if you wanna, I'm gonna do it by hand. Okay. Sorry. Yup. I'm just out of your way. Like that. And if I'm not in the way, I'm in the way aren't I? No, okay. See, you can just do that by yourself. And you actually have a really good feel of when to trigger when you're doing it by yourself. So we have a couple splashes. I'm gonna do a few more splashes so we have it. What I want it to maybe is to get one on the table. So I'll go (splash) You know a few of those, maybe something less sporadic. (splash) That would be better. So something like that. Some trails, some pieces to work with cause I want everything to end up in the same frame

Class Description

The food in an image is quite another thing from food on a plate in front of you. Food photographers have the challenging task of recreating the many sensations that draw us to a good meal - its aroma, warmth, the anticipation of taste - using only one of the senses. To bring foods to life in pixels and on paper, Steve Hansen liberates them from the stationary plate. He captures them in motion, crashing and splashing into each other.

Join veteran photographer Steve Hansen for this course, and you’ll learn:

  • How to capture your food in action by using the right flashes and strobes.
  • Which lenses and settings to use to capture your food and liquids in vivid motion.
  • The basics of post-processing for images of frozen motion, and how to enhance the image you take in-camera.

It will be fun and messy - the audience will be wearing slickers to protect their clothes from flying food and liquid. In addition to learning about the technical requirements for capturing food in motion, you’ll learn how to sell your images to editors, websites and magazines. Develop the confidence to bring more advanced techniques into your food photography practice, and make your photos stand out in the crowd.



This course is so fun to watch! I love how hands-on this course is even while watching it 3000 miles away on the other side of the country. I love how Steve Hansen is like a mad scientist just throwing food everywhere just to capture the "right moment". It's great to watch a professional at work especially the behind-the-scenes that we normally won't ever know just by look at the final product. It's amazing how much work goes into this and actually gets me excited to try my hands on capturing food in motion as well - first need to find a place that allows me to get it messy :D I do prefer this type of course set up than the lecture-style some of the other courses are.

a Creativelive Student

This course will NOT disappoint! So much quality info that can really help a photographer move to the next level. To see the actual shoots with food flying everywhere and how to capture all of it and turn it into an incredibly stunning image is worth every penny of the price tag. To spend an afternoon with Steve on a one to one basis would cost more than most of us could afford but that is exactly what this class offers! We see into the mind of an incredible artist and his creative process. This class has been invaluable to my personal education as a photographer. There is so much here and I will continually come back to it again and again to learn and refine my techniques and images. You opened up a world of possibilities to me with this class! Thanks Steve!!!

a Creativelive Student

I attended this class in person and I found it to be wonderful. Steve is awesome at what he does and he is great at explaining what he is doing and why he is doing it. This course will lay out all the steps needed to help you create awesome splash and crash photography. I highly recommend it.