Student Shoot: Sandwich and Soup Handheld
Left it to Lee to pick out what she wanted to shoot. And she was eyeballin' this sandwich before that I think is probably what we're gonna work with. Are we still on the sandwich or are we going to move to the other thing we talked about?
Well, we can move to the other thing if we have enough.
Well we can do a different one, 'cause what we didn't know when we chose what we were gonna do is that they were gonna pick soup as well. And they picked the bowl we liked.
Yes (laughs) And the wine that we liked.
You know what, I don't think that we could, since we're gonna do this very differently, I think we're gonna start over, but we're gonna start right from there, so rather than worry about having to re-bowl something or whatever, why don't we start here, and I'm gonna let Lee pick out her surface and what she wants to do as far as setting. And then we'll work from here, so. I'm gonna be here for, she's under the most pressure of course, because I'm gonna basically just guide what'...
s going on. I'm not gonna make any decisions, I'm gonna let Lee make the choices, and then when we're shooting together, I'm gonna help her make a selection.
I'm gonna let you grab that.
No, this one.
This is why you hire strong assistants. Did you pick the marble?
That's the best.
I'm gonna help you, because between the two of us, we probably have more back injuries than the rest of the room combined.
This the side that goes up?
Yeah, let's orient it properly. No, no, no, oh, you wanna
I just want to get my finger out from under it.
Alright, we got all 10, 20? Good, alright, good. Okay, You're on.
So, while Lee's gettin' set up, do we have any more questions we wanna get to? (people in room talking at once) We're hand holding, yeah. We're hand holding, but we're gonna be at table level.
I'm still on auto.
Alright, that's okay.
So, Lee is the least experienced photographer in our particular group here, so she may speak to a good portion of the audience that doesn't have a lot of camera skills. So, the fact is, once she's got a set up going, I'm gonna walk her through the camera settings that we're gonna work with, and that's why we're working together today.
Actually, back to the last soup one, Is there a convention as to what side you put a spoon? Because I know when the spoon is on the left side, because I'm right handed. If you're doing, like, a place setting, and the spoon is to the left.
Is this the English boarding school thing going on or what? (laughing)
No, it's just that, given I'm right handed, it seems weird to me to have a spoon on the left.
You know, I've never, ever adhered to, like, food, like, table setting conventions. You know, when it comes to food photography. I really don't think that unless you are doing a story about table setting convention, or you know, etiquette, I wouldn't even think about it. It's not even somethin' that enters my thought process. It's about what it looks like, it's aesthetic.
[Woman Who Asked The Question] Right.
For sure, hundred percent aesthetics, So, did you pick garnish? Oh, you picked a mint leaf.
I have a suggestion. Let's try somethin', while you're working on other things. We're gonna throw it in here, and we're gonna take my seltzer, whoops.
We're gonna make a mess, and we're gonna let that soak until right before we're ready.
That's okay, we got it.
There's utensils, over here?
I think there are in that basket on the other side of the table. (utensils clinking)
Nah, they're all pretty shiny.
So, Lee, do you know the difference between a 50 millimeter and a 100 millimeter lens?
No, sir, I do not.
Okay, well the difference is, right now what's on here is a 100 millimeter lens. And what that means is that the length, here, is longer between the lenses, and it gets you closer to the subject.
That's a very tight, tight frame, so I'm gonna switch this back out to the 50 millimeter lens, and it's gonna give us a little more room to work with.
Thank you. So, what was it about this marble setting, surface that really turned you on? What did you like about it?
Well, I like that the soup is a little bit more refined, as far as a soup goes, it's not a stew, it's not chunky and big.
I like that there's some texture in the marble, and there's a little hint of being refined, without being too refined.
Mmhmm, great. I think, similar to the kinda idea of what we liked about the green box, and the Betina on that metal plate,
Was all these kinda slightly used, slightly kind of worn things, and it just kind of gives it some kind of a real feel to it.
I'm gonna make a little bit of an adjustment on this styling.
Since I am part of this group, I get to make a few decisions.
Yes, please do.
So, I'm gonna just fold this a little differently (knife slicing bread) to give it a little bit somethin' different. And I don't want to cover up as much of the surface.
You made a really good point to choose this surface, and I think the highlights and the little things that we have going on in here really look nice.
Would you normally wait 'till later to put the hero in, because I see it's wicking up the sides, and.
Yeah, you probably would, and
They can't hear me.
Oh, that's right. Well, what he said was that wouldn't we wait until the very end to put the hero in the bowl because it's startin' to wick up the sides, and maybe get a little bit oily. And the answer is, yes. I mean, the answer is, absolutely, we probably would wait 'till the very end. But, in this circumstance, we already have a fairly well-plated bowl of soup. It's not really giving us that much difficulty. And, we're gonna judge this on kind of an overall composition, so. But it's a good point. So, how ya feelin'?
Okay. The bread's a little white, a little pale. Would you do, like, either toast it
Where's my blow torch?
Or put some olive oil on it?
Yes, I think that your instinct is absolutely right, but the way to combat that, is instead of doing this, I would do this.
So, now we have a little bit of texture and something else. We can even tear even tear that even further. But, this is something you'd naturally wanna eat with that. And then we have some crumbs here, that I like. So, I'm gonna add a little bit of what I think might kinda give a little somethin' there. And now, I guess the last thing to do is garnish and take a test shot, right?
Alright, so I'm in charge of camera settings for this one. So, we're gonna, do you have a DSLR or do you work with a point and shoot camera, or what do you normally shoot with?
I have a Cannon.
Not quite like that.
Okay, well, you take the camera, and you know how to do shutter, and aperture, right? So, aperture is the wheel.
And shutter is the smaller wheel. I'm gonna take the meter reading, and I'm gonna call it out to you.
Like an assistant would. So, we're lookin' for, we like to be at least 125th of a second, which we have plenty of. So, and we're at around six point three for aperture. Do you want that much depth of field? Or do you want it to be shallower?
Okay, so we're gonna go shallower. So, we're gonna go to about 250 at four and a half.
Four and a half, there you are. So, why don't we get a test shot going' and we'll see how we feel. So, if this bowl were a little bit shallower, we could shoot at a really low angle. But, since we're not, we're still doing' a kind of table diner's perspective shot by hand. So, different than what, we're kinda specifically talking about one perspective to push in from a diner's perspective, and then we can start back further and move closer to the bowl as we like. (camera clicks)
I think we have the back.
Okay , so I have a suggestion. Why don't we do this? Since, it's around here somewhere, the blackboard. The blackboard, so I'm gonna hold the blackboard in place for you, rather then, 'cause you're shooting pretty low, that way we can still see what's going on. (camera clicks)
And, there it is. Alright, we're startin' to approach my particular style. Alright, so I would say, what about that is initially troubling you?
There's too much bowl in the front, right?
Right. So, I would say, raise your angle up a little bit. You could still pick up the black background. Where if I tilt this out this way, and that way, you could still get in that bowl. Okay, I think we definitely need to go a little lower still. And then, can I make an adjustment on that towel?
Between those things. Because I feel like we are a little unbalanced. Okay, and I would say, we were about here before?
I would say maybe just a slight adjustment rather than the bigger adjustment that you made. (camera clicks)
We're gettin' there. I like it better. I would push this up a little bit, and kind of incorporate that in, and maybe tighten up my spaces a little bit. So, you can get a little closer. So, the closer you put your props together, the closer you can get and still incorporate them in. So, if you have that, I can step back here and look. (camera clicks) I like that you did your garnish off center. I think sometimes the inclination is to put your garnish right in the middle. I don't necessarily like the hard line that we got goin' there.
So, can I take a shot and give you an example of what I might do with this? So, I might get down here and drown out some of that. Maybe pick up just a hint of this on the side. My bread is lost now, because I'm tight. So, I'll switch out this side for this, brush my crumbs up a little bit. Now, I just got a suggestion of the bread. (camera clicks) Take a little bit of a higher angle. (camera clicks) And let's see what we get.
So, what I did in the two shots that I took, and I hope the second one comes up. The second one, I think, is better than the first one. Here comes the second one. Okay, so you see, I kinda drowned out the horizon line behind it by using the props and other things to kinda block that out, where I could still pick that up. Now, the star is still the soup. We have the suggestion of a lot of different things in the shot.
So, I'm comfortable with the idea. But, what are you noticing about that garnish?
It's a little wilty, right? So, I think that we can probably do something else, and we can probably pick off a couple of leaves off the thing that looks the freshest here for me. Well, actually, I have a better idea. Let's try this. Because I admired these fennel fronds before. They seem to be a little hardier, right? They're a little bit hardier, and we can kinda pluck out somethin' really cool in here. And maybe just kinda gently perch it there. And why don't you give that a shot? And remember where I was. Get a little bit lower. Yep. (camera clicks)
I like that fennel frond a lot better.
Yeah, there's something really delicate about it.
Yeah, it's beautiful.
It's kinda elegant, yeah, and I think that sometimes with a soup that's that hardy and rich something, like, really delicate and gentle is gonna kinda compliment it. But that's really pretty.
Yeah, that's really beautiful.
And if you wanna get closer now, and focus in on that then you can kinda crop your elements in even further. So, I'm gonna tighten this up for you even more. Get in tight. Get from this part of the bowl out, and see what you get. And if we put that black back in, it might really look good. (camera clicks) Let's see where we're at. Yeah, I mean, the focus on that, maybe we wanna if we wanna do somethin' with that, I would just adjust it a little bit, and then come in like right here, and pull out that way. I think we have time for maybe one more shot. (camera clicks) Yeah, that's nice. I mean, I think we got a little dark
So, maybe take two clicks off your shutter speed. I think we can afford it.
Yeah, off. And then take one more shot, and I think we'll be good there. 'Cause I think we gotta wrap it up. (camera clicks) Let's see where we're at. I think you framed that really well.
I caught that back in the thing. And we're gonna get a shot in a second. Yeah, you see, I like that you kinda put it in the center of the frame. And you're really highlighting the beauty of that, kinda, the contrast between the thick and the heavy and the light and the airy. So, for sure, I think for a novice, you did a great job.
Thank you. Thank you for helping, and thank for what you did.
Mmhmm. (people clapping)
Andrew, our recipe taster in the lounge said it's really nice to see you tutoring. So, I think people were really enjoying that as well.
Great. Do we have any questions we want to finish with?
A question from Dehawn, I like how they start their question: Dear Andrew...
Dear Andrew, when you're shooting, does the framing matter when it comes to the plate. Like, is there a definite answer for vertical or horizontal shots depending on the plate or bowl? I find a horizontal shot really difficult for a bowl, like what you're using now.
I think you're right, and I said this yesterday when we were talking about shooting, was that I had to relearn how to shoot in the horizontal frame. Because when I first started in food photography the predominate way to shoot was vertically because most magazines are page turning this way. Everything was facing this way, same way with cookbooks. But with the web, we have moved to more of a horizontal frame, and I had to kinda find a way to shoot those things. And what I told Jim earlier about the oval bowl, and setting them up in a diagonal way, that is a way to kinda work that frame. So, you probably wanna set up for a particular frame. Meaning, we set these up for horizontal shots. And if we wanted to shoot vertically, we'd have to either change our angle or change our styling, so change the set up, so the props. So, you need to be pretty well thought out about the difference between your horizontal and vertical frames, with the exception, is with you're really far away. So, if you're really in a high overhead, or you're really pulled back where you can crop into that on any angle, but for the most part you really need to plan it out ahead of time.
Perfect, we have a couple of questions, Andrew, regarding color.
A couple of things: one is, how often do you match color as far as your linens? Do you go complimentary colors? Do you do, just, different colors? And then there's also a question about are there any colors in food photography that are taboo? That came from Fashion T.V.
That's a good one.
Blue is really hard.
Because, the reality is, that there's not that many blue foods. So, blue plates, and you know, with the exception of blueberries, which are essentially black, when you talk about how they read in the camera. But, actual true blues are really hard, and they're hard in nature 'cause they're not part of the food, kinda, palette. So, I think that when you start to integrate blue into your set, whether it be through propping or plating, you have to be very careful that you have complimentary colors that work together. Again, we talked about yesterday, about the whole idea of dressing the way you would dress yourself. So, if you put things together that match or compliment one another. It's the same thing with building a plate. 'Cause if you look at something, and the colors are clashing, it may look uncomfortable. It may aesthetically not be comfortable, yeah.