Penny De Los Santos
Penny De Los Santos
17. Image Critique
Introduction: Point of Departure50:20 2
Audience Q & A47:53 3
Interview: James Oseland, Editor of Saveur Magazine41:59 4
Principles of Food Photography43:31 5
Critique with Larry Nighswander of Saveur Magazine58:16 6
Business of Food Photography49:32 7
HOMEWORK: Day 1 Assignment06:34
Shoot 1: Citrus Still Life1:09:57 9
Shoot 2: Grilled Lamb Kebobs with Citrus Salad55:59 10
Shoot 3: Bacon and Grits48:12 11
Shoot 4: Mussels and Frites54:57 12
Shoot 5: Asian Noodle Soup35:14 13
Students Shoot34:50 14
Beyond the Plate: Culture, People and Place58:40 15
Shoot: Oyster Roast45:21 16
Shoot: Food Truck (Skillet)33:37 17
Image Critique39:38 18
Shoot: Farm Table Dinner57:17 19
Hi. I just wanna backtrack to the portfolio, the custom portfolio. I didn't donate that (laughs). The printer that I used for six or seven years, I called him and said, would you be willing give this and he was like, totally. So that's from Agave Print in Austin, Texas. Amazing printer, so. All the gifts are awesome, all the prizes. I need to tell you what we're going to do for the rest of the day. So right now, we're gonna go through the Flickr pool from the first assignment and I've reassigned a second time on Friday. We're gonna look at those real quick, and then we're gonna do our third kind of big shoot today which is the farm table dinner and that is 100% you guys. So you're shoot and then we're gonna critique and then if we have time, we're gonna do a second group and then you'll critique. So it'll just be two photographers each time. And I have assignments for you in that shoot, so I have words for you to photograph, basically. No pressure. (students laughing) I don't feel an...
y of that. And then after that, after that, we're gonna come back here. A lot has happened, I think, emotionally. I know it has for me and I think I'm getting that sense from everybody. So I think we need to do a big collective exhale and just, maybe talk about that for a minute and talk about what this meant for everybody. For everybody. And then I'm gonna close out with what it's meant for me and kinda send you guys off with one final assignment. So, let's get into the image critique, okay? Oh, and also I just wanted to backtrack too from the skillet photoshoot earlier. The chatroom host was telling me that a couple people were responding to my ISO and my shutter speed and my f-stop changing so fast and what was I shooting on, and I'm shooting on manual. I'm just metering and changing my ISO quickly. So hopefully, it's kind of a second language for me and I just respond. I'm constantly metering and moving, metering and moving. Okay? All right, so, let's see if I remember how to do this. So this is from the first assignment which I reassigned for Friday and it's looking and thinking about food culture in your own life and looking for a food moment, basically. And I feel like the pictures we got in, they've stepped it up, big time. This already looks to me, like super appetizing. It's not, it's about food, but I don't think it necessarily incorporates the general assignment, which was food and culture in your life. Really thinking about marrying those two ideas and what that picture looks like for you. But I do think this is a really nice appetizing photograph. The frame is a little unclean for me. I always watch my edges, so I'd like to see the end of that piece of bread on the bottom. I'm not gonna respond to every photograph. I'm looking for certain things. Poached egg and toast. This is a really nice photograph. I think it's well executed, nice exposure. I think they did a good job. I'm curious if they worked it, how much they worked it. I would've played with the toast on the right a little bit but I think this is great. I think they did a good job. Not quite the assignment. The assignment's not fulfilled for me. I feel like no one is really incorporating people or place around food. You guys getting that too, right? Yeah. Okay. That's really nice light. I don't think it necessarily celebrates the food enough for me. We have a lot of pictures, so I'm really, I'm looking for certain pictures that I really want to speak to. Okay, I'm gonna talk about this one 'cause it's first one we see where we start to look at environment. So, I think it's the wrong lens. It's the wrong, whatever focal length they're at, it's not the right one. I think they're too wide. They're close enough, but I think they maybe should get it horizontally. And I love the action of the skillet and I think you could crop out everything else. If it's okay if I can get up here. I think they can crop out everything else and have a better picture already, and then I think there's a secondary picture right there, if you can stop the motion. That's a nice food beauty. Really clean, graphic, nice color. So again, it's those words that we've talked about. That's very nice. Clean, graphic, colored. The edges look really clean. That's beautiful. I mean, okay. I'm gonna respond to it because we finally have a human element in this photograph, which is what I really wanted, but it's not the right moment and I don't know if, grabbing photos, you have to be really careful 'cause they can be awkward and feel really forced and this feels really focused to me. It's totally staged, so just be aware of that when you're making those pictures. This is great. I like the movement and the motion. I can't really identify the food right away. Now I know it's a salad but it took a while for it to register, so just think about that, but I love that they've cut into it and they've gone into it and they're kind of exploring it. But it does kinda fall apart. The food falls apart after you do that, so you have to be aware if it lends itself to that or not, you know? That's a fantastic photograph. (laughing) Okay, I'm looking at this one right here and so, for me, I think you're at the wrong place. You need to be in front of those people, whatever they're doing. I'm not sure there's a moment there, but that's the positioning you want in this photograph. Not behind the action, you wanna be in front of it. So you'd be on the side of the cellar. I would, yeah, I'd be on the other side of that table, for sure. Okay. (laughing) Again, on this one, you're in the wrong place. This is essentially a photograph of someone from the backside. And that doesn't tell me anything about what's happening there. So get in front of the action, think about one subject. Yeah, and why is that picture important? Why are you making that picture? What does it mean? What are you trying to tell me? That's a really, nice color, graphic image. Breakfast. I think it's fine. It's not the assignment I gave you guys, but. That's beautiful. It's not the assignment, so. I mean, it's a nice image, but it's not. That's kinda cool. I wish she wasn't looking at the camera and acknowledging me. If she was, that would just make the picture way better if she didn't look at the camera, but I like that it's the environment. You see all the brillo, the bread right there. I don't know, how many people know what that is? You know, it's different. It's not, the picture's not there yet, but there's potential. The environment's interesting. Okay, cool, wow. I was like, for a second, I thought I'd been there. (laughing) But I haven't been there. This is interesting. I think it's starting to get there. I think it, kinda looks like they walked up and this was the first picture they made. Me, my instincts, initially, I wanna go behind where that woman with the red hair is and shoot this way and just kinda see if there's moments or interactions between people as they're eating. So changing my environment, my location, sorry. 'Cause this, I think this establishes where they're at, but there's gotta be something that holds that picture together that makes it interesting and gives it energy and it's not there. They haven't found that yet. It's hard for backs to tell a story. It seems that that's a consistent theme. Totally. And I think it's easy to photograph people from the back and that doesn't do anything. You need to get in front of the action. This is cool. The exposure's not right completely. Wow, that's in Oaxaca? That's cool. You know what, initially, I'm looking at that a little longer, so you know there's potential there. You guys are all looking at it a little longer. We're all trying to figure out what it is but the light's interesting. So the environment is interesting. The exposure's not right. This guy in the front, I wish he was looking this way. You know, I want a point of entry into the photography, but there's potential here and this starts to talk about place, around food. So that person gets an A plus. (laughs) That's adorable. I don't know. Thanks for sending it in a picture. I appreciate this, but, so this is, feels, it's an easy photograph. I don't feel like they pushed it or moved beyond the obvious. It's kind of a point picture, basically. You walked up, you saw something interesting, and you made a picture. But I wanna be in the action. If you're gonna show me this picture, there has to be a reason or something happening or something interesting or something visual that makes me react to it as a viewer and that's not happening here. This is a point picture. This is like a driveby, make a picture, and leave. So, you have to be a little more active in your shooting, for sure. Well, this is sort of about environment but not entirely. It feels a little more advertorial, so to speak. Like an editorial advertisement. But I'm actually more interested in the people sitting in the back. That, for me, is where I wanna be. So not quite there. So, let's see. How would I have shopped this differently. I think there's potential. I think the gesture in her hand movement is awkward. I don't think her expression is quite right. I would have worked the situation a little bit more and I think maybe something where she's more offering it to you rather than handing it to you. Her hand and her motion and the vegetables, it's not enticing. There's nothing in there that's drawing me in. I do like her face. And I think the color's really nice. It's just not the right moment. Again, it's not the right moment at all. I think that there are two different pictures here. There's the top half and the bottom half. The bottom half's a great picture. I actually thought it was two photographs. The top half, it could be a picture, but that's not the right moment at all. So, maybe an instance of trying to put too much in the frame and trying to do too much with the photograph. Keeping it more simple is probably best here. That's kinda nice. I mean, it's clean, it's an immediate read. It feels a little, it's a doing photograph, you know? So it's very literal, which are fine, but I think you need to shoot beyond that. Your pictures need to stand out more, so how do you do that? You look for better light, you look for a better moment. It's a fine photograph. It just doesn't hold me enough. Doesn't, I don't, I'm not reacting to it, you know? Again, I think it's great that they're trying to get into the situation, but it's not the right moment. It's like the moment hasn't happened. It's passed. The exposure's not right. The background's really distracting. That white. This is a point picture. It's just like hey, I'm gonna make this guy's picture. He's cool. You gotta work it a little bit more. This starts to get a little more interesting, but again, he's looking at the camera. I'd rather this person not be acknowledging the photographer and just doing what they're doing, because then, I think you can start to get an idea of who he really is. This feels like a vacation photograph to me. This is kind of a nice moment. The background, for me, this faucet is super distracting. It doesn't add any information. It's confusing and it's not, it doesn't help the picture, it hurts it. So always be aware of your background because this is a really nice moment. So if you take away that, which you can't, but that ruined your picture. So you either gotta recompose, put yourself in another position, or figure out how to get that out of your frame and try to make that same picture or something close to it. I don't know where the point of entry in this photograph is at all. I don't see a center point at all. It's a quick photograph. Nothing in it is holding my eye. In fact, my eye goes immediately to the back where the white is. And I know people are eating, but they're not in focus, so that doesn't work at all. Penny? Yeah. When you say point of entry, you mean where your eye lands-- Exactly. When you first look at the photo. Right. So when I look at the photograph, where does my eye go and how does it travel? So this is definitely an iPhone photo. A reflection shot. And I love shooting with that camera. And I think that this is fine. I, you know, I, is it elevated? I don't know. It's not a, it doesn't blow me away. Why doesn't it blow me away? I think the background where the neon starts to come in is a little distracting, and I don't think, to be honest, the subject is that interesting. I don't think it's, there's not enough of an interest there for me. It's a stagnant subject. It's a food photograph. It's a literal food photograph, so elevate it. Is someone in that window working? Maybe that's a picture. Is there a hand reaching in, I don't know, but it's just not interesting enough. Penny, can I ask a quick question? Please. OpticCard in the chat room would like to know, how do you get people not to look at you? You tell them to ignore you. When I walked out there to photograph the oysters, the first thing I did was I said ignore me. Do whatever you're gonna do and completely ignore me. That's, I say that every time. What if they don't speak English? Sorry, I'm just-- That's fine. If you find somebody that can speak the language for you? I deal with that a lot where people are like, they do the thing and they look at thing and then they do the thing and they look at you, and then I'm like, oh, but you're done. You just took one picture. And I'm like no, I'm gonna be here for a few hours. So, you just kinda have to keep repeating yourself and then you just, you start to, they start to forget about you eventually. There's not enough in here at all for me to stay with this photograph. I think they're trying to create mood but it doesn't quite do it for me. It's an almost, but it's not there. This left-hand side is super distracting. That's where my eye goes and then if you crop that out or reframe it, it really doesn't become interesting at all. So, there's gotta be something in there that gives me some kind of, that makes me want to stay in the photograph. Something. I also just wonder why aren't there any people there. I mean, maybe they waited, but I have a feeling they made this picture 'cause they like the light or they like the red and they were playing off the wooden tables. I mean, I would have thought about that and I would've thought, how can I elevate that? How can I make that picture more interesting? Maybe I would have waited for someone, or maybe I would have waited for someone to sit down and then get up and get some motion. I don't know, but I would have waited. That's not quite the picture. I'm just, I wanna find picture where we can talk about people. Okay, here's the interesting subject of food and people and eating. I don't think this is very flattering at all. This is a quick photograph. Like, I'm just gonna photograph this person and get this shot, and you gotta be better than that. You wanna transport people to a place. You wanna make them feel something. Food going into someone's mouth doesn't exactly do that. I mean sure, there are moments that it could happen. I'm not saying it can't happen, I'm just saying, be aware that that's a hard photograph. Go for it, try to make it. I wish you the best, but you gotta be better than that. You've gotta have a lot of elements in there to make that photograph great. This is kinda interesting. I like that artichokes are on this kind of older vehicle. It's not the right moment. I love this guy in the background. So they're building a photograph. I don't know that they realize it, but if that foreground would've been different, if the guy would've been turned and maybe looking back towards his veggies, I don't know. I don't wanna sit here and try to guess how they could have done this better, but I guess he's filming, I don't know what's going on, but it's not the right moment at all. There has to be something special in the frame that makes you take the picture and makes you stay with the picture. There has to be an energy. Where's the energy in this? Penny, it seems like, what I keep hearing over and over again is this like, people are taking their photographs way too fast. They just need to stop and look, and I'm talking about myself too, but watching you yesterday, I was struck by how long you would look through the lens before you would actually click, and it seems like most of us are just like, ooh, that's cool, snap, ooh, that's cool, snap, instead of all this thought going into it before you click. Yeah, absolutely, so yeah, I'm staying with the subject a lot longer. Like that other one with the wagon, that would've been my first picture. Not my first picture, but that probably where I would have started and then I would've just waited. Maybe, I don't know if that would've been a great picture, but you're always trying to listen to your instincts, you know, and thinking about what you're reacting to. Like, I spend a lot of time thinking about why I'm pausing, so it's the subtleties every time. So if I'm walking through anywhere and I'm shooting and I notice something, and I just kinda notice it but I don't stop, I'm trying to really stop, instead of keeping on and walking, because I think there are, the photographers that I love are these nuanced photographers. There's these subleties in the photographs that are just beautiful. And that's, like, that's so revealing to me. And that's when it really starts to become more of a personal style and I don't know, you're really starting to draw people in and help them see the world completely differently. You know? I really wanna try to talk to pictures that are not quite there, but have a potential. So I'm not gonna look at everything. I think farmers' markets in the US are really hard. They're some of the hardest assignments you can get. They really are. Why is that? I just think you're always gonna have a white tent. Not always, but a lot, and that's hard to photograph. It's super distracting. Your eye's gonna go there in a photograph. They're usually pretty clean, pretty well-kept and organized, whereas if you go to another country, it's gonna be a completely different situation. You're gonna get the grit and a lot of pumping and grinding. Not that you're not gonna get that here, but it translates differently. So, this isn't quite there for me. I would, in this case, I think you're not in the right position at all. This is a point picture. I', not sure what he's doing. I don't know what's happening. I should look at this picture and read it right away and I don't get it. There's no moment here for me. I should see a moment or something. Something's gotta hold my eye and make me stay there. This is kinda nice. Oh, and it's here. This is in Seattle. Okay, so the light's interesting and the color, and the way that light kinda silhouettes her profile. That's really nice. That's a nice moment. You see that? I mean, there's a huge difference between pictures that are more contemplated and then the ones that are just quickly done. So, I think the overall idea here is to just really pause and take your time. It's really about just quality. You know. Do you wanna throw me an internet question? Oh, absolutely. So wait, before you go there, let me just talk about this. So what's cool about this is I react because it's not a uniform, but it is her uniform. It's different than our country. It's a completely different culture, so I'm reacting. That means there's a picture there. Is this the picture? No. But there is a picture there. Is everybody else wearing that there? You know, is that? You know, I would have hung there and just waited for something else to happen and just researched it a little more. Put my time in and just checked it out. Okay, Penny, I have a question. Please. We talked about this before, but I probably can't talk about it enough 'cause it's really, really hard for me. I'm not in a position to work for a magazine. I'm gonna self-assign everything I do. I'm visiting a foreign country and I wanna go and make pictures. I wanna go into a bakery and I wanna sit. How weird is that? I mean, will you just sit there, smile at people and wave? You're saying you just wanna go into a bakery and sit and photograph? Yeah, let's just say, I'm, you know, I'm somewhere and I find this subject intensely interesting and I wanna, you know, hear Penny in my head and I wanna make beautiful pictures and I wanna sit there, you know? But I'm in another country and I don't speak the language. Or let's say I'm in this country. Okay, let's talk about this. You wanna go and make photographs but you wanna sit there. You can't sit there. Well, I mean, you're gonna hang. By sit there, I mean you're gonna hang out. You're gonna watch, you're gonna look. You're gonna maybe frame something in your mind, in your camera, and you're gonna wait and see-- What time are you gonna go to this bakery? Okay. What time a day. You're gonna go in the morning. What time? That's a good question. What time do they open? It's a bakery, so what time do they open? Pretty early, huh? Yeah. And the sun comes up pretty early so you wanna be there before the sun comes up, right? Sure. Because there might be a picture there when the sun's coming up and maybe it's streaming through the windows. It might not, it might be a cinder block bakery and nothing is there, but you still wanna go there early. Why? Because you're building rapport with them. So you may not get a picture. You may start at 5:00 a.m. and not get a picture until 10:00 a.m. But you're gonna get a picture because they're gonna get comfortable with you. You're gonna get comfortable with you. You're gonna get comfortable with your environment. They're gonna get comfortable with you being in their environment. And you're gonna make pictures, a lot of them, before you find one that works. Or you may start your day with a great picture, but I think the question is, I'm gonna self-assign going to a bakery. That's my assignment. So you're gonna do your research and you're gonna find out when the bakery opens and you're gonna go early and you're not gonna, you're gonna slice out half of the day for yourself to just be at the bakery, if not the whole day. 'Cause you're gonna be completely exhausted by the end of it. That's the assignment. And you're not gonna sit there. You're gonna hang out and you're gonna, like you said, hang out, and you're gonna, you're just gonna make your pictures. Quietly make your pictures and you're gonna eat a big breakfast before you walk in there. 'Cause you will be starving. (laughing) Okay, I'm sorry, if you've got one, I'll take it. That was a great question. That was a great answer. (laughing) Yes, canageek wants to know if he could get some advice on how you talk people into getting behind the counter or into the kitchen or into situations that are gonna enable you to take a great photograph. I ask permission and they either say yes or no. And sometimes, they say no, and sometimes I push a little bit. Come on, you know, I'm with this magazine or I'm not, I'm self-assigned but I don't throw our my credentials. No, I need to call the owner. Let me call the owner. The owner's not here, they're out of town. Let me call, oh, they won't be back 'til 1:00 p.m. You have to come back. Obviously, they don't care or I didn't do my homework and I should've called a week ago and set it up with the owner, but if they say no, they say no. But all I need, you just need one yes. That's how I handle it, you know. Can we get a followup on that, a little bit? MorningGlory had asked, "How do you handle personal space issues, "and if you're very close "to chefs who are constantly moving, "how do they deal with that?" You know, 'cause MorningGlory says when they cook, they can't have someone at their elbow. You just, you talk with the chef or the cook that you're working with. You ask them, first of all, if it's okay that you can be in the kitchen and then you negotiate what you can. If they want you there, and they want photographs, they'll work with you. I always start an assignment with that, with saying, I don't wanna be in your way but I wanna get the action of what you're doing, so if it's cool, I wanna be back here, but don't change anything that you're doing. Don't worry about anything. If I get in the way and I get hit in the head, then I get hit in the head. But you know, I wanna be back here. Okay, so this is cool. It's not quite the right moment. I wish that woman's face on the right-hand side was there but I love kind of the framing of this. It starts becoming a little more interesting. It's introducing the idea of a different culture and you know, it's kinda interesting. It's not the right moment, you guys now that. The composition's not right. It's the subject, is what's interesting to me. So you just have to dig a little deeper on this. Do you guys see that? Would you have gone vertical in that moment? No. I love seeing all this bread. I want it to fill the frame. It's definitely a horizontal. I have a feeling that the ceiling's just bare bulbs, it's not gonna be, it might be, but I see this as a horizontal photograph. That's kinda nice. It's a sweet moment. That's a nice moment. This is a little distracting to me, but I think it's actually a really nice moment. It's Di Fara's Pizza. It is, I was just gonna say that's Di Fara's. That's in my neighborhood. That's awesome. It's a great neighborhood. Nice shot. It's where we went for Valentine's Day. Oh, that's funny. That's kinda interesting. You know, I think that's really nice. The background's a little off for me. I would love that to be just cropped a little differently, but I think that's a great moment. It's very telling of our culture and our subculture, right? Definitely something that anyone sitting here can identify with. Not quite for me. The exposure's off. It's way too bright. It's the wrong time of day. I don't, none of this is contributing to the information I need. They need to be way closer to the subject. They're like five feet away and you'll look at the pictures that don't work are always way too far away from their subject. You can tell that immediately. So just get close to your subject. This is a point picture and it's, what are you trying to tell me? It's not there, and it, yeah, it's just not the right moment at all. I think this is interesting but it's not the right moment. It's, I get it's a process shot. Someone's doing something and you may take a picture. I think you gotta work the situation a little bit more and sometimes, it's not a photograph, you know, and you gotta know the difference. Gotta be able to acknowledge when it's not a picture. Do you ever start shooting something and find that? Yeah, absolutely. This is kinda nice. They definitely cleaned up the background and separated him nicely. I don't like that the angle's tilted. It's not great but it's a clean shot. It's not an engaging moment for me. That's very sloppy with the feet in the background. You can't, you've got to think about your edges. It's cliche. I think negative space is great but you gotta do it when it's right. This just doesn't engage me at all. That white is super distracting and the center point is, I know the food is art, but it just doesn't, I don't get any sense of my, nothing for me really kind of goes off. You know? It's not an instant, that's it for me. I think it's great that you're trying those things and incorporating those ideas using negative space but it doesn't work for me. Penny. Yeah. Do you think maybe that work would've been a little better if that negative space had been white also? No, I don't think that subject, to be honest, that particular plate of food was that interesting. That's the reality for me. I don't feel like it was there. The content wasn't there. Just didn't hold my eye enough. You know what kills this photograph is the white cabinets in the back. Kills it. 'Cause this is kinda interesting, isn't it? But that just, my eye went there right away and it's just too close, and just think about your content. Why is this picture important? What is it about this picture? Why are you making this? Does it have color, does it have light? Where's the moment? Just think about those things. It's a point picture. This is a point picture. So, barbecue. This photograph doesn't work at all because of your background and your perspective is totally wrong. So change your perspective. Try to look at this from a completely different angle. Think about your background. And I don't know, this photograph doesn't work at all. It's really sloppy. And there's no point of interest and there's nothing interesting. I wanna know what's interesting about this picture. There has to be a component in it that we've talked about all weekend that makes this look interesting. What are those creative devices, you know? Something that elevates a photograph, creative device. Light, color, composition, movement. Any one of those things. You have to have that in a photograph. That's gonna elevate it and make it better. This starts to get a little more interesting. I wish that he would've come under that light a little bit more just to light his face up slightly. It's a doing photograph, which is not one of my favorite things, unless you've got great light or composition. So it's okay, but I like that, you know, they're seeing the potential in the scene. Okay (laughs). That's the, I know what that is. That's the wrong time of day to make the picture of this truck, trailer. It's high noon. You see shadows, they're straight down. It's high noon, that's the worst time. Go in the late afternoon when the light is nicer. Your shadows are longer, more dramatic. That's when you make that picture. Same thing. Wrong, feels like the wrong lens to me. The composition's off. They cropped his head off and what he's doing needs to be easily read and it looks like a big, black mass that he's cutting. I don't get a feel for it at all. This is really bad light. Just really bad available light. It's a doing photograph. There's no emotion. I'm always really aware of people doing something and I struggled with it in the taco truck or in the skillet truck, if you remember. 'Cause he was over the grill and I was like, I'm trying to make this picture because he's doing something and I like how contemplative he was. The light wasn't great, but I was still trying to make a picture and he was doing something, but there were moments where maybe it was gonna happen and maybe it wasn't but I'm always conscientious of those doing pictures because they usually don't do anything for the viewer. You have to elevate it somehow. You have to incorporate one of those creative devices. Color, composition, light, moment, something. So, if you're gonna do this picture, you gotta incorporate something else in it. It needs a breath of fresh air, somehow, visually. Penny? Yo. On that note, on that note, do you have something that's just the bottom of the barrel like, you need to get something in there to create emotion or do something that you go to that you could advise on? How do you mean? I mean, something's not working or you're not getting the emotion or you're not getting the energy. Do you have a signature Penny thing that you might do to make something happen? No. No, I just wait. I just wait. If it's not happening, it's not happening. And I'll just wait for it to happen and if it doesn't happen, then I'll move on. I don't try to, you know, I don't wanna pose a picture. I think it's okay and move a plate so that you can photograph it or move hands so that you can adjust, but, you know, I don't want him to change his body language and do something else that's completely out of context than what he's doing, if that makes sense. This is actually great we're doing this now 'cause you guys are gonna shoot and I think all these things (laughs). Actually, that's not improve the situation. You know what, let's take a couple questions. I think we're good. Claire Varie, she's one of our regulars as well. She wants to know what makes a food shot cliche, in your opinion. See if I can articulate this. What makes a food shot cliche? If you've seen it before. If you've seen it a lot. If it doesn't have any surprises. I mean, that's why I think going to a farmer's market in the US is cliche, 'cause there's a lot of cliches there. You know, the little kid with a peach or whatever. It's an expected photograph. That's cliche. But isn't the bowl of strawberries from directly above, isn't that-- It is. So if you had a bowl of strawberries and you wanted it to not be a cliche shot, you would just, it's all about the angle or the lighting or-- Well, I would, am I photographing that bowl of strawberries 'cause it's a recipe about strawberries? Am I photographing that bowl of strawberries 'cause I'm doing a story on these organic strawberries? Why am I photographing that bowl of strawberries? Is it really beautiful? Are the stems really long? Are they, do they have a lot of texture in there in this crusty bowl and the light's really amazing? That's why I'm photographing those strawberries. Does that make sense? Natalia would like to know if there are times when either technically or when you might break your own rules? Absolutely, all the time. I think I started out with that, you know, I think you always break rules in photography, but you gotta know when to break those rules. And you're always trying to, you pull out all the stops and you try everything. This is just how I approach it. This is not like, I don't have all the answers. I just know what I do. That's all I know. It might not be the right thing for you. You gotta know that, okay? These are my guidelines. This is how I have steered and made the photographs that I make. It's not gonna be the same way for you. Maybe these'll be ways or pointers for you to think about to make those pictures, you know? I don't have all the answers and I'm not, I don't get lost in the technical because I feel like I know the technical. I know my tools. For me, it's about the scene. I get lost in the scene. I want that to grow. That's the part I'm concerned with. Is the scene. That's the hardest part to learn, really.
Ratings and Reviews
Penny is the best with Food photography and at telling a story with pictures. This was the very first class I ever saw on Creative Live and Penny was amazing! Her class is so informative to all the aspects of food photography, from styling, to plating to shooting and lighting. and how to tell a story. What she taught me will never go out of style and will inspire you too. Thank you Penny for this outstanding class!
a Creativelive Student
Totally love this course!! What a find especially for the price - such a wealth of information and what a great positive spirit!! Thanks Penny for sharing - keep up the excellent work!
Love, Love, Love Penny. What great energy. I will never look at food the same way. Her story and her vision really touched me. She was so generous in sharing her knowledge in such simple terms. One of my favorite classes!