Food

Food photography is a specialized commercial photography aimed at capturing images of foods for several advertising purposes in menus, cookbooks or packaging. This can be regarded as one of the easiest form of photographic genre where several amateur photographers are interested. Highly commercial and time aesthetic comes synonymous to food photography. However, it needs some skills of presenting the varieties of products in an appealing way. Colorful stacks of drizzled vegetables or fruits with a glistening table setting- get the perfect focus; people love everything that is displayed amazingly clean and excellent.

Providing a Voice to the Voiceless | Photographing the Youth of Ethiopia by Clay Cook

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Featured, Food, Photography Tips, portrait

Providing a Voice to the Voiceless | Photographing the Youth of Ethiopia by Clay Cook

They swarmed around me like little honeybees. After all, I was a specimen unlike anything they had seen before, and I held a camera in my hands. Most had never had their picture taken or seen a photograph of themselves. None had seen an Asian woman with long, straight hair who spoke English. They studied me inquisitively, stroked my hair and begged me to take their “pitcher, pitcher;” these knee high elementary school students who spent their entire recess either playing with the one ball the school shared, circled the team of educators, and me, who had come to visit from America. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is a juxtaposition of the old and the new. New buildings tower over ramshackle huts, VW vans bump along the roads next to donkeys and goat herders. There are people everywhere, most of them youth, many of them with haunting, hopeless eyes. Ethiopia is a land of beauty and of brokenness, but the Ethiopian people are among the most gracious and respectful that I’d ever come across. Over 40% of the population in Ethiopia are children under the age of 14 and the median age of the entire country is18 years old. Devastated by famine and war, Ethiopia is a country full of children who are homeless, orphans in extreme poverty, who lack mentorship, leadership, and parental guidance in their lives. [REWIND: EMBRACING PROGRESS – THE CHANGING WORLD OF ETHIOPIA AS PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL TSEGAYE] When I found out Clay Cook was going to Addis Ababa to document the plight of these youth, I knew that the country and its people would impact him as it had impacted me. There would be few that would leave without a new perspective on life after visiting. For this project, Clay worked with an organization called Youth Impact to raise awareness for the work that they are doing in Ethiopia’s capital. Youth Impact’s mission is to get the children off the streets and provide not only desperately needed food and shelter, but education and mentorship as well. Clay wanted to tell the stories not only of the children in need but the larger story of the adults that had been impacted by the program. This called for a blend of photography techniques, “I wanted to bring the aesthetic of my portrait work blended with a journalistic mood,” Clay writes on his blog. To fulfill the vision he had for the project, Clay had a small custom backdrop made, though he had no actual means of rigging it due to gear limitations because of the country’s regulations. Dawet Daneyl, Runaway, joined Youth Impact from the streets of Addis Ababa, he left his home in Ghana to find work in Addis Ababa. Amanual Haile, Orphan, joined Youth Impact at the age of 12, he has since graduated College. The portrait series was simply lit with Profoto B2 Location Kit...

Read More »

7 Tips to Help You Take Better Photos of Markets

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Featured, Food, Photography Tips, portrait

7 Tips to Help You Take Better Photos of Markets

Markets are one of my favourite places to photograph, whether I am at home or abroad. The opportunities for photos are endless, and they’re a great place for capturing the hustle and bustle of a city. This is often where you’ll see a real glimpse of everyday life, away from the tourist hot spots. But low light conditions, not mention the amount of shoppers and visitors, can make markets challenging places to photograph. Here are 7 tips to help you capture better photos of markets. 1. Look for Moments One of the great things about photographing markets is the opportunity to capture fleeting moments, like for example, the interaction between a vendor and customer or the vendor making something. These moments that are often missed by the naked eye are unique, so capturing them in a photograph gives the viewer a real glimpse into everyday life. The key is to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to present itself. If the vendor isn’t busy, start by talking to them, ask them questions, and at the end ask if it is okay to take some photos. Not only will you have their blessing, but it will mean you can take your time. Be aware of not getting in the way of their customers, or interrupting them if they are making a sale. After all, this is their job. Be patient and wait for the right instant to capture those fleeting moments. 2. Raise your ISO setting Often your biggest challenge when photographing markets is the low light conditions, as most markets are usually covered (indoors). To ensure that your photos are sharp and avoid camera shake, you need to make sure you have a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action, while hand-holding the camera. Often this can only happen if you raise your ISO setting. Your aim should always be to only raise your ISO to the minimum you need, to allow you to capture the photo at the shutter speed you require. Remember that the higher your ISO, the more noise you will get in your photos. 3. Focus correctly With everything that is happening in the scene, you need to ensure that you focus correctly to avoid your image looking cluttered and busy, and blurred. If you are taking a photo of a market stall, make sure it is focused on that, and not the surroundings or the foreground. Or if you are photographing something close-up, use a wide aperture to blur some of the background, to make the main point of interest stand out. Take your time and make sure that you have focused correctly to ensure the right part of the photo is sharp. 4. Look for patterns and colours Markets are usually filled with vibrant food, produce, and products that look stunning in photographs. So, always be on the lookout for...

Read More »

Mongolian Eagle Hunters: Stunning Portraits of a 4,000-Year-Old Tradition

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in canon, Featured, Food, Photography Tips, portrait, Wildlife

Mongolian Eagle Hunters: Stunning Portraits of a 4,000-Year-Old Tradition

Following a text from fellow photographer and videographer Cale Glendening, Sasha Leahovcenco got the chance of a lifetime to travel to the mysterious land of Mongolia (which he referred to as a “bucket list country”) and take a step back in time. When I say back in time, I mean a place where dinners are cooked in a clay house over an open flame, where cell phones and modern conveniences like TV and the internet are not commonplace. This is a land where for more than 4000 years, the families and people have been tracking and hunting wildlife with eagles they trapped and trained from the wild. They do this, not only as a way to carry on tradition, but as a way to provide food and clothing for their families in this stunning, but harsh environment. While on a trip from a commission for a news agency, a small group of friends were able to live with and partake in the life few have seen with such closeness. Chatting with Sasha, one of the things that came up was this idea of being involved. What allowed these kinds of intimate photos to take place was that Sasha and the team decided to live with the hunters and their families for a week while doing the photos. Sasha spoke about the experience of the shoot saying, “I think you always go into situations like this where people live without the ‘luxuries’ we have like cell phones and computers expecting to impact them or influence them in some way. What has ALWAYS happened to me though is that they seriously impact me. Their love of simple life and traditions moved me.” [RELATED: MASTER YOUR USE OF LIGHT WITH THE LIGHTING 101 COURSE] The Setup The setup of the entire shoot was relatively simple by design. Sasha said he likes to travel light, but also doesn’t like to have an intense setup that distracts from the story. The 35″ Octabox from Paul C. Buff, powered by the Alien Bee B800 made setup quick, and the large, soft light made for a perfect contrast to the stark and bare surroundings. The main light source was typically placed a few feet from the subject at a typical “down at a 45” setup. Complete Gear List: Main bag: ThinkTank Airport Security 2.0 Shoulder bag: ThinkTank Retrospective 30 Camera: Canon 5D Mark III Lens: Canon 24-70mm II Main Light: 35″ Octabox with AlienBees B800 Battery pack: Vagabond Mini 120VAC Light stand: 10-foot light stand [rewind: ONE LIGHT, ONE PHOTOGRAPHER. SHOOTING DRAMATIC PORTRAITS WITHOUT AN ASSISTANT] To see more of Sasha’s work, check out his personal site here. Images by Sasha Leahovcenco Director/Organizer Cale Glendening Images edited by PRATIK NAIK CREDITS: Photographs by Sasha Leahovcenco are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify, or re-post this article or image...

Read More »

What Gear Do You REALLY Need For Product Photography?

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Fashion, Featured, Food, macro, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait, sony

What Gear Do You REALLY Need For Product Photography?

“What gear do you really need for…” articles have proven to be some of my most popular. We all like to read something which challenges the norm, and many of us love a good debate. I also enjoy the challenge of pushing the boundaries, thinking about what the bare minimum gear needed for different genres of photography. This will be my latest “what gear do you really need for…” article and I feel it’s going to be the most challenging. Product photography is potentially the most gear hungry form of photography that I have ventured into. By all means, feel free to rip apart my suggestions; I encourage you to do so. Important Considerations Before We Get Going It’s always important to think about the final product with anything we shoot. With product photography, are you attempting to fill a gigantic billboard and therefore, need a megapixel monster of a camera? Or will your images be used on a website and be no larger than 1000px? As well as the final output of your images, it’s essential with product photography to think about what you are shooting. More specifically, I am referring to the surface; is it reflective or matte? For example, if one was only to be shooting clothing, you could use a very different setup as opposed to someone who was constantly shooting jewelry. Before you spend your hard-earned cash on any piece of equipment, try and think about exactly what you will be photographing. If the answer to that question is potentially anything, then you will need a lot of stuff. If the answer is clothing for e-commerce on a pure white background, then you could get away with very little. I know large companies that use just one light to shoot all of their clothing in a conveyor belt style fashion. [REWIND: USE SPLASH PHOTOGRAPHY TO CREATE STUNNING IMAGES | PHOTIGY COURSE REVIEW] For our purposes today, we’ll focus on someone who wants to shoot a range of items. They’ll differ in size, from jewelry to kitchen appliances, and also have varying surfaces, reflective and matte. The Bread And Butter (AKA Camera Lenses And Tripod) As we all know, there are a ton of options here. I’m not going to take you through every option of camera/lenses and cover the positives and negatives of each. It would take far too long and is quite unnecessary. It boils down to this: for a camera you’ll need a decent number of megapixels (20ish is good) and an ability to trigger external flashes. That covers almost every camera on the market today. Unless you are shooting billboards, you don’t need a huge number of megapixels. Our subjects are generally stationary; therefore, you don’t need an amazing focusing system. As much as possible, you’ll be shooting at ISO 100 and thus do not need fantastic high ISO abilities. My...

Read More »

5 Uncomfortable Truths About Photography

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Featured, Food, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, Wildlife

5 Uncomfortable Truths About Photography

There is a lot of hype about photography, it’s a booming hobby practiced by huge numbers of people around the world. With the prevalence of high quality images from our phones, and widely available, inexpensive dedicated cameras, it’s no wonder the art is so popular. But it isn’t all roses, and there are some uncomfortable things it’s best just to understand from the beginning. Here are five truths about photography: 1. More gear won’t make you a better photographer Don’t get me wrong, I love camera gear. New bodies, lenses, and accessories are fun and exciting, but they won’t magically make you better at photography. To be a better photographer you need to learn how to find images. The gear can help you capture them, but the finding part is up to you. Whenever I’m thinking of buying a new piece of gear, I ask myself, “Is my current gear holding me back?” Sometimes the answer is yes. It could be that the lens I’ve been using for night photography is too slow to get the detail I need, or the limitations of my current body are preventing me from blowing up the final shot to the size and detail required by a client. In such cases, I almost always have a specific image that I want to make, but can’t, due to my equipment. More often though, the answer to whether my gear is holding me back is no. The actual reason I want a new piece of gear is that it is shiny. I may lust over new camera stuff, but if that gear won’t improve my photography in a very tangible way, I don’t buy it. Some images require certain equipment. Without a big telephoto, this shot of the full moon over the Andes would have been impossible. Remember that good photography comes from your heart and your mind, not your wallet. 2. There is no “knack” Some people take to photography quickly, others more slowly, but everyone has to learn. Photography is an art, not a gift. A few times, I’ve been told by people looking at one of my images, “You have such a gift.” I know they are being kind, that they are offering a compliment, but I can’t help feeling insulted. I want to say, “It’s not a gift! I worked my ass off to make that image! That shot is the result of years of effort, of early mornings, and hours of travel, of study and practice, tens of thousands of failed and deleted shots, and thousands of dollars in equipment. Nothing about that image was given to me, I earned it.” Of course, I don’t say that. Instead, I smile as though they’ve just said the nicest thing, and say thanks. Photography can be learned. With practice you can see the way lines and light interact to create a pleasing...

Read More »

Lighting Setups & Camera Movements For Photographing and Filming Food |The Slanted Lens

Posted by on Mar 27, 2016 in Featured, Food, macro, Photography Tips

Lighting Setups & Camera Movements For Photographing and Filming Food |The Slanted Lens

Everyone is a food photographer these days. At least, that’s what it seems like when I look at Instagram. But a professional food photographer does a bit more than just aim their iPhones at their plates at dinner. Food photography is an art that can involve intricate lighting setups and a sometimes temperamental subject. We discuss the basics of food photography in the macro portion of Photography 101, if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here or sign up for our SLR Premium to get access to the entire SLR Lounge library. [REWIND: TASTY FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY | HOW TO MAKE YOUR VIEWER’S MOUTH WATER – EBOOK REVIEW] In the following video below, Jay P. Morgan at The Slanted Lens shows you his favorite light setup for food photography as well as a parallax move using a Syrp Genie camera slider for filming food. He begins with setting his light on the top back behind the subject. If you light food straight on, your image will look flat. What makes food photography interesting are the shadows that fall on the delectable delights before you, highlighting certain areas to make them appealing. Jay P. finishes his look by adding some side lights and a reflector to complete his look. In the video, he explains why he sets it up this way. Here is his final light set-up: Because he is filming the subject for a client, Jay P. uses a slider to create camera movement, so the second half of the 9-minute video shows a few techniques you can use for motion. The first is a standard linear movement from left to right; the second is the parallax move which is Jay P.’s favorite. With the parallax technique, the subject is always in the center of the frame while the camera is moving from right to left and the lens is moving left to right giving you a look that’s almost like a carousel. He demonstrates how to do both of these on a Syrp Genie and Genie Mini and gives you examples of when to use both slider techniques. It’s a great little video that will probably make you really hungry.        Share...

Read More »