Using a grey card
I was invited to do a food workshop at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography this afternoon. Setting up a food shoot in their studios with their equipment without a stylist but an eager group of 21 students was the challenge of the day.
We worked on shooting both flash and daylight options. We looked at shooting tethered for “immediate” review of the images and the importance of using a grey-card to colour balance the shots especially on a rainy day like today.
With the use of the flashes, we created a fresh “daylight” look and with a few light adaptors, we could change everything to a “dark moody” look. The use of a tripod, reflectors and mirrors were added into the setups. All that was left was to shoot a natural light option which we shot from the top.
With food photography, props and styling either make or break the images and of course there are the “tricks of the trade” that also come in. So a special thanks to Caro who not only organised the workshop but also brought all the produce and props to make our “dark moody” shot.
Flash: Fresh Look
Flash: Dark Moody Look
On Friday I went to Noordhoek to photograph a braai (BBQ) story with Arina from Landbouweekblad for the next Boerekos issue. Being Cape Town winter, we have been having some stormy weather and Friday was no exception. I departed in the rain, arrived in the rain and returned in the rain. Fortunately, the braai area where we were to shoot was under roof and protected us from the rain, but there was no shelter from the icy wind that blew all day long.
So how were we going to accomplish what we set out to do? I had a bag of tricks up my sleeve, that was given to me to test for Sunshine Company. The first, was the FLM tripod and ball head. It was light, flexible and has friction control in the ball head, allowing one to do small adjustments. An easy to use locking system for the legs made leg adjustments effortless compared to previous systems.
The best trick of all was the CamRanger wireless camera remote control. The software was installed the night before and a few tests were done. CamRanger allows one to shoot from camera to laptop, tethered via a built in wifi. Yes there is a cable, a small one connecting the device to the camera, and so the camera and CamRanger sat in the wind and smoke from the fire while the laptop sat inside the house near the fireplace. It took about 10 seconds for the images to come up on the screen, but that was because I had one more trick. Using a setting within the CamRanger software, I was able to make a “hot folder” within a session I created using Capture One Pro shooting directly into the Captures folder. CamRanger ran the camera, Capture One did the editing it is renowned for.
Whether it was fish, chicken, beef, pork or lamb, all in all, the great styling and preparation from Arina, the braaing done by Chris Burgess, editor-in-chief of Landbouweekblad, and Lucille the assistant editor helping everywhere, the day was a great success.
I’m glad to announce that the prints from the Month of Photography Exhibition are now available for sale. Peter Osborn Furniture has kindly agreed to have them hung in his show room at The Palms in Woodstock. Please go to The Palms to view, or you can contact me for further info.
Take a walk on the wild side of cuisine.
We have been shooting, I mean photographing, venison for the special winters edition of Landbouweekblad’s Boerekos. Normally not something that is readily available in the summer months, but Checkers South Africa has a variety of Springbok cuts. So, today’s specials are Springbok Pinotage burger with rocket, blue cheese and caramelised onions on the left. On the right we have aromatic slow braised Springbok shank and neck with Port that will be used as a venison pie filling.
I’m hungry, how about you. Please do not lick your screen. Maybe they’ll make a scratch and sniff one soon.
Living in the Cape Town, we often have the most spectacular cloud formations.
These are a few I shot a few days ago.
While having dinner with the family, we noticed a “pink” colouring in the light.
I grabbed my tripod and camera, and set up for these shots.
Obviously, by the time I was done, dinner was cold, but it was worth it.
Over the last few months, I’ve seen a Wonderbag, looked at it and then left it. This weekend however, I bought one and today tested it. I decided to make a stew. By the way, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a photographer not a chef, and seeing that today I was the cook, the photographs were quickly taken on my iPhone.
10.00am. After braising the meat for the stew, I added the vegetables as chunky as possible for the ultimate test. Shallots, potatoes, carrots, along with whole tinned tomatoes, stock and spices, I brought everything back to the boil.
10.35am. I opened the Wonderbag and put the 5 liter pot inside, placed the lid on and fastened to bag.
Back to work.
5.05pm. Open the bag and removed the lid for the first time since 10.35am. Can’t wait to see what has happened since this morning. Mmmm, smells good.
Seeing that I only had one bag, I quickly made some rice to go with the stew on the stove. The stew was back on the stove for 5 minutes to bring back to the boil and left to rest again while the rice was cooking.
So, my question to myself and to you is…. When was the last time you made a stew in 40 minutes?
I know for me, it normally takes between 1 and a half to 2 hours on the stove, (in my case its gas).
I saved almost an hour of gas usage by using the Wonderbag. I didn’t have to worry about the food being burned as it used its own heat in the bag. The family was in agreement. The stew and the Wonderbag got a thumbs up.
Victor and Hannah invited us to their special wedding in Paarl today. Not taking any camera with me as I’m a guest, I still could not, not take any pics of the occasion. So, armed with my iPhone, I decided to take just a few pics for me and of course for them.
I’m really impressed with the iPhone images and the apps available.
Victor and Hannah were not phased by the pouring rain. Every time that there were shots to be taken, heaven smiled and gave some sunshine. We were blessed to be a part of the occasion.
Many blessings to you both.
Fresh vegetables are good. Good to look at, good to smell, good to eat, and of course, good to photograph. These were done on a recent shoot with Arina Du Plessis from Landbouweekblad Magazine. It brought back memories of being on my family’s farm as a child, as well as “backyard farming” growing carrots and beans. Today however, my farming is limited to a herb garden. One thing hasn’t changed though. The fresher, the better.
Walking is good for you, so they say, so I took a walk carrying my camera. As I walked I came across these beautiful works of art on the walls facing the street. I’ll be doing some more walking to see what I can find.
It is said that you can not fill a cup that is already full. To be filled again, it must first be emptied. This is where I’ll be emptying my cup and giving back what I have learnt.
So here a new journey starts.
Life is a journey, enjoy the ride.