Food Photography is one of my absolute favourite genres to shoot as I’m incredibly passionate about food itself and great food is not just a pleasure to eat but can be a joy to photograph.
I recently shot a new tasting menu for Crafthouse, in Leeds, for a fantastic online magazine and review site – Leeds List. Its a fabulous set of dishes, designed by Executive Chef Lee Murdoch. Lee joined in 2015, having worked in Abu Dhabi and at Michelin star restaurants across Europe.
It is always enjoyable to see people taking this much pride and effort designing and creating food at this standard. The attention to detail is incredible and every element adds to the overall dish. Seeing someone working in such an innovating way pushes my to take my photography to the next level in order to do justice to their creations.
As with previous posts, I’ll explain a little about the shooting itself as not everyone will see the behind-the-scenes shots on social media. Crafthouse, if you’ve never been before, is a gorgeous rooftop restaurant in Leeds’ Trinity complex. The great thing about this venue is that thanks to its glass windows down one side overlooking the city, there is usually a lot of available, directional light.
Typically, this might be enough alone to shoot, however the table I wanted to shoot at was a little away from the windows, and we happened to be shooting on a fairly overcast day. I therefore decided to use one of my Elinchrom D-lite 4 strobes, attached to an 80″ soft box and positioned fairly far away near the window, just to increase this soft, directional light to a level that allowed me manoeuvrability to play with the aperture at times without sacrificing quality by increasing the ISO.
What I really love about these strobes as well, is the wireless trigger on my camera’s hot-shoe mount is able to manually control the output and grouping of the lights which means I’m able to stay with my camera and adjust without having to stop shooting and allow the food to move past its optimum condition.
As I’m shooting something like a tasting menu, it’s important for me to understand the chef’s intention behind each dish and the reason it is plated the way it is.
I make sure to ascertain where the focal point of each dish should be. Where there are interactive elements such as a jus in pots or accompanying drinks its imperative I find out how the chef had envisaged those playing a part within the dish as a whole. It’s my responsibility to convey that to the customer.
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