So it’s been a while since my last post, and I’m sure that most of my already very modest readership has already found someone that can at least spell their own name correctly. If not, that I shall attempt to correct my spelling in the slim and nill free time that I currently enjoy as most of my time at the paper consists of shooting custom work. Custom work being Advertising, Marketing, internal video, and other various things. Shoots at 7am on Sundays, 5pm on Mondays, the bar guide requiring that I go to the bar when it’s open at 10pm and so on and so forth. As I’ve said in the past it’s one of those strange awful things that I sort of enjoy though. I’m not sure I would be able to survive sitting at a desk for 8 hours every day, and I hope that it doesn’t come to that, but if it does my hopes are that I’m doing something cool like designing xbox games or reviewing those addicting flash games you find on the internets.

Right now though I am sitting at lunch, which I made for myself. My culinary skills are greatly eclipsed by that of a 8 year old with an easy bake oven; despite the fact that I worked at a restaurant while I was at Purdue. So really I thought this might be a good time to update the blog, enjoy my microwaved hamburger, and say a thing or two about photographing food that actually looks as good as it tastes.

(Nikon D3, 200ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@70mm, 1/60th@F9. Nikon SB-800 Speedlight fired by pocket wizard set to 1/2 power to camera right shot through a 32″ Translucent disk. Nikon SB-800 Speedlight fired by pocket wizard set to 1/4th power fired through a 42″ Translucent disk)

The shot above is from when I was shooting for billboards and Menu’s for a restaurant bar in Indy named Lulu’s. A friend of mine was the chef, and another friend was the GM and they thought I’d be able to get some nice stuff for them. Gladly I didn’t disappoint myself, or more importantly them. Also made a nice print of that shot for the chef, who had it framed for his mom. (Nothing is a greater compliment to a photographer than framing one of their photos and giving it to your mom. Awesome.) I don’t remember what the food up there is exactly, but I remember eating some of it at some point or another too, and it was outstanding. Most of the stuff that I end up shooting ends up tasting outstanding though (I actually get to try it sometimes). If it wasn’t outstanding, they wouldn’t feature it……know what I’m saying?

(Canon 1D Mark II, 100ISO, Canon 24-70mmF2.8L@64mm, 1/200th@F7.1. Single Dynalight 400JR fired bare bulb from front camera left, set to 1/4th power fired by Pocket Wizard. White 60″ reflector to camera right for fill.)

Shooting food at the paper has always been somewhat Trial and Error for me. I’ve made lots of mistakes, and continue to make them every time I go out to shoot. Flared lights, mis colorings, omlets, and even more. I make a mess no matter where I go, as anybody who has seen my desk at the paper (or at home) would know. Food is one of those things to shoot though, that is similar to jewelry in that way where you can take absolutely forever to do it, and you can be outlandishly deliberate about the styling. Unfortunately I am not afforded that kind of time at the paper, and usually someone eats the food I shoot when I’m done. I can’t say the same about the shots you see taken for McDonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food joint. The food may look amazing, and taste that way as well; but if you ate the burger they photographed? It would kill you….

(Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon 24-70mmF2.8L@45mm, 1/50th@F5)

The most destructive I am to the food that I shoot, is poking at it with a fork, cutting it up, maybe leaving it a little under cooked, or just down right re-arranging it. Otherwise, it is all edible after the fact (unless you are allergic to the germs of my fingers poking at and or playing with the food). If I know someone is meant to eat it afterwards I’m usually pretty good about it, but there are other times when I absolutely destroy the plate, and my clothes after the fact. It never did sink in not to wipe my hands on my pants after playing with my food. Or maybe I’m not supposed to play with my food in the first place? I don’t remember. Sorry mom….

Anyway, As I mentioned to begin with I’ve been crazy busy since I got back from Canada. Lots of video actually. Shot for a band named Youthguard at the beginning of the week, and there is a super cool behind the scenes video being put together for it. Doing a new Metromix road-trip series as well, which has been fun thus far albeit time consuming. Tomorrow I’ve got one of the largest shoots I’ve ever attempted during the day too. I’ve got a battalion of zombies that have to be made for a photo for the 2010 Roller Derby Calendar. So long day tomorrow. To end on the food note though, I leave you with a slightly different way to view food. More Soon.

(Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon EF 100mmF2.8Macro, 1/50th@F4.5. Single 580EX Speedlight from directly overhead set to 1/16th power shot hard light right at the top of the food, fired by off camera cable.)