Food Photography Lighting Seminar

Last Fall Albuquerque Magazine responded to one of my promotional mailings with a request that I put on a food lighting seminar for some of their photographers. The request caught me by surprise… though I am quite comfortable with lighting food, I had never given thought as to what my food photography lighting “technique” even is, let alone teach it to others.

I agreed and we had our lighting workshop a couple of weeks ago. One of my long term clients, Wystone’s Tea, was gracious enough to open their doors to myself and the magazine so we could shoot in a restaurant environment as is the typical shooting situation for the magazine.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and I hope that Albuquerque Magazine’s director of photography, Liz Lopez and staff photographer, Don James learned as much from me as I did from them.

Food photographer

Liz Lopez, Director of Photography for Albuquerque Magazine

Food photographer

One of the appetizing plates of food we photographed at Wystone's

Food photography

Another of the delicious foods we photographed at Wystone's.

5 thoughts on “Food Photography Lighting Seminar

  1. Would you mind sharing what kind of umbrella that is? Is that gold? It seems the strobe with the grid may have a cto gel in it?
    Love your work
    Debbi

    • Hi Debbie,
      What you are seeing is a photo I can’t believe came out. While Liz was shooting I slipped the flash on my camera and took the shot. I thought when the slaves caused the strobes to fire it would blow out the entire image. It didn’t but there is the color mismatch between the color of the strobes and the color of the camera mounted flash (much bluer). The Octabox behind Liz didn’t fire due to having the sync plugged into it and I think that is why it did not overexpose the image and why it has remained white. There are no gels used. The umbrella is called a masters brush. I forget the brand but you should be able to google it up. It has a silver center surrounded by shoot through white. This gives a beautiful feathered fall off from the center of the subject to the perimeter. It is intended for portrait use, but I have found it works very well with food.

      Hope that helps,
      Mark

  2. Yes, masters brush. Westcott maybe. I read your article about micro stock and agree with you. I’m in a different position. I’m retired and use micro stock income to supplement my hobby. I never understood how anyone could live off it, but yuri manages to live really well.
    Thank you for answering. I found you via your new fish and chips image. I can always tell a true professional.
    Debbi

  3. You’re right. It is a Westcott. As for some doing well on microstock, those are the guys who are now screaming the loudest about the problems. I’ve read two interviews where Yuri spoke about it, one in which he said that he is having to upload massive amounts of photos just to keep his income from falling, another in which he says that he does not think anyone can make it in microstock anymore. He also indicates in this interview that he is moving toward direct licensing of his work and believes others will be doing the same…. I know that is what I have done. I recently licensed a photo over my own site for $800. It would take 2100 downloads at one of the microstock sites to make the same. That bargain basement price isn’t fair to either the photographer… or the client who ends up with the same image everyone else has.

    There is also one of the heavyweights at IS who lead a bashing attack against me when I suggested that microstock paid too little and was harming the industry. The thrust of his attack was where did I get off suggesting my work was worth more and that the pros were just going to have to learn to start working for their money. Then IS changed the contributor agreement and it cut commissions a small amount and this same guy is now ranting against IS on every forum and appears to be leading a charge to initiate legal action against IS.

    So it appears even those who were cashing in so well now see it as a less than desirable way to earn a living.

  4. Yes, I know who you are talking about. I followed that thread.

    Westcott no longer makes the masters brush. I asked why on their faceboook page and they said they didn’t sell well. Too bad, as I would have bought one just from your recommendation.
    Debbi

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